Timeline of Research, Commentary, and Policy Regarding Preschool Expulsions and Suspensions

Since the first national report on preschool expulsions in 2005, much has been learned about the causes and consequences of early childhood suspensions and expulsions.  Fortunately much has also been learned about effective methods to prevent them. This timeline details significant events and documents at the federal, state, and local levels, along with links to the relevant resources. 


  • Yale Leads First National Study of Preschool Expulsion

    Yale University conducts a seminal study of national Prekindergarten programs, revealing that preschoolers are expelled at 3x the rate of K-12 students. (Full report) (Report brief)

  • The Juneau Partnership for Families and Children reports on Alaska's expulsion rates. Discusses strategies for prevention and support.


  • Massachussetts Mandates Annual PreK Reporting

    Massachusetts mandates annual reporting metrics associated with Pre-K expulsion, including prevention and intervention strategies to address severe behavioral challenges.
  • Yale Report on Massachusetts PreK Expulsions, Suspensions, and Predictors


  • Children's Defense Fund Launches Cradle to Prison Pipeline

    The Children’s Defense Fund launches the Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign, engaging with families, youth, communities & policy makers to promote development of healthy, safe and educated children.
  • New Jersey Bans Suspension and Expulsion of Preschoolers

    In 2007 the New Jersey State Department of Education prohibited short- and long-term suspension and expulsion of preschoolers.
  • North Dakota Releases Child Care Dismissal Study

    North Dakota Licensed Child Care Dismissal Study found that 20% of providers who responded to the survey indicated they had dismissal cases in the last year. Half the providers who reported a dismissal case reported more than one.
  • Yale's Edward Zigler Center Releases the First-Ever Statewide Random-Controlled Evaluation of Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC)

    Early Childhood Consultation Partnerships (ECCP) is currently the only statewide system of ECMHC evaluated in a rigorous experiment. (study brief)

  • Report on Challenging Behaviors and Preschools

    The National Institute for Early Education Research publishes a policy brief on challenging behaviors and the role that preschools play.


  • Massachusetts Amends Early Education Laws

    Massachusetts begins requiring annual reports by the Board of Early Education and Care on progress made toward reducing expulsion rates in preschoolers.
  • Walter Gilliam of the Yale Child Study Center Makes Recommendations to Address Pre-K Expulsion


  • A study of Wisconsin child care providers found that more than two-thirds of respondents had asked a family to leave at some point in their career, and over half had done so within the past two years.


  • University of Missouri State Recommendations

    University of Missouri responds to findings from the National Prekindergarten Study, issuing statewide policy recommendations.
  • Caring for Our Children provides the first national policy recommendations of preschool expulsion and early childhood mental health consultation for child care.

  • Michigan Evaluation of Expulsion Prevention

    Michigan releases an evaluation of the Childcare Expulsion Prevention initiative, reporting on the outcomes of children and families who participated in its services.


  • Colorado Uses State Expulsion Data to Inform Service Provision

    Study of preschool expulsion in Colorado, examining how expulsion data influenced statewide use of early childhood mental health consultation.

  • Colorado Study Finds that Preschoolers Expelled at 4.5 times the Rate of K-12

    A study of early care and education providers in Boulder County, Colorado, reports on expulsion rates, finding that children under age 6 were expelled at 4.5 times the rate of K-12 students in Boulder County public schools.

  • National Safety Standards Revised

    Stepping Stones, a comprehensive revision of National Health and Safety Standards in Childcare and Early Education Settings, produces new standards to prevent serious harm and injury to children.


  • President Obama Launches My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Initiative

    MBK provides a key recommendation to “eliminate suspensions and expulsions in preschool and other early learning settings.”
  • Civil Rights Snapshot

    The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights releases a data snapshot noting that 6% of all districts with participating preschool programs reported suspensions of preschoolers, a disproportionate amount of whom were African American.
  • Minneapolis Bans Preschool Suspension

    Minneapolis Public Schools bans suspensions of preschoolers for non-violent behaviors.
  • 2014 Reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant explicitly allows states to use quality improvement funds to address social-emotional development, and requires state plans regarding child care expulsions.

  • Joint HHS/ED Departmental Policy Statement

    Secretary Burwell of Department of Health and Human Services, and Secretary Duncan of the Department of Education issued a joint statement on preschool expulsion and prevention, declaring need for clearly articulated guidelines to address challenging behaviors.
  • Featured Guest Post on Pre-K Expulsions

    American Psychological Association features an article by Dr. Gilliam on Pre-K expulsions, highlighting gender and race disparities, teacher factors, program factors, and approaches to reducing the occurrence.
  • Yale’s Edward Zigler Center Releases a Report of Three Separate Statewide Random-Controlled Evaluation of Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC).

    Early Childhood Consultation Partnerships (ECCP) has been found successful in reducing challenging classroom behaviors in several experimentally-rigorous statewide evaluations.
  • Dr. Walter Gilliam's 2015 Testimony to the US House Appropriations Subcommittee, Transcript

  • District of Columbia Bans Pre-K Suspensions and Expulsions

    DC Committee on Education passes pre-k student discipline amendment act banning suspensions and expulsions through the district
  • Webinar: Expulsion and Prevention

    The Administration for Children and Families hosts a two-part webinar on Pre-K expulsion and early childhood mental health consultation.
  • What's Behind Preschool Expulsion?

    Congressional Briefing on “What’s Behind Preschool Expulsion?”hosted by ZERO TO THREE and the National Black Child Development Institute, in cooperation with Representative Rosa DeLauro.
  • House Bill Urges Evidence-Based Reduction Approaches

    House Labor HHS appropriations bill includes a provision urging Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to highlight evidence-based approaches to reduce suspensions and expulsions.
  • New York State Commits to End Expulsion, Suspension

    The New York State Education Department issues a memorandum, committing to eliminate expulsion and suspension practices in early childhood programs by the 2017-2018 school year.
  • Connecticut is the first state to enact legislation limiting expulsions and suspensions in early education programs

    CT Public Act 15-96 prohibits public schools from suspending pre-K to second grade unless there is evidence of extreme danger. Dr. Gilliam provided testimony to the Connecticut Senate.

  • Chicago Public Schools Revises Student Conduct Code

    Chicago Public Schools’ Revised Student Code of Conduct prohibits suspensions of PreK to 2nd grade.
  • What does CT Public Act 15-96 Mean?

    The Center for Children’s Advocacy (CT) hosts panel discussion of Connecticut’s new ban on suspension of young students and what it means for schools and families.
  • Child Care Aware of America on Pre-K expulsion

    Child Care Aware of America promotes federal policy agenda with a section on Pre-K expulsion.


  • Maryland Reports Success

    Maryland reports on success of state-funded Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation programs in reducing expulsion and improving mental health climate in preschool classrooms.
  • Head Start to Address Preschool Expulsion and Suspension

    Head Start new performance standards are proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services to include language on preschool expulsion and suspension.
  • 2014-2015 Massachusetts Suspensions

    WBUR reported on Massachusetts suspension rates for the 2014-2015 year, showing Massachusetts public and charter schools suspended kindergarten and pre-K students 603 times during the school year.
  • United Way Responds to WBUR Report

    United Way blog responds to WBUR's report of Massachusetts suspension rates for the 2014-2015 year, framing best strategies for young children’s social and emotional development as tools to reduce suspension.
  • First Reports Due From States

    For the first time ever, states are required to report preschool expulsion and suspension policies to the federal government.

    Under the 2014 Child Care Development Block Grant Reauthorization, these reports were due by March 2016 in order to access federal child care subsidy funds.