First Step to Success for preschool children

Edward Feil, Andy Frey, and Annemieke Golly explain how a collaborative home and school intervention program can be adapted to help young children already at risk of school failure

THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN DISPLAYING challenging behaviors in preschools has increased in ways that severely stress the management skills of their teachers. This has emerged as a national problem that is found widely in preschools across the U.S. and U.K.

The purpose of this article is to highlight an evidence-based practice – the preschool version of First Step to Success – for young children at risk of school failure due to early signs of challenging behavior. To date, this preschool version has been implemented and evaluated in several U.S. states, including Oregon, Kentucky, and Hawaii. Herein, we first describe the K–3 First Step to Success intervention, followed by the rationale for and description of the adaptation for preschool-age children in center-based programs.

What we know
● First Step to Success (FS) is a collaborative home and school intervention to help at-risk students get off to a good start in school.
● FS improves social skills as well as school success skills, and also reduces problem behavior.
● The adapted version of the FS program focuses on preschool children who may have difficulty adjusting to routine school demands, and teaches them the expectations for behavior such as walking into the classroom quietly, sitting in a circle, and asking for help appropriately.

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October 2012