Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Early Intervention (Part C): Policies and Practices for Supporting the Social and Emotional Development and Mental Health of Infants and Toddlers in the Context of Parent-Child Relationships
There is a growing recognition of the importance of healthy social-emotional development and the behavioral and mental health of young children, as well as the critical nature of early relationships with parents and other caregivers. Addressing the social and emotional development of infants and toddlers with and at-risk for developmental delays and disabilities is a requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This briefing paper examines an array of infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) policies and practices that state early intervention (IDEA, Part C) programs may consider implementing to effectively support the social-emotional development and mental health needs of eligible children as the policies and programs reflect the importance of nurturing early relationships for a child's social emotional wellbeing. An appendix includes state spotlights in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Michigan, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.