Welcome to our first Infant Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) focused newsletter! We are very excited you want to hear more about this very important topic.
Did you know, from the moment they’re born, kids develop at lightning speed? In the first few years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections form every second. This early brain development is critical to everything that follows. And the key fact is that children’s brains grow by processing everything and everyone around them. That’s why environments and relationships matter so much to their development.
A key component of a child’s development is their mental health, also known as social and emotional development. It is developing capacity of a child from birth to age five to:
- form close and secure inter-personal relationships
- experience, regulate and express emotions; and
- explore the environment and learn in the context of family, community, and cultural expectations from young children.
Pennsylvania’s leadership knows that increasing knowledge and skills in infant and early childhood mental health across our early childhood serving systems is a critical strategy to improve the skills of our workforce, reduce disparities, promote school readiness, and improve outcomes for children’s overall health and wellness.
This newsletter, curated by the IECMH Consultation Team, is just one way we can continue to support adults working with infants, toddlers, young children and their families in a variety of ways. We will share new resources, research, tips and strategies on ways adults can build stronger relationships with infants and young children so they feel safe, supported, and valued.