Early Childhood Mental Health Services

Significant mental health problems can and do occur in young children. Children can show clear characteristics of anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and neurodevelopmental disabilities, such as autism, at a very early age. That said, young children respond to and process emotional experiences and traumatic events in ways that are very different from adults and older children. Consequently, diagnosis in early childhood can be much more difficult than it is in adults.

Promoting good mental health practices and services to young children and their families:

  • Identifying and working proactively with children who may have developmental, social, emotional, and behavioral concerns.
  • Helping young children acquire the social and emotional skills necessary to enter school ready to succeed.
  • Referring children and families in need of more intensive mental health services to appropriate support programs.
  • Early Childhood Mental Health Services Provides:

  • Observation and assessment of children and the child care environment using research-based tools.
  • Partnering with child care providers to deliver training, mentoring, and coaching to help create environments that better support the social and emotional needs of young children.
  • Increasing child care staff skills in addressing the social and emotional needs of children to improve readiness for school.
  • Working with child care providers to help retain and serve children with behavioral and mental health needs.
  • Forging positive relationships with providers and families.