Young children rely on their relationships with caregivers for healthy development. Positive child care and family relationships are crucial for the promotion of early childhood mental health. In Rhode Island, Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants can help child care providers create quality learning environments that support healthy development in young children. Our Consultants develop ongoing relationships with child care providers, assess the unique needs of each program, and work together on a regular basis to establish and sustain child care environments that meet the mental health needs of the children served.
Early childhood mental health consultation is available to all licensed child care professionals working in family child care homes and center-based programs. If you have a license from the Department of Children, Youth, and Families and are interested in learning more, call the HEALTH Information Line at 401-222-5960 or complete an application form. Once we receive your information, we will call to enroll you in the Child Care Support Network program. Then, we will assign someone from our team to work with you to determine your strengths and needs and to coordinate a plan of support.
Early childhood mental health is a field that promotes emotional and social competence in young children. Good mental health means the young child can experience, regulate, and express emotions appropriately; form close and secure relationships; and explore, engage, and learn through play.
Understanding early childhood mental health problems is complex. Symptoms may vary from child to child. (For example, one child may be withdrawn or distracted, while another is aggressive or anxious.) The child's behavior may be linked to challenges the child experiences in his or her relationships. Symptoms may also be related to disruption in a child's routines, such as sleep and eating.
Our Mental Health Consultants conduct on-site consultation in child care settings across Rhode Island. Consultants from Bradley Hospital Early Childhood Clinical Research Center and The Providence Center Early Childhood Institute offer a variety of services to assess the needs of the child care program and intervene in a meaningful way. We provide Mental Health Consultation for a period of twelve months. During this time, Consultants work with programs to: