While parents, families, providers, and teachers have been stressed and stretched to the max this past year, children have also been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing racial trauma. The impact of adult stress, both families and educators, understandably influences children’s behavior.
Infants, toddlers and preschoolers typically express their needs or fears through behavior. The display of this type of behavior can be challenging when it happens at home, and sometimes it can be even more challenging when it happens at preschool or childcare programs.
If your child is struggling, you are not alone.
Children thrive when they have predictable routines and healthy social interactions, which many of us have found difficult to maintain this past year. We can all benefit from additional support, and help is available. A free statewide program is available to help you understand and address a child’s needs. The Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Project (IECMH) helps adults implement strategies to reduce children’s challenging behavior and keep them in childcare. These consultation programs also provide training, coaching and family support to keep our youngest learners engaged and happy.
IECMH Consultants provide the following services free of charge:
- Observing and assessing children and the child care environment using standardized tools.
- Partnering with child care providers by delivering 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 concerns.
- Forging positive relationships with providers and families.
You can access these free IECMH Consultation services for families and childcare providers by contacting the provider in your area here. Also check out the following websites:
- The IECMH Consultation Project
- Maryland’s Pyramid Model Resources for Families
- The Educator’s and Family’s Guide to Mental Health and Self-Care
- The Children’s Mental Health Matters! Campaign
- Mindful Parenting Techniques
The MFE Resilience Collection
From building resilience to stress management, coping skills, and ways to identify feelings and emotions, check out the Educator’s and Family’s Guide to Mental Health and Self-Care or MFE Resilience Collection on the Resources page. Discover helpful resources to support positive mental health conversations between educators and families. Visit the collection often as we add new resources every month.