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Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMH-C)

ECMH-C includes culturally sensitive and primarily indirect services for children birth through five in group care and early education settings. Services include capacity building for staff and family members, directly observing children and the caregiving environment, and designing interventions that involve changes in the behaviors of caregivers. Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants collaborate with administrators, staff, family members, and caregivers who intervene directly with children in group care and early education settings.

ECMH-C is intended to promote social and emotional development in children and transform children’s challenging behaviors. Outcomes may be measured by the impact on children, parents, staff and programs. Consultation is offered by persons with formal preparation in children’s mental health and experience working with young children and their families.

Harbor’s Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation services include assessments of your infant, toddler or preschooler’s behavior within a childcare or preschool setting. Consultants observe how the child interacts with teachers and other children as well as their participation in daily childcare activities. ECMH Consultation does not provide formal mental health diagnoses but rather provides a functional analysis of the behaviors with recommended strategies to parent and teachers to help manage the behaviors or concerns. Consultants can refer to community resources, as deemed appropriate. Our consultation services include child/family centered consultation and programmatic consultation.

The consultants are trained to use two evidenced based programs: Georgetown Model of Early Childhood Consultation and the DECA, a social emotional assessment tool and classroom program. Our consultants have either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in early childhood or mental health field. They must have experience in both early childhood and mental health. They provide social, emotional trainings to early care and education staff, conduct parent consultation meetings and conduct social emotional groups with the children.

Reasons to Request Consultation:

  • Individual children displaying hard-to-manage challenging behaviors
  • Young child is at-risk of being removed from preschool or early care center
  • Concerns of a young child’s social, emotional, physical development
  • Promoting healthy social & emotional development for young children
  • Supporting families and early child care providers’ capacity to meet children’s social/emotional needs and learn to manage challenging behaviors.
  • Desire to learn how to access mental health resources

Child or Family-Centered Consultation

The primary goal of child or family-centered consultation is to address the factors that contribute to an individual child’s (and/or family’s) difficulties in functioning well in his or her early care and education setting. This type of early childhood mental health consultation is typically provided to the child’s teacher(s) and parents and is focused on helping these adults support the child more effectively.

Programmatic Consultation

Programmatic Consultation focuses on improving the overall quality of the program or assisting the program to solve a specific issue that affects more than one child, staff member, and/or family. This type of consultation is usually provided to Early Care and Education (ECE) program administrators and staff and is intended to have a more widespread impact. Programmatic Consultation trains teachers on practices that promote social and emotional well being and school readiness skills and build teachers’ capacity in managing challenging behaviors within the classroom. Centers collaborate with the consultants throughout the year and consultants provide services weekly.

Examples of Programmatic Consultation services for staff:

  • Conduct classroom observations
  • Evaluate the center or learning environment
  • Suggest strategies for making the environment prosocial
  • Support staff with classroom management
  • Train staff on behavior management techniques
  • Train staff on accessing mental health resources
  • Educate staff on children’s mental health issues
  • Support staff working with children with challenging behaviors
  • Provide support for reflective practices

Examples of Programmatic Consultation services for programs:

  • Promote staff wellness
  • Address communication within the program
  • Promote team building
  • Provide staff support
  • Participate in staff meetings
  • Train staff on cultural competence
  • Address programmatic issues
  • Design and implement early childhood mental health best practices within the program
  • Consult with the director
  • Identify and address program needs
  • Advise on program policy

Early Care and Education Teacher Trainings

Teachers learn to integrate social and emotional development and how to manage challenging behavior in their care of young children by utilizing methods of teaching using videos, role-playing, lecture/PowerPoint, discussion and sharing among group members. Some trainings are Ohio’s Step Up to Quality approved.

For a schedule of Teacher Trainings or to register for a Teacher Training, contact the ECMH-C Program Coordinator at (419) 214-3820.

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Parent Education Workshops

A variety of parent workshops can be offered to early care and education centers and well as community groups and organizations within Lucas County. We have a variety of topics on children’s social and emotional development that are available. For more information on Parent Workshops or to schedule a Parent Workshop, contact the ECMH-C Program Coordinator at (419) 214-3820.This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Additional Resources

www.zerotothree.org 
www.earlychildhoodohio.org 
www.nctsnet.org (National Child Traumatic Stress Network) 
http://mha.ohio.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=279 (Ohio Department of Mental Health - Early Childhood)
www.aspiretoledo.org 
www.ecmhc.org 
http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Early-Learning/Guidance-About-Kindergarten/Kindergarten-Readiness-Checklist (Ohio Department of Education - Kindergarten School readiness)

 

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