The California Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Network is a professional development project funded by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), Child Care and Development Division, and is coordinated by WestEd. The IECMHC Network delivers consultation services, resources, and training activities for early learning and care center-based program staff, family child care providers, and family, friend, and neighbor caregivers. IECMHC Network services are offered at no cost for early learning and care center-based programs and home-based care providers in California.
The IECMHC Network’s services are designed to build the capacity of program staff and care providers to foster the developmental, social, and emotional health and well-being of young children in their care. IECMHC Network consultants use a reflective practice approach to support program administrators, teachers, and providers while exploring problem-solving strategies within the context of infant and early childhood mental health. Consultation provides an opportunity to consider all relationships influencing young children’s well-being, in the adult-child relationships and between the adults caring for children.
Areas of support include
- promoting positive mental health and social–emotional development;
- addressing behavior that providers find challenging or concerning;
- focusing on relationships and practices that buffer against stress and trauma; and
- developing a program culture that promotes the well-being of providers, young children, and families.