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CSEFEL: Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children. Linda Brault, MA & Laura Fish, LMFT Working Together for Inclusion & Belonging www.CAinclusion.org WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies. Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning.

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CSEFEL:Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children

Linda Brault, MA & Laura Fish, LMFT

Working Together for Inclusion & Belonging


WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies

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Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

  • National Center

    • Vanderbilt University

    • University of Illinois

    • University of South Florida

    • University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center

    • Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development


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National CSEFEL Learning

  • National Center focused on promoting the social emotional development and school readiness of young children birth to age 5.

  • Jointly funded by the Office of Head Start and the Child Care Bureau, under the auspices of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Partner Project: TACSEI Learning

  • TACSEI (Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children) is a partner National Center focused on sharing practices that improve the social-emotional outcomes for young children with, or at risk for, delays or disabilities

  • Funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs

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Material on Websites Learning

Center on the Social & Emotional Foundations for Early Learning


Technical Assistance Center onSocial Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI)


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California CSEFEL Learning

  • Working to build capacity within CA

  • Collaborative Leadership Team at the state level

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California’s CSEFEL: LearningCollaborative on Supporting Early Childhood Social-Emotional Foundations in Early Learning

Map to Inclusive Child Care


California Department of Education

(CDE) Child Development Division

Team Co-Leaders

California Early Childhood

Comprehensive System, Maternal, Child, Adolescent, Health

CDE. Special Education Division, Assessment, Evaluation & Support

Department of Developmental Services,

Early Start State Services,

Interagency Coordinating Council

Center for Excellence in Child Development,

The Center for Human Services

UCD Extension

First 5 California

Sacramento Co. Office of Ed.

SEEDS Project



California Department

of Mental Health


Center for Child & Family Studies

Children & Family Services Division,

California Department of Social Services


Center for Prevention & Early Intervention

Child Care Licensing Division,

California Department of Social Services


Head Start Collaboration Office

California Child Care

Resource & Referral Network

Child Development & FKCE

California Community Colleges

Head Start State-Based Training &

Technical Assistance Office for CA

California Head Start


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Promoting Social Emotional Development and Addressing Challenging Behavior: Program Wide Implementationof the CSEFEL Approach

Working Together for Inclusion & Belongingwww.CAinclusion.org

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Designed for Sustainability Challenging Behavior:

  • Leadership Team

    • Administrators, teachers, those that support the development of behavior support plans

      • including mental health partners, school psychologists, disability specialists, educational coordinators, special education partners

    • Meet regularly to guide training, coaching and implementation

  • Training of three modules

    • Four full days of training, spread out over 6-8 months

    • Include entire classroom teams, administrators, specialists

  • Coaching/Technical Assistance

    • Classroom and site-based support following each training

    • Work with internal coaches and leadership team

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Varied Settings Involved Challenging Behavior:

  • Program-wide training happening across California

  • Settings include Head Start/Early Head Start, school district programs, private child care settings

    • All groups being trained include children who are learning English

    • Many staff in the programs are bilingual with English as their second language

    • Along with Spanish and Chinese, there are a wide number of other languages spoken

  • Inclusive Settings

    • Many programs enroll children with disabilities or other special needs

    • The settings include children who are involved in child welfare

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Families are Central Challenging Behavior:

  • Throughout the material, families are included

  • “Positive Solutions forFamilies” is a set of materials to use withfamilies of young children

  • There are six total sessionsthat can be done in twoseries of three

  • The materials are in Englishand Spanish

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Three Levels of Need Challenging Behavior:


Children w/Persistent





Children at-Risk

Group Intervention & Support

All Children

Universal Interventions

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Teaching Pyramid Challenging Behavior:

Positive Behavior Support

Intensive Individualized Interventions

Children with persistent challenges

Targeted Social Emotional Supports

Social Skills Curricula

Children at-risk

High Quality

Supportive Environments

High quality

Early Education

All children

Nurturing and Responsive Relationships

Effective Work Force

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CSEFEL Pyramid Model: Challenging Behavior:

Promoting Social Emotional Competence in Infants &Young Children



 Systematic approaches have preventive and remedial

effects on social emotional develop-


Targeted Social

Emotional Supports

 • Supportive, responsive relationships among adults and children are necessary for promoting social emotional development • High quality environments promote positive outcomes for all young children

Nurturing and

Responsive Relationships


High Quality Environments

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Module 1: Promoting Children’s Success: Building Relationships and Creating Supportive Environments

Topics included in this module:

  • Building positive relationships with children and families

  • Designing environments, schedules, and routines

  • Establishing expectations

  • Implementing activities that promote child engagement

  • Modifying and adapting materials and activities to meet the individualneeds of all children, including those with disabilities

  • Providing encouragement, acknowledgement, and descriptive praise to children

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Module 2: Social Emotional Relationships and Teaching Strategies

