Preschool Prevention Program

Information about the Center for Children and Family's Preschool Prevention Team.

Page updated on Apr 24, 2018 at 10:09 AM

The Preschool Prevention Program

The Preschool Prevention Team works in collaboration with Alexandria’s early childhood community to promote the healthy social emotional development of young children age 0-5 by strengthening caregiver-child relationships. The Preschool Prevention Team consists of licensed mental health professionals who provide:

  • Interactive on-site trainings for pre-school teachers and families
  • Supportive counseling for children & families
  • Parent support groups
  • Child social skills development and behavior management

We teach children to:

  • Care about others
  • Make and keep friends
  • Stop and think
  • Gain self-control
  • Accept differences
  • Solve problems peacefully
  • Express feelings appropriately
  • Use kind words
  • Find safe adults for help
  • Understand that tobacco, alcohol, other drugs and weapons are not for children

Mental Health Services

The Preschool Prevention Team will partner with you to build supportive relationships, promote your child’s positive social emotional growth, and help you advocate for your child’s needs. Both parents and schools can make referrals as needed.

Services are free, and offered at locations and times convenient for families. Services include:

  • On-site staff and parent consultations
  • Child socio-emotional observation, assessment and development of Child Action Plans
  • Child shadowing in the classroom
  • Play therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Case management

Private family consultations and supportive counseling can be arranged to address individual concerns.

Social Skills and Behavior Management

In Alexandria pre-schools and Head Start programs, the Preschool Prevention Team implements a research-based social skills program called Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices. This classroom model engages all children in developing personal, social and emotional skills. Al’s Pals provides 46 brief core lessons, using puppet-led discussions, songs and interactive materials to teach positive coping strategies. Al is at the heart of the program and serves as a positive role model, along with his pals Ty and Keisha. Through the lessons, children practice positive ways to: 

  • Express feelings
  • Communicate
  • Differentiate between safe and unsafe situations
  • Solve problems

Al’s Pals provides educational information to families through “Parent Letters” that relay information about the skills the children are learning, and how to support pro-social skills at home.

Teacher and Parent Training

The Preschool Prevention Team is available to provide trainings on topics such as:  

  • Healthy attachment
  • Behavior management
  • Floortime
  • Managing transitions
  • Child development
  • Communication

In addition to traditional educational workshop formats, the team also presents interactive Dinner Theaters (short skits that bring core parenting skills to life) and Focus Groups (designed to support parents struggling with specific issues, such as single parenting). Interactive parent and child play groups offered across the city are designed to provide opportunities for children and their parents to practice new skills and promote healthy parent-child attachment. Individualized classroom consultations can help teaching teams set up specific strategies for managing problematic issues in the classroom.

Perspectives in Parenting Newsletter

For more information about Preschool Prevention Team services, call 703.746.6009.