Date of this Version
Chapter 10 in Fostering the Emotional Well-being of Our Youth: A School-Based Approach (Philip J. Lazarus, Shannon M. Suldo, and Beth Doll, eds.), pp. 204–223. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.
Early childhood is a critical period during which children learn to regulate and manage emotions and actions, develop and maintain social relationships, and interact effectively with others (Scott-Little, Kagan, & Frelow, 2006). Children who know how to use appropriate behavioral and emotional strategies and effectively interact with others are more likely to develop positive relationships and be accepted by peers later on (Odom, McConnell, & Brown, 2008). Emotional well-being and competence is one of the key areas of development that goes through significant changes over the early childhood period (Hyson, Copple, & Jones, 2006; Keane & Calkins, 2004), and thus, researchers and practitioners in the field of early care and education add a significant emphasis on this area of development. Early learning guidelines and standards of most states in the United States include the domain of social-emotional development, and early childhood educators regularly assess and document children’s developmental trajectories and progress of emotional competence (Oberle & Schonert-Reichel, 2017; Scott-Little et al., 2006). In this chapter, we describe supports for young children’s emotional well-being and positive behavior, promising strategies and interventions used in early care and education settings, the well-being of early childhood educators1 that impacts children’s emotional competence, and the importance of engaging families in promoting children’s emotional well-being and positive behavior.