The IECMHC Network includes a team of consultants who provide strength- and relationship-based, reflective consultation to center-based programs and family child care providers across the state. The IECMHC Network consultants have expertise in infant and early childhood mental health, trauma-informed care, inclusive practices, and knowledge of community resources. They have experience engaging with early learning and care program staff to help them support young children’s development, social, emotional, and behavioral health and well-being.
Consultation includes observing the environment, facilitating reflective conversations, collaborating on the development of an action plan for the program or teacher/provider, and supporting the implementation of that plan. Consultants meet with program staff and providers to assess the program’s needs, identify strengths and challenges within the early childhood setting, and discuss the program’s goals for consultation. Depending on the program-identified needs, the consultant may offer program-level support and work individually with teachers or providers to provide classroom-focused consultation.
Consultants offer consultation at the programmatic level to help foster a culture that promotes staff development and supportive relationships. Programmatic support includes collaboration with program leaders and staff to develop inclusive and equitable policies and procedures that reflect a commitment to serving all children and families. Consultation may involve training for staff and/or families on supporting children’s social, emotional, and behavioral health and fostering healthy relationships between young children and the adults who care for them.
Consultants offer consultation at the classroom level, working directly with the teachers or home-based providers to foster an environment that promotes children’s social–emotional health and well-being. Consultation enhances teachers’ and providers’ abilities to address behavior they find challenging or concerning. Through reflective conversations with the consultant, teachers and providers consider the meaning of young children’s behavior and how their own experiences and beliefs impact the way they respond to children. Using a strength-based approach, consultants guide teachers and providers to develop classroom management and relationship-building strategies to improve their caregiving practices and build their confidence in working with all children and families.
How do I know if I would benefit from a consultation?
- Are you or your staff experiencing provider burnout?
- Do you need additional support in understanding and responding to children’s behavior?
- Would you like to develop more skills to support children’s social, emotional, and mental health?
- Do children in your program need help coping with stress and/or trauma?
Visit the IECMHC Network portal to access consultation services. When you are requesting consultation services for the first time, you will be prompted to set up an account to submit your request. You only need to complete the IECMHC Network account registration process once. Please note your username and password so that you have them available for future use.