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Expelling the Barriers: Building Adequate and Equitable Systems to Promote Social Emotional Well-Being in Early Childhood 

Young children continue to face suspension and expulsion from early learning settings despite research showing this practice is developmentally inappropriate, adversely affects a child’s education and mental health, and perpetuates racial and gender inequities. Now more than ever, educators must have the right resources and tools to mitigate the social isolation and other negative impacts of the pandemic. This session covers state policy opportunities to move away from exclusionary disciplinary practices, like suspension and expulsion, to approaches that create early learning environments that promote social emotional well-being in children. Session includes overviews on how Arkansas, Illinois, and Oregon are working to ensure equitable and adequate state systems to meet the needs of all children.