Guide Supporting children's behavioral health and social-emotional development

This guide provides information for families and early education providers on child development in the areas of behavioral health and social-emotional well-being.

Table of Contents

Early childhood mental health consultation services

The Department of Early Education and Care has an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) network that provides consultation services to support the social-emotional development and behavioral health of children in early education and care programs. The consultants offer guidance to programs, educators, and families on addressing the developmental, emotional, and behavioral challenges of infants and young children in early education settings.  Consultation services may include:

  • Classroom observations and strategies for creating supportive learning environments.
  • Training and coaching for educators.
  • Guidance for developing ongoing partnerships with families.
  • Individual observation and assessments of children (with parental consent).
  • Help with individualized behavior support plans for children, using input from parents and educators to prevent concerning behaviors.
  • Referrals to community-based services that meet the basic needs of children and family (with parental consent).

Child behavioral health and social-emotional learning resources

The Department of Early Education and Care and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education jointly developed standards for social - emotional development and approaches to play and learning (SEL APL) in preschool and kindergarten. These standards focus on development and promoting: self and social knowledge, self-management, relationship skills, responsible decision-making, initiative, curiosity, engagement, persistence, creativity, cooperative play, problem-solving, organizational skills, and memory.  

Additional Resources for Child behavioral health and social-emotional learning resources

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