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Tracey Bywater, Judy Hutchings, Nicole Gridley, Karen Jones and Bridget Roberts. BACKGROUND:

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Evaluating the iy toddler programme with nursery staff

Tracey Bywater, Judy Hutchings, Nicole Gridley, Karen Jones and Bridget Roberts

BACKGROUND:

Parenting programmes are an effective early intervention for the prevention and treatment of conduct problems. However, improvements in behaviour at home, following attendance at parent groups, do not always generalise to environments outside the home. Young children are spending increasing amounts of time in out-of-home care settings, such as nurseries, where little may have been been done to ensure that staff members are trained in effective and proactive child management strategies to support children with challenging behaviour.

Nursery staff in high risk communities, such as Flying Start areas in Wales, have to deal with significant levels of challenging behaviour among children. The managers and staff of two Flying Start nurseries in Caernarfon were keen to add to their skills in managing and supporting high risk children and agreed to participate in a pilot project. Helping such staff to support these children should improve their school readiness. The project involved delivering the Incredible Years toddler programme to nursery staff including the centre managers.

TODDLERPROGRAMME CONTENT:12 sessions covering:

Child directed play promotes positive relationships

Promoting Toddlers language with child-directed coaching

Social and emotional coaching

The art of praise and encouragement

Spontaneous incentives for Toddlers

Handling separations and reunions

Positive discipline - effective limit setting

Positive discipline - handling misbehavior

  • RESULTS:

  • Using paired t-tests, between baseline and follow-up we found:

  • A significant reduction across four of the five subscales of the TSDQ indicating a reduction in problematic child behaviours within the nursery.

  • A significant reduction across all subscales of the ITS indicating a significant reduction of Nursery Worker stress.

  • A significant increase in Nursery Workers sense of competence. As measured by the NSoC.

  • Participant satisfaction

  • Nursery staff reported high levels of satisfaction with the programme.

  • 67.5% said they felt the quality of their relationship with the toddlers in their care had greatly improved.

  • 100% said they would recommend the course to others.

  • 100% felt more confident in their skills after course completion.

  • Other outcomes:

  • Substantial differences at baseline between Nursery Worker and parent report of children’s problematic behaviour, with nursery staff reporting higher levels of difficulties.

  • No improvements in children's behaviour in the home following intervention, suggesting that behaviour in one setting may be independent of behaviour in another.

EVALUATING THE IY TODDLER PROGRAMME WITH NURSERY STAFF

  • HYPOTHESES:

  • Improvements would be found in children's behaviour in the nursery setting following attendance by nursery staff at the Incredible Years toddler parent programme

  • Nursery staff would find the intervention acceptable and it would increase their sense of competence and reduce stress

  • We also wished to explore whether any improvements generalised to the home setting and compare the levels of problems reported by teachers and parents would be different since the nursery setting demanded a different set of behaviours from children.

  • METHOD & DESIGN:

  • Thirteen nursery staff (mean age = 30 years) attended the Incredible Years Toddler programme, delivered one night a week during two hour session by a certified programme leader.

  • Nursery staff had an average of 4.5 years experience working within a Nursery setting, and all staff had at least 1 NVQ qualification, Level 2-4 for Child care and/ or Early Years Care and Education.

  • With the permission of their parents, the nursery staff recruited 35 children (mean age = 33.74 months) who were attending the nurseries.

  • These children were targeted for the between session practice assignments by nursery staff.

  • Data was collected at baseline and four months post-intervention from nursery staff and parents using the following measures:

  • Nursery Sense of Competence (NSoC; Johnston & Mash, 1989)

  • Index of Teaching Stress (ITS; Greene, Abidin & Kmets, 1997)

  • Teacher & Parent versions of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (TSDQ; PSDQ; Goodman, 1997)

  • Eyberg Child Behaviour Inventory (ECBI; Eyberg & Ross, 1978)

  • Following completion of the programme Nursery Workers completed a shortened version of the Incredible Years Programme Satisfaction Questionnaire.

ANECDOTAL FEEDBACK:

“Since doing this IY course I

have seen an improvement in Sam.

I think it is because I have learnt

a lot about praise, rewards and just

doing things differently”

“You have fun with the child instead

of just observing and noticing

when the child behaves inappropriately”

“I thought sharing information

with the other girls was very

beneficial”

RECOGNISED LEVEL 2 OCN CREDITATION:

Whilst attending the IY Toddler programme Nursery workers also completed and submitted a portfolio of their work to receive a 3 unit Level 2 Open College Network Accreditation.

“The tutor was excellent!”

CONCLUSIONS:

The trial demonstrates the benefits of delivering the Toddler Parenting Programme to staff in an out-of-home, nursery, setting. Results demonstrate that child behaviour is situation dependant and that interventions to develop managing challenging child behaviour in their early-years should target both parents and other carers of young high-risk children.

Contact: Tracey Bywater, [email protected] Tel: (01248) 383845

Visit our websites: www.incredibleyearswales.co.uk or http://incredible-years-wales-research.bangor.ac.uk


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