NC First Response Modules

NC First Response:  A Set of Guidelines to Ensure a Safe Environment smiling toddler boy in striped shirt

NC First Response is a set of intervention guidelines and strategies intended to maintain safety. Coupled with social-emotional teaching strategies, NC First Response will help early childhood professionals address the most challenging behaviors that a child might present, including dangerous behavior, and work to reduce and eliminate these behaviors. NC First Response fits in as both a Targeted Social-Emotional Support and an Intensive Intervention in the NC Preschool Pyramid Model. The training was created with a range of materials from NC Pyramid Modules, NC Policies, Procedures and Guidelines and some materials from the Safety First curriculum that has been created in Oregon. The content available is for trainers certified to present First Response. Those that participate in the training should have completed the NC Preschool Pyramid Module Foundations Modules, 3-11. NC First Response training can occur prior to or after Tier II training, depending on the needs of children and staff within your LEA.

Access to the modules is restricted to trained trainers. To get the password, please contact Kris Earl at  or Catasha Williams at

Module 1:  History and Introduction

There are increases in the reports of injuries and problems related to challenging and dangerous behaviors of preschool age children. This has resulted in preschool children being suspended and expelled from preschool programs, which can have a lasting impact. These children who exhibit dangerous behaviors are often referred for special education services. The increased incidences of children who exhibit problem behaviors in the preschool setting have resulted in requests for support and training for teachers and support staff.

NC First Response training is unique in that it is focused on young children. Other trainings to support teachers in addressing dangerous have focused on older children. This module will provide a history of NC First Response Training and introduce approaches, interventions and follow-up for addressing dangerous behaviors in the early childhood population.

Module 2:  Establishing Common Language

This is the second module in the NC First Response series. This module covers definitions to key terminology used throughout the series. This module is especially important because from it learners establish a common language which is weaved throughout the remaining modules of the series.

The establishment of common language fosters shared understanding and deliberate practice and helps learners focus on improving particular aspects of their performance by precisely attending to what is happening in the classroom in order to identify what is working and what is not.

Module 3:  Self-Regulation and First Response Strategies

Controlling anger and impulse is perhaps the most difficult task of emotional literacy. Every day, real life situations can be upsetting, disappointing and frustrating for preschool children (and adults) and can be a tough undertaking to remain calm. Many children develop skills to cope with frustration, disappointment, and hurt feelings when they arise. However, some children struggle to master these skills.

In this module, we will discuss self-regulation and begin to look at the NC First Response strategies.

Module 4:  Understanding the Escalation Cycle

In this module learners will gain an increase knowledge of the escalation cycle by exploring each stage a child goes through as his or her behavior escalates and de-escalates.

Having a clear understanding of this process support the ability to identify, measure and describe behavior. It also provides a greater capacity to identify certain routines and situation that might trigger dangerous behaviors in some children.

Module 5:  Putting It All Together

This is the last module in the NC First Response series. This module revisits key content from previous modules and pulls it all together by incorporating strategies that support parental engagement in the process.