Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC)

Mental Health Consultation is a prevention based, indirect service aimed at increasing capacity for early childhood providers to recognize and meet the social and emotional needs of their children 0-5 years old.

Growing research has shown the direct correlation between social and emotional health, school readiness and academic success. Additionally, research of the brain and child development inarguably describes the unparalleled rapid development of the brain and attachment relationship systems from birth to 5 years old.  At the same time, data depicts a horrifyingly high expulsion rate for children in early care and education settings. Expulsion at this crucial time of development creates incredibly high risk factors for future overall development and successes in education and community life.

Offering much needed systematic support to the caregivers of those children early in life is a critical part of Mental Health Consultation services. This program not only promotes social and emotional development, but can prevent challenging behaviors that ultimately lead to expelling our youngest children. Best practices from highly trained specialized Mental Health consultants are offered to home based caregivers. These consultants garner and model the trusting relationships that are central to increasing overall quality of care, and are responsible for transforming early care environments around the state. Through these partnerships, consultants increase the reflective capacity of caregivers and strengthen their ability to translate children’s behaviors into needs. Proven tools and strategies are then implemented to meet these needs effectively. This process ultimately increases the confidence, capacity and skillset of both caregiver and child.

The primary focus on quality relationships supports the caregivers’ ability to understand the correlation between social emotional well-being, behavior and developmental trajectory, as well as identify and build protective factors. Creating a system wide foundation that intentionally nurtures social and emotional health will naturally create communities that will foster resiliency skills needed for all children to succeed in every stage of life.

Information on IECMHC

Information on Mental Health Consultation in Early Care and Education, Race to the Top.