About the California IECMH Consultant Training Program
The IECMHC Network is actively engaged in efforts to build workforce capacity in infant and early childhood mental health consultation. A key element in these efforts is the training of infant and early childhood mental health consultants across California.
In 2021 the IECMHC Network began a collaboration with Georgetown University’s Center of Excellence in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. 160 California professionals were enrolled in Georgetown’s Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Certificate Program. The program offered students an opportunity to build both content knowledge and practical skills in mental health consultation.
At the same time, the IECMHC Network administered statewide surveys and focus groups with both center-based and home-based child care providers, as well as infant and early childhood mental health consultants, to gather input about the provision of consultation in our state and the needs of child care and early education providers. The IECMHC Network then convened a group of subject matter experts and key stakeholders to share their expertise toward the development of a California Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) Consultant Training Program.
California IECMH Consultant Training Program 2023 – 2024
Beginning in October 2023, the first cohort of the California IECMH Consultant Training Program will commence, offering a well-rounded learning experience to launch new consultants in this profession and strengthen the knowledge and skills of more experienced consultants. With a foundation in relationship-based and reflective learning, the course is designed to address a gap in the professional development of mental health consultants who offer services to child care and early education providers.
A focus on the consultant’s role in promoting equitable systems and practices in child care and early education is foundational to the California IECMH Consultant Training Program. Students enhance their practice of self-reflection and develop their capacity to identify and address inequities and promote diversity-informed and culturally responsive consultation. The nine-month program includes both synchronous and asynchronous learning activities:
- Monthly Zoom sessions: Program faculty facilitate 2.5 hour didactic and interactive learning experiences on core content.
- Monthly Community of Practice sessions: Small groups of students meet with a faculty member to reflect on course content and its application in their work.
- Lead-in and follow-up reflections: Students complete reading and writing assignments in the Canvas learning platform.
- Practicum: Students provide 8-12 hours of mental health consultation with a family child care home provider.
- Reflective practice: Students meet individually with an endorsed reflective practice facilitator to reflect on the practicum experience.