Yale University Pre-K RULER

Yale University Pre-K RULER

Social & Emotional

Social and emotional development is a crucial part of preschool. It’s the age children begin to understand the causes of their emotions. Empathy also emerges and for  many, it’s the first time they are asked to regulate emotions around people outside their families. Yale researchers, along with CLC teachers, administrators, children and families have created the first early childhood version of the breakthrough RULER program, an innovative approach to social and emotional development.

It’s all about helping children manage their emotions to create a better place for learning.

“The early childhood years are a sensitive period for the development of emotional intelligence. Children’s language and vocabulary skills are rapidly developing during this time and ensuring that children have the language and strategies they need to manage their emotions can have a profound impact on early childhood classrooms,” said  Shauna Tominey, Ph.D. and Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

CLC teachers say RULER helps create calmer atmospheres. They observe students helping each other and find ways to have more pleasant feelings, which improves the  learning environment for everyone.

RULER What is it?

Recognize, Understand, Label, Express and Regulate – it’s a way for children to use their emotions effectively – which improves everything from decision making and judgment to physical and mental health, according to Yale researchers. The program is used across all eight CLC locations. Teachers say:

“It makes them aware of their own feelings and gives them a way to get it out,” said Room 5’s Head Teacher, Jackie. They learn how to express and understand their feelings, which allows them to understand one another and act with more kindness,” she added.


The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence named us this year’s Marvin Maurer Award winner for our work developing the Pre-K RULER program. It’s given to organizations that exhibit outstanding commitment to promoting emotional intelligence.