Social-Emotional Early Development

In the mid 2000’s, research indicated preschool children were being expelled from Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs for behavior issues at a rate three times higher than school age children. Early childhood professionals were reporting that challenging behaviors were their most significant barrier to teaching.

In 2008, Denver’s Early Childhood Council recognized that access to mental health services for young children was limited and that very few social-emotional development resources and training existed for the early care and ECE field. The Council formed the Mental Health Action Alliance (MHAA) to develop a strategic plan based on community input, research and best practices that would inform our direction in this domain.

Kids Working

The MHAA_Denver_Framework_for_Change  was released as a result of the MHHA. This report identified four goal areas that the Council and the broader community needed to address in order to achieve a truly comprehensive mental health system for young children.

The goal areas included:

1) Increasing the knowledge about early childhood social-emotional development through education and training

2) Improving access and availability of early childhood social-emotional and mental health services

3) Developing the quality of center and home-based care around these issues

4) Expanding the infrastructure to support an early childhood mental health system

One way we strive to meet these goals is by providing the Pyramid Plus Approach training for child care providers and the Parents Interacting with Infants training for our Early Intervention partners. We also convene a group of early childhood mental health systems partners to discuss and improve systems issues.

To get involved in our social-emotional work or the Pyramid Plus Approach, contact us.

For information about current Pyramid Plus Approach trainings, log in to ecConnect.