Early Childhood Discipline

Systemic racism and harsh disciplinary practices directed at Black children within the child care and early education has subjected Black children to discriminatory treatment from a young age. They experience exclusionary discipline measures, suspensions, and expulsions at disproportionately high rates, even in their formative years. These practices are rooted in anti-Blackness and a history that began with chattel slavery and is perpetuated in current racism and policing of Black families and communities.  

CLASP’s aim is to mitigate and ultimately eradicate harsh and inequitable discipline within child care and early education settings. Doing this will mean centering community engagement, acknowledging historical inequities, and dismantling systemic racism. We call for a fundamental shift in how data on discipline is collected and used to inform policies and practices.  

Recommendations include collecting and disaggregating race-specific data, linking funding to discipline reform, and creating state-wide task forces to address these disparities. It is critical to address systemic racism, improve data collection, and establish equitable disciplinary policies to ensure Black children’s well-being, access to quality child care, and an inclusive experience from a young age. 

Explore our body of work, including publications, events, and presentations where CLASP experts have spoken on this issue: