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Suspension and expulsion in Colorado early care and education settings: Child, program, and community-level predictors


Expulsion presents a significant risk in Early Care and Education (ECE) settings due to its association with early disadvantage and frequency of use. A statewide survey was conducted to characterize ECE suspension and expulsion (S/E) in Colorado. Child, program, and community-level factors were examined as predictors of S/E, alongside preventative intervention supports capable of reducing S/E. Six hundred and sixty three licensed child care programs participated in the survey, providing information on 19,848 enrolled children, 312 suspensions, and 74 expulsions. A series of multilevel hierarchical regressions were conducted, examining predictors for S/E. Children with IEPs/IFSPs were disproportionately suspended; 2–3-year-olds were disproportionately expelled; and boys, 5–6-year-olds, and children with disabilities were disproportionately suspended and expelled. Center-based programs, lower quality ratings, and “zero tolerance” policies predicted greater use of suspension. In contrast, school-district affiliation and knowledge of how to access infant and early childhood mental health consultation (IECMHC) decreased suspension. Lower levels of regional child poverty predicted higher use of expulsion. Affiliation with a school-district, IECMH consultant-led training, and use of quality coaches predicted decreased expulsion. This study identifies the need for ongoing protection for children with IEPs/ IFSPs and the preventative interventions that mitigate risk for S/E. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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