Reducing Suspension and Expulsion Practices in Early Childhood Settings

Recent data indicate that expulsions and suspensions regularly occur in preschool settings. This is a problematic issue given the well-established research indicating that these practices can influence a number of adverse outcomes across development, health, and education. In addition, stark racial and gender disparities exist in these practices, with young boys of color being suspended and expelled at much higher rates than other children in early learning programs. These trends warrant immediate attention from the early childhood and education fields. The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education issued a policy statement and recommendations to assist states and public and private early childhood programs in partnering to prevent and severely limit expulsions and suspensions in early learning settings.


Three children playing in sandbox in classroom on cover of report

This document summarizes the Federal policy recommendations released in December 2014, and profiles innovative policies and workforce supports adopted by States and local leaders around the country who are leading the way by proactively addressing expulsion and suspension in early childhood settings. Though no State or community highlighted considers their work finished, they are taking important steps forward to address the issue and have a series of planned next steps they intend to pursue. Their innovative ideas and valuable lessons learned can support and guide localities similarly alarmed by- and committed to addressing- this issue.

ACF recently hosted a webinar series on suspension and expulsion in early childhood settings. The series featured key experts from across the country who have done work on different aspects of the issue, including policy, research and data, and prevention/intervention.

The first webinar in the series explores basic research and data trends on expulsion and suspension in early childhood settings:

View the full Expulsion and Suspension Prevention webinar series.

Click Below to download slides:

States and early childhood programs should make use of free, publicly available resources to aid in their efforts to prevent, limit and ultimately eliminate expulsion and suspension practices in early learning settings. View a sampling of the resources:

Last Reviewed: April 20, 2016