Guide on Positive Behaviour Support in Early Childhood and Care

PBS-ECEC Guide constitutes a planning tool for educators in early childhood education settings, which includes a practical source of information that supports the creation of a proactive programme-wide and high-quality classroom environment, where Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is promoted. In particular, the PBS-ECEC Guide proposes practices that will help preschool educators to promote the social and emotional competence of all children and restructure the ECEC environments in order to make them more predictable, positive and safe for preschool children.

Transnational Need Assessment Report “Research findings for developing the Guide on Positive Behaviour Support in Early Childhood and Care”

This report provides the theoretical framework based on the findings from the desk and field research conducted by the project partners. This report functioned as the basis for developing the Guide on Positive Behaviour Support in Early Childhood and Care in European Countries, a guide specially
designed for preschool educators to implement the first level of Program-wide Positive Behaviour Support (PW-PBS).

Online Modules of PW-PBS Instructional Practices in Early Childhood and Care Settings

The set of Online Modules includes five integrated modules developed in a logical sequence which can also be studied independently if the ECEC professionals wish to deepen a particular topic. In particular, ECEC professionals are provided with a range of resources for each module among which a lengthy and detailed description of the module’s topic, accompanied by a training presentation and several interactive activities. These modules were developed based on the curricular guidelines from each participant country, the state of the art, and the needs assessment conducted on earlier results and activities.

The e-learning course follows bespoke pedagogical approaches and learning theories, and is consisted of five modules aiming to strengthen teacher knowledge and capacity and providing evidence-based practices for promoting socioemotional development in ECEC, a crucial dimension in child development and wellbeing, and a transversal domain in all partner countries. PBS-ECEC online course is a guiding and supporting tool for ECEC teachers to help them designing and implementing PW-PBS, with specific emphasis on training centre-based ECEC teams to deliver key elements of PW-PBS across ECEC settings.






Impact assessment study and practice recommendations

During PBS-ECEC project, each partner in the consortium was responsible for conducting training programmes for early years educators in their respective countries and guiding the implementation of PW-PBS practices. This report presents the evaluation of the training programmes and implementations phase conducted in Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus.

Timeline and Description of the Activity

Timeline of the activity and report on the effectiveness of PW-PBS training and implementation in preschool settings across Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus.

Recommendations Emerging from the Main Findings

54 trainers and 154 early years educators and professionals from Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus took part in training and implemented Programme-Wide Positive Behaviour Support (PW-PBS) in their settings. They provided feedback on their experience. Here are some recommendations for sustainable PBS implementation emerging from the study findings.

Policy and Strategy Toolkit

The Policy and Strategy Toolkit includes a set of strategies based on: 

  • a collection of lessons learned and challenges during the PBS-ECEC train the trainers program and implementation of PW-PBS in the participating countries
  • promising practices with concrete and practical examples
  • policy recommendations
  • easy-to-use tools for ECEC professionals and policymakers to adequately and efficiently implement PW-PBS

When exploring this Toolkit, all the recommendations interconnect and are interdependent in such a way that they build on each other. Their full implementation across educational settings and systems is expected to create a synergistic effect.

Strategy and policy recommendations

#1 To implement PW-PBS, it is fundamental to promote continuous professional development

Continuous professional development (CPD), in addition to solid initial education and training, is essential for the successful implementation of Programme-Wide Positive Development Support (PW–PBS) in early childhood education and care (ECEC). CPD ensures high-quality education and support for children.

#2 PW-PBS implementation requires a long-term process

Implementing Programme–Wide Positive Behaviour Support (PW–PBS) requires time to achieve a sustainable impact across various levels (children, families, professionals, ECEC settings, communities) and desired outcomes (socioemotional learning, health, learning, and positive school climate). The duration of implementation can vary depending on the specific needs and goals of each ECEC setting, but typically, over a year is required for full integration.

#3 Implementing PW-PBS in preschools requires involving parents as part of the educational team

Children´s socioemotional learning (SEL) and the prevention of challenging behaviours can be optimised through positive family–ECEC partnerships. Parents significantly influence child development, and their insights during Programme–Wide Positive Behaviour Support (PW–PBS) implementation enable tailored approaches to meet each child’s needs.

#4 The implementation of PW–PBS is based on the development of collaborative practices and partnerships, at multiple levels, among educational stakeholders

For a successful and enduring Programme–Wide Positive Behaviour Support (PW–PBS) implementation, collaborative efforts involving stakeholders at all levels, from classrooms to the community, are crucial. An engaged, collaborative workforce forms the foundation of the PW–PBS approach. In ECEC settings, effective communication, collaborative atmosphere, and democratic leadership promote consistency in pedagogical strategies and practices.

#5 Promote an inclusive approach based on multi-tiered systems of support at all levels (centre-level, local, national)

Every school should address the diverse needs of all children with a positive approach, encompassing multiple developmental dimensions (e.g., cognitive, psychomotor, and socioemotional). This involves implementing a school-wide multi-tiered support system and shifting from a remedial to a preventive approach. Inclusive educational systems support all children regardless of abilities or backgrounds, promoting participation, fostering accessible learning environments, and providing the necessary resources for success.

#6 Leadership teams play a central role in coordinating, guiding and supporting the ECEC setting teams throughout all phases of the PW–PBS implementation

The implementation of Programme–Wide Positive Behaviour Support (PW–PBS) is led by a leadership team, comprising various professionals, in each ECEC centre. This team organises, integrates, and coordinates the implementation of effective strategies and practices. Well-prepared, highly engaged, and supportive leadership promotes common ground at the level of vision (beliefs and values), theoretical underpinnings, and pedagogical practices.

#7 The promotion of children’s SEL should be clearly emphasised in ECEC national curricula and guidelines, as well as ECEC centres´ educational projects

The promotion of children’s socioemotional learning (SEL) should be clearly emphasised in ECEC national curricula and guidelines, in line with European policies and frameworks that stress the core relevance of key personal, social, and emotional competencies. This entails defining national policy frameworks that clearly acknowledge a holistic understanding of children’s learning and development, and an integrated approach to professional action in ECEC settings.

To access the full PBS-ECEC Policy and Strategy Toolkit for Implementing a Program-Wide Positive Behaviour Support Approach in ECEC click here

To access the PBS-ECEC Report on the Policy and Strategy Toolkit for Implementing a Program-Wide Positive Behaviour Support Approach in ECEC click here. This report focuses on the construction of the Policy and Strategy Toolkit, the fourth set of resources produced during the PBS-ECEC Project.