The County Commissioners of Charles County are hereby requesting proposals from qualified firms to develop and pilot a model program that builds on the current Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation model.
ENHANCED EARLY CHILDHOOD MENTAL HEALTH CONSULTATION
- The key to healthy social-emotional development in young children is positive interactions and healthy relationships with caregivers (ECE providers and parents) in supportive environments
- All services must be culturally and linguistically responsive to family/provider context
- All services must take into account the infant/toddler or preschoolers’ developmental stage
- ECMHC recognizes the primary importance of family1 in a child’s development, and
acknowledges the necessity of fostering communication and collaboration between the home
and early childcare setting in ways that support child development
- ECMHC is a primarily “indirect” service that seeks to build the capacity of the young child’s
ECE providers and family members through a collaborative approach
- ECMHC simultaneously builds upon the expertise, perspectives, and resiliencies of ECE
providers and family members while nurturing inherent child strengths and emerging
- ECMHC is a relationship-based, family-centered service that addresses the social and
emotional well-being of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and the ECE providers and families that care for them
State-funded ECMHC projects are implemented to achieve the following objectives:
- Facilitate early childhood development through changes in the early learning environments to
enable more children to enter school ready to learn.
- Provide early care and education (ECE) providers and family members with intervention
strategies to improve social and emotional development.
- Address problematic social and emotional behaviors of young children in child care settings.
- Refer families and children requiring more intensive intervention services to high quality
assessment and clinical intervention services.
State-funded ECMHC projects have adopted the following benchmarks for success:
- Increased ECE providers’ knowledge of importance of social-emotional development and capacity to manage challenging behaviors.
- Increased ECE providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors that promote nurturing classroom environments for all children.
- Referred children are maintained in quality early childhood settings.
- Referred children have measurable decreases in problem behaviors and increases in social skills
- Increased referrals for children and families in need of more intensive interventions.
- Increased community awareness of social and emotional development of young children.