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 knowledge of infant and early childhood mental health, trauma-informed care, inclusive practices and 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. Consultants meet with program staff 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 at the beginning of the consultation process, the consultant may offer program-level support and/or work individually with teachers/providers to provide classroom-focused consultation. Consultation includes observing the environment, facilitating reflective conversations, collaborating on the development of an action plan for the program or teacher/provider, and supporting implementation of that plan.
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 teacher(s) or home-based provider(s) to create an environment that promotes children’s social and emotional health and well-being. Consultation enhances teachers’/providers’ abilities to address behavior they find challenging or concerning. Through reflective conversations with the consultant, teachers/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/providers to develop classroom management and relationship-building strategies to improve their caregiving practices and build their confidence working with all children and families.
In 2021-2022, the IECMHC Network will be offering a series of webinars on topics related to infant and early childhood mental health. Dates for upcoming webinars and links to registration can be found on the IECMHC Network homepage.
Coming Soon: Helpline
Early learning and care center-based staff and home-based providers will soon be able to access “just in time” support and resources about infant, toddler and young children’s social, emotional and behavioral health through the IECMHC Network’s toll-free Helpline. The Helpline will be available from 8:00 a.m.-5:00p.m. (PDT) Monday through Friday. Stay tuned for more details!
Coming Soon: “Open-Door” Sessions
Center-based program staff and home-based providers will soon be able to access “on demand” virtual consultation facilitated by staff and consultants from the IECMHC Network. These monthly virtual sessions are an opportunity to seek support and resources about infant, toddler and young children’s social, emotional and behavioral health and to connect with other caregivers in similar roles. Stay tuned for more details!
Coming Soon: Community of Practice (CoP) Series
The IECMHC Network will be introducing a Community of Practice Series to promote the use of reflective practice in early learning and care settings. Facilitated by infant and early childhood mental health specialists and consultants, this CoP series will offer participants the opportunity to connect with other early childhood staff and providers to create a learning community for reflective practice. Members will meet virtually in small groups over six monthly 90-minute sessions for reflective discussion and problem solving. This series is offered at no cost to participants and is designed to build capacity for using reflective practice approaches across California’s early learning and care programs.
Coming Soon: Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant Training Program
In 2022, the IECMHC Network will launch a statewide training program to increase the access and availability of infant and early childhood mental health consultation services in early learning and care programs across the state by providing specialized training and support for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants who can provide consultation services across California’s early learning and care programs.