A Focus on Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health

August 2021
This newsletter focuses on sharing information on infant/early childhood mental health and
the importance of relationship-based approaches and supports that help infants and young children feel safe, supported, and valued by the adults around them. The newsletter, and the Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) program, is made possible by a partnership between the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and the Pennsylvania Key.
Welcome to the fifth issue of the IECMHC Newsletter! As we start thinking about the upcoming school year it is important to reflect on how we are supporting the social-emotional development of all the children in our classrooms.   
As educators, we often focus on the curriculum and academic aspect of Early Childhood Education (ECE). However, the social-emotional needs of the children in our classroom permeate all parts of the day. By taking the time to plan how to teach and support the emotional needs of the children, teachers will set up their classroom for success and prevent challenging behaviors.  
In this issue, we will provide an overview of the Pyramid Model which serves as the foundation for our IECMH Consultation program. The Pyramid Model helps ECE professionals and families to enhance social and emotional learning of young children with confidence and competence in the real world. Both IECMH Consultation and the Pyramid Model focus on the critical importance of positive relationships, building the capacity of professionals and families, promoting children’s social and emotional development, and preventing and addressing challenging behavior.  
In the coming months, we will take a deeper dive into each tier of the Pyramid Model. 
The IECMH Program will continue to offer free monthly PD sessions, Using Ages and Stages Questionnaires as a Screening Tool. Universal developmental and social emotional screening practices is a great way to celebrate children’s developmental milestones while also helping to identify if there are any concerns that need to be further assessed. There are many strategies that educators can use from the Pyramid Model to support social emotional development for children. For more information, please check the PD calendar.
Pyramid Model Overview. This video provides an overview of the Pyramid Models levels of support and practices. 8:58 Pyramid Model Overview - YouTube

Implementing the Pyramid Model in Family Child Care Homes. This brief video provides an introduction to the Pyramid Model tiers and practices. 3:11 Implementing the Pyramid Model in Family Child Care Homes - YouTube
Preparing for the Pyramid: Classroom Essentials. This tool identifies the five components for a successful learning environment. Read more.

Rebuilding the Pyramid: Reconnecting After a Break. To help with the transition of your classroom community back to school after an extended break it may be important to re-teach or remind children of schedules, expectations and routines. Read more.
Practice Implementation Checklists:
The Pennsylvania Key has streamlined the process for Keystone STARS programs to request Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC). Child care providers can request services by using the Request for Service Form (PDF). Completed forms can be submitted via email PAIECMH@pakeys.org or faxed to 717-213-3749.
Programs and families can contact the program leadership directly at PAIECMH@pakeys.org with questions or concerns.
Share your feedback! We'd like to hear what you think about infant early childhood mental health. Are there resources you'd like to see? Questions you have? Tell us! Send your feedback to PAIECMH@pakeys.org.