A Focus on Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health

June 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.
An early childhood educator’s role is one of great importance; full of challenges and rewards. It requires you to open your heart and mind to others. Adult caregivers create an environment of relationships invested in early health and development. But…

Did you know that an estimated 30-40 percent of child care professionals leave the field often due to burnout? Many caregivers get so involved in caring for others, they fail to take care of themselves. You owe it to yourself to take care of your needs, your own mental health.

“All the wonders you seek are within yourself.” – Sir Thomas Browne

This month’s newsletter is focused on the importance of developing the adult’s skills, addressing their needs and the coping strategies, tips, and tools to use before stress takes over while preventing burnout and compassion fatigue.
Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes: A Theory of Change

This five minute video from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University describes the need to focus on building the capabilities of caregivers and strengthening the communities that together form the environment of relationships essential to children’s lifelong learning, health, and behavior. 
50 Ways to Take a Break

Taking care of yourself is important. Take time to relax and de-stress, take a break! This image offers a multitude of possibilities to slip into your day or week.
It is no secret that the wellness of adult caregivers is very important to the wellness of the children they support. This article, Preventing Compassion Fatigue: Caring for Yourself from NAEYC, highlights self-care strategies to help early childhood educators, “remain strong and healthy enough to be the champion for children and families.”
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.