Although it’s well-established that the kindergarten and pre-school years lay the foundations for lifelong academic and social success, those employed in the sector often report feeling under-valued, sometimes under-educated and frequently stressed and overwhelmed.
For many years, early learning and care staff have been asked how to use Triple P – Positive Parenting Program principles in their work, and the PECE program has been developed in response to these requests.
“This program condenses a lot of really important information into one spot, in an easy to understand, linear, step-by-step way,” explains Mel Comerford, of Astute Early Years Specialists, an Australian consultant to the early childhood education sector.
PECE has been developed by Triple P’s Professor Matt Sanders and a team of University of Queensland colleagues (Associate Professor Karen Turner, Dr. Cassandra Dittman, and U.S.-based researcher Dr. Julie Rusby). Canadian early childhood education researcher Dr. Shawna Lee has spent six years conducting evaluation trials, which continue to report positive outcomes (some are ongoing).
As well as significantly less disruptive behaviour from the children, the adults felt less stressed at work, communicated better with each other and supported each other more, and, not surprisingly, reported increased work satisfaction. Subsequent trials have indicated similar outcomes. Crucially, educators say they feel more prepared and supported to meet children's needs and challenging behavior.
WHAT IS PECE?
PECE is a parallel program to Triple P, with 22 core strategies, many of which overlap with other Triple P – Positive Parenting Program interventions. There’s also an extra Key Principle: Working as a Team (with co-workers and parents). Some strategies from Stepping Stones Triple P are also included in the program, since many classrooms will include children with disabilities and/or developmental delays.
The PECE program can be done by individuals, as a center, or implemented across a whole community, using a “mix and match” of the following, along with self-regulatory processes and peer coaching:
- Early educators who work directly with children can complete a 4-module online program;
- Managers/consultants can do a training course to help them coach and support frontline staff;
- Parents can do Triple P Online and/or get in-person Triple P support where available.
In some places, PECE is being considered to become part of the college or university curriculum for early childhood educators, and/or an approved professional development learning unit for those already working in the sector.
The program is available in English, with translations to come.
More information can be found on the PECE website: www.peceprogram.net