corrective action


To ensure a high standard of childcare and positive work place environment, we have established standards of conduct which are laid out in your job description. We believe employees want to do excellent work and adhere to policy, procedures, and regulations. We also believe employees will quickly correct any problems in their work or violations of policies, if these issues are brought to their attention in a professional, cooperative manner.

Corrective action is a process of communicating with the employee to improve unacceptable behavior or performance after other methods such as coaching and performance appraisal have not been successful. Corrective action may be necessary to protect the rights of other employees, encourage appropriate conduct and cooperation, and obtain expected work performance. The goal is to guide the employee to correct performance or behavior by identifying problems, causes and solutions, not to punish the employee. If there is no improvement or repeat occurrences, corrective action may be appropriate.

Corrective action is progressive, beginning with the lowest severity action before employing more severe actions. Depending on the issue, one or more actions may be used. The corrective action will be based on the gravity of the offense, the employee’s length of service, and the employee’s work record. Any corrective action will include the following elements:

The process can start with any of the actions outlined below. These actions are not necessarily sequential. We reserve the right to employ more severe corrective action any time a violation of policy occurs.

informal counseling

If possible, the first step before formal corrective action is informal counseling. The director will counsel the employee and include a written record of the counseling based on specific facts and discussion points. Informal counseling is not a form of corrective action; however, it can be referenced later if corrective action is taken. This discussion can take place during periodic performance reviews or as stand-alone counseling. If 12 months pass following informal counseling and no additional lapses in job performance occur, the informal counseling will normally not be considered when determining future corrective action.

prohibited behaviors

Failure to adhere to First Circle’s core values, standards of professionalism, job requirements, or company policies can result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. An employee may be issued a warning, put on probation, suspended, or dismissed immediately for:


A formal warning, verbal or written, addresses specific employee behavior or performance that requires immediate improvement. Formal verbal and written warnings will be documented and noted in the employee’s file. More than 2 warnings may prompt further corrective action, up to and including termination.

performance improvement plan (PIP)

A PIP is designed to give an employee with performance deficiencies the opportunity to succeed. It is a written document that outlines specific performance expectations that must be met within a specified time period for the employee continue employment with First Circle. The employee receives a written copy of the plan, and the original is placed in the employee’s file.

probation and suspension

If the employee does not show improvement after a verbal or written warning or engages in actions prohibited by this handbook or conduct that endangers child safety or is, in the sole discretion of Administration, deemed dangerous or improper, the director and/or HR manager will place the employee on probation or suspend the employee with or without pay. If the action leading to probation or suspension is found not to have been caused by, or the fault of the employee, the employee will be reinstated without loss of pay or benefits, and no record of the suspension will appear in the employee’s personnel file. If an employee is suspended for an alleged abuse or neglect inquiry, they may not return to the classroom until cleared by both EEC and First Circle.

Documentation including a description of the issue and all supporting information, the date(s) of probation/suspension, and an action plan detailing what is needed for the employee to return to work will be provided to the employee as appropriate and is placed in the employee’s file.


When the misconduct is serious or the employee’s behavior has remained unchanged or worsened throughout the corrective action process, the final step is dismissal. The director and/or HR manager will meet with the employee and specifically address the issue that has resulted in dismissal. First Circle will never dismiss an employee:

The employee will receive a letter stating the reason for dismissal, which they will be asked to sign to acknowledge their dismissal. In accordance with state and federal employment laws, they will also receive unemployment information and information on enrolling in C.O.B.R.A. [see Compensation section].

If the employee has a positive balance in their PTO bank, accrued hours will be paid to them at the time of dismissal. If the employee has a negative balance, the hours owed will be deducted from their final paycheck.  The employee will receive a check for the final worked hours and any PTO balance at dismissal.