As the Early Success Coalition works to build the capacity of the early childhood workforce, a key priority is advancing the understanding of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health through professional development for healthcare providers, early childhood educators, childcare providers and home visitors.
Infants and very young children are all too often left out of conversations around mental health, but early experiences and environments can affect emotional well-being across a lifespan. Exposure to toxic stress can have a disruptive impact on a young child’s brain, resulting in the potential for lifelong physical and mental health issues.
The Early Success Coalition takes a number of different approaches to address needs related to early mental well-being. To address the shortage of healthcare providers who are trained in infant and early childhood mental health practices we provide workshops and advocate for the integration of these practices into a wide range of environments that reach young children and their families. o advance knowledge of best practices in infant mental health, we have also provided over 50 hours of training this year for teachers, home visitors, and childcare providers, who often work in conjunction with parent and young children.
Early identification and intervention can mitigate the negative effects of toxic stress and promote better outcomes, so we partner with pediatric clinics to provide screenings for key factors that affect early emotional health, such as positive parent-child relationships.
We provide childcare centers, pediatric clinics, and home visiting programs with social-emotional resources that can be distributed to parents to assist them in creating a positive environment that fosters healthy child development. Through these methods, we are working hard to ensure that all children experience safe and nurturing relationships to promote positive mental health.
Visit porterleath.org/early-success-coaltion to learn more about the work of the Early Success Coalition and its members or contact Kellie Mitchell, Early Success Coalition Director at email@example.com.