THE PYRAMID MODEL
Since 2009, WI-AIMH has been the lead agency on promoting and guiding professional development and implementation of the Pyramid Model – a multi-level system of support to increase social and emotional competence and decrease challenging behaviors in very young children. Evidence-based practices promoted by the Pyramid Model apply to multiple contexts children learn and grown in, specifically early care and education settings ranging from regulated group and family child care, and 4-K programs, to center-based Early Head Start and Head Start programs. Research has shown that children who are skilled socially in kindergarten may be more likely to live healthier lives, attend college, and secure higher-paying jobs as adults (Jones, Greenberg, & Crowley, 2015). The Pyramid Model (Fox, Dunlap, Hemmeter, Joseph, & Strain, 2003; Hemmeter, Ostrosky, & Fox, 2006) provides a framework for developing these skills in infants, toddlers, and young children. 3rd party evaluation on the effectiveness of implementation of the Pyramid Model in Wisconsin indicated that classrooms using the evidence-based strategies promoted by the Pyramid Model had significantly better outcomes –especially for children with behavior that puts them at risk of expulsion. Reductions in problem behaviors and the increase in social skills in Pyramid Model classrooms was so great that these children were reported to display typical behaviors and expected social skills. (Neddenriep 2016) Sites with some social and emotional supports in place will only expand and improve their impact through the use of Pyramid Model strategies. Partnering with coaches will only strengthen the Consultative alliance to strengthen child, parent, and program outcomes. Currently, there are 108 sites implementing Pyramid Model in 36 programs/communities throughout Wisconsin. Implementation of the Pyramid Model has been correlated with improvements for child outcomes, staff morale, and staff retention.
WI-AIMH was instrumental in embedding the Pyramid Model in YoungStar, Wisconsin’s early care and education quality improvement rating system. Thousands of early childhood professional have received intensive training and hands-on support in promoting healthy social and emotional development.