Topics included in this module:

  • Identifying teachable moments

  • Facilitating the development of friendship skills

  • Teaching problem solving

  • Teaching children to recognize and express emotions (emotional literacy)

  • Teaching children to understand and manage strong emotions such as anger

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Module 3A & B: Individualized Intensive Intervention Relationships and

Topics included in this module:

  • Identifying the function of challenging behavior

  • Identifying behaviors and social skills to target for intervention

  • Developing a plan for supporting social-emotional development and preventing challenging behavior

  • Using a team approach to addressing challenging behavior and social-emotional needs

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Expanding the Age Range Relationships and

  • CSEFEL began for ages 2 years to 5 years

  • When the age group was extended to birth, Zero to Three and Georgetown were added as partners

  • Materials do include 2 year olds

  • The Infant/Toddler Modules are in their first iteration (Preschool is in its third)

  • Several examples include home visitors

  • Input recently gathered for the first revision of theInfant/Toddler modules

  • Revised modules will be posted on the National CSEFEL website

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Infant/Toddler Modules Relationships and

  • The Infant-Toddler Modules have a clear link to Infant-Family Mental Health practices

  • Much of the focus is on understanding and self-awareness using reflections, self-assessment, and dialogue about vignettes in small groups

  • Module 1 is only one level, relationships

  • Module 2 is about routines, environments, and strategies to support social emotional development

  • Module 3 looks at the meaning of behavior and appropriate responses

  • Module 3 addresses maternal depression as well

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Module 4: Leadership Strategies for an Effective Work Force Relationships and

Topics included in this module:

  • Identifying challenges and barriers to implementing effective practices

  • Identifying strategies for addressing barriers and challenges

  • Developing program policies and staff development plans that promotethe use of effective practices

  • Identifying steps to collaborative planning for programs and systems that support all young children’s social-emotional development and addressing challenging behaviors as needed

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Supporting Mental Health Relationships and

  • Health and mental well-being are linked

    • Recognizing and experiencing emotions as part of typical development

    • Reducing stress in children through teaching of social-emotional skills

  • Reducing stress in teachers and parents

    • Promotes greater understanding of typical development and needs

    • Reframes approach to teaching instead of shame, blame, and punishing

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Three Pronged Approach Relationships and

  • The Pyramid Model provides a framework for delivery of mental health consultation services

    • Prevention

    • Promotion

    • Intervention


Children w/Persistent





Children at-Risk

Group Intervention & Support

All Children

Universal Interventions

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The Parallel Process Relationships and

  • Throughout the training, participants are reminded about the parallel process and encouraged to reflect on their own emotional experiences

  • In many instances, there are staff to staff issues that surface during the training and coaching process

  • It is helpful for the ECMH consultant to be a part of the approach throughout

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Typical Outcomes Relationships and

  • Improved staff satisfaction/ Decreased turnover

  • Increase in overall program quality

  • Clearly articulated and implemented policies and procedures

  • More intentional teaching and purposeful in supporting children’s emotional development

  • Elimination of “time-out” as primary strategy

  • Less reliance on “outside” experts

  • Stronger collaboration with mental health providers

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Including ECMH Consultants Relationships and

  • ECMH consultants are included in all components of the training, leadership team, and coaching

  • As they attend the training with staff this provides an opportunity to deepen their understanding of child care settings and issues that are impacting staff

  • Consultants can support children and staff during prevention & promotion, rather than focus on treatment alone

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Shifting the Focus Relationships and

South East Kansas Community Action Project Head Start

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Supporting ECMH Consultation Relationships and

  • Materials and training tools give ECMH consultant evidenced-based strategies for use with programs

  • Classroom assessment tool for evaluation of implementation

    • Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool (TPOT)

    • Teaching Pyramid Infant Toddler Observation Scale (TPITOS)

  • Shared language and understanding

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Articles for More Info Relationships and

  • Southeast Kansas Community Action Program

    Program-Wide Positive Behavior Support (Kansas Data)http://www.challengingbehavior.org/do/resources/documents/sek_cap_booklet.pdf

  • California Articles

    National Initiative Collaborates with California inThe Special Edge, Winter/Spring 2010, Vol.23, No.2http://www.calstat.org/publications/pdfs/EDge_W_S10Eng_newsltr.pdf

    CA CSEFEL: California’s Collaborative on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning


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Information Available Relationships and

  • Map website:


    • California Materials

  • National Materials


    • National CSEFEL (Head Start/Child Care)


    • TACSEI (OSEP Funded)

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Thank You! Relationships and

For more information:

Linda Brault ~ lbrault@wested.org

Laura Fish ~ lfish@wested.org

Working Together for Inclusion & Belonginghttp://www.CAinclusion.org