This online self-leaning module will help you to promote mental health in young children. Learn about biological and environmental risk factors for challenging behaviors. Use tools to review for behaviors related to childhood development. Find out strategies to help manage children with challenging behaviors and identify policies to help prevent suspension and expulsion of children. Understand the importance of open communication with parents and use resources to help children with challenging behaviors and their families. (ECERS-ITERS: Interaction. Meets STAR Level 2 Performance Standard for Health and Safety) 9/2015

Teachers/caregivers, child health professionals and parents can use this list of links and fact sheets to identify state and local resources that address behavioral concerns about children in early learning settings. Updated 5/22/09

This form is intended to be used by teachers/caregivers to document a child’s behavior that is of concern to them. The behavior may warrant evaluation by a health care provider, discussion with parents/legal guardians, and/or consultation with other professionals. This documentation facilitates communication by recording the observations of the child and the circumstances in which the observations were made. Reviewed and reaffirmed 12/2016

New research shows parents whose children are in child care gain more than freedom to pursue adult-only activity. They reap social, psychological, and financial rewards. Collectively, these rewards are called “social capital.” They add to the benefits of early education for children. This is especially true for low-income mothers. Advocates can use this new evidence to seek universal access to quality early education.

Mario Small at the University of Chicago found that many mothers benefit from relationships with staff and other families.  The data came from four sources. The first was a national survey of 3,500 mothers in 20 large U.S. cities. The second source was a survey of 300 child care centers in New York City. The third was 67 in-depth interviews with mothers who enrolled children in child care. The fourth source was 23 case studies and observations in specific centers.  They didn’t study what fathers gain from having their children in child care. However, the benefits for mothers are likely to help them too.

Having common problems to solve leads parents to form a support network of friendships. These relationships go beyond interactions at the child care facility. Some parents talk to other parents and staff about feeling guilty. Some aspects of U.S. culture foster parents’ feelings of guilt. Many people think parents who need and want to share the care of children outside are less competent than those who share care only within the family. Most parents know they shouldn’t “drop and run” in the morning, but it happens.  Families may have something come up that makes it hard to pick up their children on time. All these situations contribute to feelings of guilt. Parents  who use child care develop trusting relationships with other parents. This helps them make back-up arrangements with one another. Centers that have strict drop-off and pick-up times foster interfamily friendships by bringing family members to the facility at around the same time. Field trips involving parent volunteers and special family events at the child care facility encourage a sense of extended family too. Families may share concerns with one another about discipline, child-rearing practices or needed services. Some parents find when they share their concerns, child care staff and other families offer good advice and refer them to helpful resources and services. This benefit is particularly valuable in poor neighborhoods.

The Office of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department of Human Services has brought together a list of resources related to developmental screening and referral for early intervention. The materials listed in the collection are from a group of federal agencies. The content on the website is separated into the materials most helpful to specific users: early care and education providers, primary care providers, early intervention and special education providers, families, communities, child welfare, home visitors, behavioral health providers, and housing & homeless shelter providers.The website offers a compendium of evidence-based developmental screening tools, everyday tips for early care and education providers to support child development, and guides for finding services in the community. As ACF says: "Effective promotion of healthy child development and wellness is best achieved early in a child’s life with well-coordinated, multi-sector coordination of services and communication with families. Public awareness of typical child development and risks for delay, developmental and behavioral screening, early identification of delays as well as linkages to referral and follow up services can be delivered anywhere young children and families spend time--in the home and in communities through a range of programs and services." Access the English version of the resources at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/child-health-development/watch-me-thrive. For the Spanish description of the resources go to Del nacimiento a los 5! Informacion y Destacados at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ecd/b_to_5_one_pager_spa.pdf. For the Early Care and Education Providers Guide in Spanish, go to Providors Cuidado y Educación Infantil at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ecd/ece_providers_guide_spanish_508.pdf. 7/2015 

Tips for parents and caregivers on managing biting behavior in young children. (Reviewed 4/2017)

This form facilitates communication from health care providers to other professionals who work with the child and family as part of formulating a coordinated and consistent plan of care for children with behavioral concerns. Reaffirmed 7/2013.

These five separate two hour interactive workshops are available individually or as a series.  The workshops highlight Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Standards using excerpts from the Caring for Our Children Video Series.

This workshop teaches early learning practitioners how to recognize and manage occupational health risks, drawing on the content in Caring for Our Children: the National Health and Safety Performance Standards. Addresses management of stress, infectious disease risks and musculo-skeletal (ergonomic) challenges intrinsic to providing child care. Includes assessment of personal and work-site health promotion strategies.

The Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation is located at Georgetown University. It was created through a grant from the federal Office of Head Start, this center's website is richly populated with Tutorials about promoting social-emotional development, Stress Reduction information, Tool Kits for making observations, and Tools to address Temperament. For example, the tutorial about Recognizing and Supporting the Social-Emotional Health of Young Children, Birth to Age 5 not only provides the usual developmental landmarks, but also uses scenarios to suggest how to handle challenging behaviors in each stage. The tool kits have a variety of checklists to record observations of social-emotional behaviors for a group or for individual children. The intended users of the materials include Head Start administrators and staff as well as trainers, technical assistance providers, and health consultants. Some materials are suitable for parent use as well. 1/2012