Research informs us how a child grows and develops. The brains of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers develop rapidly, building skills in social-emotional development, learning, motor development, and communication that provides the foundation for all future growth and development. Whether that foundation is sturdy or fragile depends greatly on the quality of the young child’s early environments and relationships.

Early childhood programs that are staffed by professionals who have the knowledge and skills to build positive environments and relationships with young children can positively influence social-emotional development in ways that will have a positive impact on the children’s growth and development throughout the rest of their lives.

Achievements and Kids Express is a partner in the statewide implementation of the Pyramid Model and requires staff to be trained in implementing the Pyramid model.

The Pyramid Model is a nationally recognized training initiative focused on building the competencies professionals need to build positive relationships, create culturally responsive, supportive, and nurturing environments, teach social skills, empathy, and emotional vocabulary, and provide individualized support when needed.

Preliminary results of an evaluation of the effects of New York’s implementation of the Pyramid Model in early childhood education programs show that it works. The study found that in the classrooms led by program staff who received Pyramid Model training: • Challenging behaviors were less likely to occur; • Children were using strategies to help each other and solve problems independently; • Teachers’ attitude toward work improved and their perception of challenging behavior changed; • Teachers’ felt less stressed and more confident and patient; and • Supervisors’ saw that teachers in their program that received the training were more focused on classroom functioning.

We are fortunate to be part of the state leadership team and have one of the States Master Cadre and Leadership coaches as part of our staff.