Rapid Response Team Aims to Reduce Expulsion, Childcare Center

Posted on June 6th, 2024 at 5:30 PM
Rapid Response Team Aims to Reduce Expulsion, Childcare Center

Early childhood programs are being encouraged to implement policies to reduce and eliminate preschool expulsion. The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning has awarded the Northwest Institute of Research, PA Region 1 Early Learning Resource Center and Barber Behavioral Health a $200,000 implementation grant to begin a unique partnership – a Rapid Response Team- aimed at reducing suspensions and expulsions of children ages birth to five from Erie County licensed childcare centers. 

The new Rapid Response Team brings together a cross-sector of early childhood development and behavior experts to work alongside early childhood education programs when an early care and education program is struggling with the challenging behavior of a child or classroom and is at immediate risk of suspension or expulsion. 

In support of Erie Countys’ early childhood workforce, the Rapid Response Team is committed to: 

  • Responding to early childhood education programs within 48 hours. 
  • Short-term support of the program’s staff, child and child’s family. 
  • Utilizing community and regional partnerships to provide “warm handoffs” to additional community services. 

The Rapid Response Team will include early intervention, behavior and mental health specialists from Barber Behavioral Health. 

The program is provided free to Erie County licensed childcare centers. To access the Rapid Response Team service, families or providers should call Barber Behavioral Health’s Care Coordinator at (814) 823-5366 or email rrt@nwirelrc.org.