Research tells us that early experiences during the first five years of life shape the developing brain. The quality of experiences in early learning and care settings is critical to the healthy development of young children. Stable, nurturing relationships with important adults and the quality of caregiver-child interactions and experiences are key ingredients for future learning, and the developmental and behavioral health of young children. Infant and early childhood mental health consultation is a preventative, strength-based, culturally responsive approach that provides early learning and care settings—such as center-based program staff, family child care providers, and family, friend and neighbor caregivers, access to infant and early childhood mental health consultants. Infant and early childhood mental health consultation (IECMHC) is not therapy, nor does it include assessment or diagnosis of specific children. Consultation is used to assist caregivers, teachers, staff, and families in creating environments in which children’s social and emotional development can thrive. Infant and early childhood mental health consultants work with caregivers and staff to ensure that all young children have the skills to express and manage their emotions, make friends, and gain valuable problem-solving skills. The IECMHC Network approach is rooted in reflective practice and elements of the Consultative Stance.
Connect. Reflect. Grow.