Ohio Preschool Expulsion Prevention Partnership

Do you have a child who is no longer a good fit at your preschool?

Does this child’s challenges put them at risk for expulsion?

Now there’s support available to you.

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.

Access Consultation Services

  1. Call the Ohio Preschool Expulsion Prevention Partnership at 844-678-ABCs (2227) or complete our online request form. The information provided will immediately be forwarded to an early childhood consultant in your area.

  2. The call line, which is operated by Nationwide Children's, is available from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays. The online request form is available 24/7. Calls made after hours will be returned promptly the next business day.

  3. You will be contacted within hours by the early childhood consultant in your area who will schedule an in-person consultation at your site to occur in the next two business days. Ohio MHAS has contracted with local providers, such as referral agencies and community mental health providers from across Ohio, to deliver on-site early childhood classroom consultation.

  4. The consultant will initiate a working relationship with program staff where they will:

    • Observe and consult at your site

    • Provide recommendations on specific classroom strategies and interventions designed to have immediate impact

    • Offer service recommendations and referrals for your students and families (including referrals to local mental health providers if necessary)

    • Give recommendations for training and professional development

    • Connect you with free early childhood trainings

Frequently Asked Questions

What does early childhood classroom consultation entail?

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.

Who can use this resource?

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.

What hours can I make a call?

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.

Who provides the preschool classroom consultation?

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.