Tips and Resources


Guides in Speech

  1. State Suggestions Or Directions In a Positive Form:  A positive suggestion tells a child what s/he can do, rather than condemning what s/he is doing or about to do wrong. “Sand stays on the ground,” rather than, “Don’t throw sand.”
  2. Give The Child A Choice Only When You Want Them To Make A Choice: Learning to choose, within reasonable limits, is part of a child’s growing to maturity. Putting a statement in question form, “Let’s go home now, okay?” will allow the child to veto inappropriately, and, then, resist (i.e. yell or cry) when his/her choice is not respected.
  3. Use Words And Tone Of Voice That Will Help The Child Feel Confident And Reassured: A child may become frightened while climbing and need you to calmly “talk” him/her down while you stay close by.
  4. Avoid Changing Behavior By Attacking The Child’s Self-Respect: Small children, when they are disciplined, do not understand that it is the behavior that is inappropriate; rather, they feel that they are “bad.”  Labeling words like “naughty” and “bad” tend to make a judgement about the child rather than tell him how his behavior affects you or needs to be changed.
  5. Avoid Motivating A Child By Making Comparisons, between one child and another, or by encouraging competition. The goal is for each child to be self-motivated. The result of comparison may damage the child’s feelings of adequacy and friendliness as well as keeping him motivated by the values and concerns of others.
  6. Redirection Is Most Effective When Consistent With The Child’s Motives Or Interests. The problem may be that the child needs only to find an acceptable technique of expression; i.e., “I can’t let you throw rocks, but you can throw this ball.”
  7. Effectiveness Of A Suggestion May Depend Largely On It’s Timing.Timing may be as important as the suggestion itself. Advice given too soon deprives the child of a chance to work things out for himself-too late, and the chance may be past. The child may be too frustrated.

Guides in Action

  1. Avoid Models In Any Art Medium. Encourage creativity and development of skills (pinching and poking play dough, etc.). Avoid a frustrating comparison between products or a “right way” situation.
  2. Give The Child A Minimum Of Help In Order That He May Grow In Independence.
  3. Forestalling. Learn to foresee and prevent rather than mopping up after a difficulty. This kind of planning ahead may mean buying more than one kind of each toy or simply turning down the water pressure at a child’s sink.
  4. Limits need to be carefully defined and consistently maintained.
  5. Supervise Strategically. Have your back to something besides children.
  6. Health And Safety Are A Primary Concern.
  7. Knowing the children and what each is likely to do is the key to utilizing all these guides effectively.
  8. Observe

Yard Rules

  1. Trikes may be used only on the paved pathway.
  2. Children must go down the slide feet first and on their bottoms.
  3. Water play must be supervised by adults.
  4. Sand may be used in the sandbox only.
  5. If children want to jump, help them construct a safe platform in an open area.

(Adapted from “Early Childhood Programs” by Read, Gardner and Mahler)

Helpful Articles


Child Action, Inc.

Child Action, Inc.
Child Action, Inc. is a private, nonprofit corporation created in 1976 to provide for the education and social welfare of children and families by organizing, sponsoring and administering services to children.

Crisis Nursery Program

Crisis Nursery Program
The Sacramento Children’s Home operates Sacramento’s only Crisis Nursery Program. Our mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing support to families at times of crisis. The Sacramento Crisis Nursery Program is a family strengthening program where families can bring their children, newborn through age 5 for emergency child care or overnight care during stressful or difficult times.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

The National Association for the Education of Young Children expresses its mission in terms of three broad goals:

  1. Improving professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education.
  2. Supporting early childhood programs by working to achieve a high-quality system of early childhood education.
  3. Building a high-performing, inclusive organization of groups and individuals who are committed to promoting excellence in early childhood education for all young children.

Sacramento Children's Home

We are a comprehensive child and family service organization that has been providing services to the most vulnerable children and families in Sacramento for nearly 150 years. We focus on ending the generational cycle of child abuse and neglect through our residential and community programs. We are building strong families, and giving children hope for a better tomorrow.

Sacramento County Office of Education: Early Learning


The Sacramento County Office of Education plays a leadership role in advocating for high-quality early care and education programs for all children in Sacramento County.

Student Observation Guidelines

Student Observation Guidelines

These guidelines are meant for students to follow when fulfilling their observation assignments at SCC Child Development Center.

Warm Line Family Resource Center

Providing Resources and Support to Families of Children with Special Needs In Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Nevada and Alpine Counties Since 1993.

Zero to Three

ZERO TO THREE is a national, nonprofit organization that informs, trains, and supports professionals, policymakers, and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers.