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Early Childhood Practitioners

  • Listen and follow directions;

  • Have close relationships with caregivers and peers;

  • Care about friends and show interest in others;

  • Recognize, label, and manage their own emotions;

  • Understand others’ emotions and show empathy;

  • Express wishes and preferences clearly;

  • Gain access to ongoing play and group activities; and

  • Play, negotiate, and compromise with others?

If you believe that any, or all, of these are important, you are probably very interested in promoting young children’s social and emotional health. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children social and emotional health really matters.


The Pyramid Model in Action   

The Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children
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Young children’s social and emotional development begins at birth. Infant, toddler, and preschool child care providers, early childhood educators, and other early childhood focused practitioners, in partnership with families, all play a crucial role in making sure that children get off to a strong start. The evidence-based Pyramid Model Framework supports this work. 


Evidence-based means that multiple research studies show its effectiveness. Pyramid Model supports and interventions lead to positive social-emotional outcomes for children. For example, we know that in classrooms where the Pyramid Model has been implemented children show significant improvements in their social skills. In addition, children with persistent behavior challenges show significant decreases in challenging behavior.  


If you are interested in familiarizing yourself with the research associated with the Pyramid Model you might want to read: Implementing Positive Behavior Intervention and Support: The Evidence-Base of the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children. 


The Pyramid Model section of this website describes the Pyramid Model. You can also access the information here. Be sure to review to gain an understanding of the model and all its components.


Now you are probably wondering what does it look like in a classroom? Below are videos to help you visualize how teachers implement the Pyramid Model.  


This video, produced by the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL), provides a good introduction to the Pyramid Model. In in it, teachers show and tell how it works in their classrooms.   


If you are curious about how the Pyramid Model looks in a typical day in a toddler or preschool classroom, take a look at these videos. Use the table of contents, at the start of each video, to locate where specific Pyramid Model practices are being demonstrated in the video.

Want to Learn More?    


To find practical strategies, tips, and tools to apply immediately in your practice, take a look at resources from CSEFEL and NCPMI.  


Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

This site includes a variety of resources such as book lists, scripted stories, problem-solving solution took kits, and more that you can use in your classroom.

The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations provides resources to support and engage families. Be sure to check out The Backpack Connection Series. Here you can access one-page handouts to share with families. The printer-ready, color handouts offers parents and caregivers ideas about “how-to” stop challenging behaviors (e.g., whining, hitting, biting); avoid meltdowns; navigate morning and bedtime routines; and help children recognize and understand emotions (e.g., anger, fear, sadness, frustration). 


Resources such as those found above, can be useful for supporting young children’s social-emotional development and addressing challenging behaviors. However, to achieve the best possible results, the goal is to implement the Pyramid Model with high-fidelity. This means making sure that is carried out fully in the ways recommended, ways that have been proven to be effective. The Pyramid Model Consortium provides training and technical assistance to states, communities, and programs striving to implement the Pyramid Model with high-fidelity. New Hampshire is a partner state in the consortium. Leaders across the state are working with the consortium to provide Pyramid Model professional development and training opportunities to you.


Hopefully, this information has you interested in implementing the Pyramid Model in your classroom or program. The Lower Grafton Council for Young Children and Families wants to support you! To find out how you can get free professional development go to the Professional Development section of this website.

How important do you think it is for children are able to: 

“Children’s social and emotional health affects their overall development and learning. Research indicates that children who are mentally healthy tend to be happier, show greater motivation to learn, have a more positive attitude toward school, more eagerly participate in class activities, and demonstrate higher academic performance than less mentally healthy peers (Hyson 2004; Kostelnik et al. 2015).


Children who exhibit social and emotional difficulties tend to have trouble following directions and participating in learning activities. Compared with healthier peers, they may be more likely to suffer rejection by classmates, have low self-esteem, do poorly in school, and be suspended (Hyson 2004; Kostelnik et al. 2015).


Thus, children’s social and emotional health is just as important as their physical health, and affects their capacity to develop and potential to lead a fulfilling life.” 

Demonstrations of Pyramid Model Practices 

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