The Children’s Center is proud to utilize the Pyramid Model in everyday interactions with children. We hope to promote social and emotional skills in our youth and families alike. Building positive relationships, engaging in learning, and transforming the lives of children is always our goal.

The Pyramid Model is an evidence-based approach for promoting young children’s healthy social and emotional development.

The bottom tier has three “universal supports” for children that include Effective Workspace, Nurturing and Responsive Relationships, & High-Quality Supportive Environments. Effective Workspace includes the administrator’s role in making sure the primary caregivers within their program have the time and resources to grow their practice and maintain their own well-being. Prioritizing healthy and well-informed staff who are trained in best practices results in high-quality care for children and as needed, support to families.

Nurturing and Responsive Relationships, the second universal support, means honoring each child’s development, interests, and culture. Responsive interactions that include repeated, predictable patterns of response and emotional connection create responsive relationships. Responsive relationships in turn develop into nurturing relationships.

The third universal support is a High-Quality Supportive Environment. This kind of environment includes physical design (child-friendly furnishings and engaging materials), environmental cues from caregiver to child, schedules and routines, support with transitions, group activities, clear rules and expectations, and positive interactions.
Childcare programs need systematic support to foster social-emotional development and prevent challenging behaviors. By providing universal support, the program meets the needs of all children and can then identify the children who need help beyond the first tier of the Pyramid Model.

In any group, approximately one quarter of the children will not thrive on just universal support interactions. This is when we proceed to the middle tier on the Pyramid Model called
Targeted Social Emotional Supports. Targeted Supports are tools, activities, or experiences that help children learn important skills so they can fully participate in their environment. They typically promote social well-being, communication, self-care, and coping skills. Some examples include helping a child enter play with another child, offering options for a child not interested in the offered activity, and supporting peer conflict resolution.

The top and final tier of the Pyramid Model is called Intensive Intervention. One in approximately twenty children have severe and persistent learning and behavioral needs, including students with disabilities. When there are concerns about a child’s development or learning, they may be referred for evaluation. This then leads to “prevent-teach-reinforce” plan that involves the child, their family, and the team of educators. It is a process, not a specific program or product. The process is driven by data, characterized by individualization, and considers the academic and behavioral needs of the child. Family involvement in a key principle of the intervention tier.

For more information on the Pyramid Model being implemented at the Center, visit Pyramid Model Overview