AZ STEPS Expulsion Prevention

Arizona Statewide Training and Technical Assistance for Expulsion Prevention

Young children are being expelled from preschools and child care programs at an astonishing rate, often because of challenging behaviors that caregivers feel unprepared to manage. Research shows that expulsion practices have long-term harmful effects on children’s developing self-concept, and their success later in school and in life.


The Arizona Statewide Training and Technical Assistance for Expulsion Prevention (AZ STEPS) program funded through the Arizona Department of Economic Security is here to help!


We all have unique personalities and needs, children are no different! As a child care professional, AZ STEPS can help you understand children’s behaviors and support you to teach social-emotional skills that can prepare children for future success.


AZ STEPS provides training, consultation and support to help child care providers prevent suspensions and expulsion while strengthening their ability to support all children:


  • Understand and meet the underlying needs that often cause challenging behaviors through online and in-person trainings and consultation that covers behavior, trauma and social-emotional development for families and caregivers
  • Consultation and support to help reduce exclusionary practices and promote social-emotional development to prevent expulsion
  • Short-term mental health consultation for families, teachers and administrators to help meet the needs of the child


These services are FREE to DES-contracted child care providers, along with their early childhood staff and the families they serve. Foundational and advanced courses offer opportunities to learn how understanding child development, attachment, trauma reaction and support of children’s developing self-regulation skills can help reduce and prevent expulsion of children from ages birth to 12 years.


Looking to initiate an expulsion/suspension support request? Please click here to complete the online form.


Not a DES provider? Contact us at (602) 633-8730 or to find out about opportunities that may be available to you.

AZ STEPS Expulsion Prevention Training Opportunities

Current training topics offered through the Expulsion Prevention series include:


  • Moving Forward with Expulsion Prevention (Foundations I)
  • Partnering with Parents to Reduce Expulsion (Foundations II)
  • What Works to Prevent Expulsion? Approaches and Strategies (Foundations III)
  • How to Successfully Engage Parents of Preschool-Aged Children
  • The Importance of Teacher-Child Relationships
  • Effective Classroom Management: A Strategy that Supports Children’s Success
  • Understanding the Meaning Behind Challenging Behaviors in Preschool
  • Happier Days: A Mindful Approach to Stress Reduction
  • Building the Skills for Addressing Difficult Topics with Parents
  • Setting the Stage for Friendship
  • Help Me with My Emotions: Taking Steps Towards Emotional Literacy
  • Engaging Fathers and Other Male Caregivers: An Approach Used to Build and Sustain Ongoing Relationships and Partnerships with Families in Early Childhood Settings
  • Supporting Kids in Foster Care: Understanding and Healing through Center-Based Care Programs
  • Understanding Social-Emotional Development to Prevent Expulsion
  • The Importance of Relationships: Attachment, Trauma and Expulsion Prevention
  • Creating a Trauma-Informed Child Care
  • Healing Through Understanding: Creating a Trauma-Informed After-School Care Program to Prevent Expulsion
  • Building Resiliency in Preschoolers
  • Understanding the Impact of Childhood Trauma

Special training topics for child care center directors, owners and administrators:


  • Leadership Development and Early Childhood Directors: A Key to Success for Expulsion Prevention (Part 1)
  • Taking Leadership to the Next Level: Using the Right Tools for Becoming an Effective Early Childhood Director and Supporting Staff Development (Part 2)
  • Providing a Positive Work Environment: A High-Quality Work Life Leads to High-Quality Care for Children (Part 3)

For a complete description of each training, including recommended prerequisites, please visit the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Registry.

Who can register for a training?

Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES)-certified child care center employees and family home providers. Family, community members and ADES staff may also be eligible upon approval.

What is the cost of each training?

AZ STEPS Expulsion Prevention training is provided to eligible participants free-of-charge. Funding is provided by the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s Child Care Administration through Federal Child Care Development Block Grant funding.

How do I register for a training?

Enrollment in AZSTEPS Expulsion Prevention trainings is available on the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Registry. In order to register for a training, view a calendar of upcoming trainings and more, you must first create a Registry user account. After logging into your account, simply search “Expulsion Prevention.”

Register Online Today!


Need help registering? Just click here to download our easy-to-use guide.


Need further assistance with the Registry? Email or view these frequently-asked questions.

Technical Assistance/Consultation

Technical assistance may be offered or requested to provide practical tips and strategies to use in your caregiving environment. For more information regarding technical assistance, please contact (602) 633-8730 or

For more information about AZ STEPS Expulsion Prevention, please contact (602) 633-8730 or

Helping Arizona Children & Families

With your support we can do even more