The Ohio Preschool Expulsion Prevention Partnership (OPEPP) is a collaboration among the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), Big Lots Behavioral Health Services at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and local early childhood mental health providers. Funded by OhioMHAS as part of the Whole Child Matters initiative to decrease the high rate of preschool expulsion, its goal is to reduce preschool expulsions by providing on-site consultation to licensed early learning programs.
The Ohio Preschool Expulsion Prevention Partnership is a resource to help any licensed preschools and child care providers in Ohio with preschool-age children whose behavior poses challenges in the preschool setting, putting them at risk for expulsion.
Early childhood classroom consultation is provided by a professional consultant who works collaboratively with childcare and early learning staff, programs and families. Early childhood consultation is sometimes referred to as early childhood mental health consultation because the consultant is trained in mental health for young children.
Early childhood consultation starts with the development of a collaborative relationship with program staff/director and observation of children and the classroom to provide targeted recommendations about programmatic, classroom and individualized strategies. These recommendations build on existing strengths and offer new ideas for reducing problematic behaviors and for enhancing resiliency and social-emotional development.
The consultant may also offer assistance with engaging caregivers and developing individualized plans for specific children in the classroom. Programmatic strategies may include recommendations for professional development and training, including free early childhood trainings provided by the Whole Child Matters initiative (Step Up to Quality credits available). Furthermore, quality improvement strategies may be provided, including ideas to improve communication and promote staff mental wellness.
Consultation is not therapy or treatment. When the consultant recognizes the need for additional mental health services or other community services/resources, they will assist the center staff with engaging families and making referrals for these identified services.
Any licensed preschool or child chare provider in Ohio, such as those licensed by Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Department of Education, Head Start programs and private preschools, may use the Ohio Preschool Expulsion Prevention Partnership resource.
Hours of operation for the toll-free phone line are:
Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
If you call during off-hours, please leave a voicemail. Your call will be returned before 10 a.m. the next business day.
OhioMHAS has contracted with local providers across the state to provide on-site early childhood classroom consultation. These local providers are responsible for quickly contacting the licensed preschools and child care programs after receiving their contact information from the call line.
Request an On-Site Consultation
Request Early Childhood Training