Preschool and child care expulsion and suspension: Rates and predictors in one state Academic Article uri icon


  • Rates and predictors of preschool expulsion and suspension were examined in a randomly selected sample of Massachusetts preschool teachers (N = 119). During a 12-month period, 39% of teachers reported expelling at least one child, and 15% reported suspending. The preschool expulsion rate was 27.42 per 1000 enrollees, more than 34 times the Massachusetts K-12 rate and more than 13 times the national K-12 rate. Suspension rates for preschoolers were less than that for K-12. Larger classes, higher proportion of 3-year-olds in the class, and elevated teacher job stress predicted increased likelihood of expulsion. Location in a school or Head Start and teachers' positive feelings of job satisfaction predicted decreased likelihood of expulsion. Expulsion was relatively rare in classes where both class size and teacher job stress were low. A higher proportion of Latino children in the class and lower teacher job satisfaction predicted an increased likelihood of suspension. Implications are discussed regarding policy, prevention, and future research.

publication date

  • January 1, 2006