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Why Social-Emotional?


Research indicates that children who are mentally healthy tend to be happier, show greater motivation to learn, have a more positive attitude toward school, more eagerly participate in class activities, and demonstrate higher academic performance 

Behavior Support

How Can Behavior Specialists Help?

Our consultants empower staff to strengthen their relationships with children and parents, and also foster director-staff relationships. When a provider calls about a challenging behavior, we address the problem through observation, training, strategies, coaching, mentoring and creating connections to existing resources in community. 


Whom Do We Support?

FirstSpark's behavior specialists work with early childhood providers who are facing challenging behaviors in child care centers, preschools and family child care homes located in Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, James City County, York County, Gloucester, Middlesex, Williamsburg and Mathews, VA.

When To Call For Behavioral Support:

Social-emotional skills are the key for school readiness—even more important than the ABCs, studies show.


The ability to follow directions and finish tasks, good social skills, self-confidence... without these skills, a child is more likely to behave aggressively or withdraw, which can make school a struggle.  

Call a behavior specialist if you are experiencing the following in your classroom:

      •   Overly aggressive behavior

      •   Hitting and biting

      •   Frequent tantrums

      •   Inconsolable crying

      •   Socially withdrawing

      •   Lack of eye contact

      •   Language delays

      •   Not responding to name or requests

      •   Not sharing enjoyment

      •   Moving body parts/objects repeatedly

      •   Extremely overactive or impulsive behavior

      •   Very unpredictable and explosive behavior



"I called for behavior support when one of our children was having tantrums and acting aggressively toward teachers and peers. The consultant was very patient and attentive to all parties involved (teachers, parent, child and director). She did observations, arranged conferences, and brought resources for the teacher to use in the classroom—which were very successful.


I will recommend the team to other directors!"


Vondella Gregory,
Program Director

Peake Childhood Center


Help screen the child using the Ages & Stages Questionnaire®:Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE)

Observe child care setting to help teachers set goals for quality improvement


Facilitate conversation with parents about behavioral or developmental concerns

Offer feedback and strategies for improved classroom management

Provide staff training

Share contacts and resources for behavioral support

See this video to find out more.

This no cost service is provided with support from the Virginia Department of Social Services Division of Early Childhood Development, Child Care Aware of Virginia, City of Hampton, City of Newport News, Dominion Energy Foundation, TowneBank, and Walmart.

Contact a Behavior Specialist today to request a visit!

Email Melissa Diamond our Behavior Coordinator, or call her at (757) 240-2731 ext. 205.

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