Early Childhood Providers

Social Emotional Health

As an early care and education practitioner, you know that your daily work with our youngest children allows you to have a profound impact on social-emotional health. Social-emotional health is foundational to academic achievement, lifelong health and success. It is formed through infants’ and toddlers’ strong, supportive relationships with their parents or caregivers and the experience of a safe, nurturing environment.

One in five children and adolescents may have a mental health problem, yet an estimated two-thirds of all young people with mental health problems are not getting the help they need. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 13% of postpartum women experience depression. Maternal depression significantly impacts a woman’s ability to nurture her infant or toddler, and impacts the overall quality of family life. There is growing evidence that mental health of fathers and other care-givers is as important to young children’s well-being.

As an early childhood practitioner, you are uniquely positioned to address social-emotional health in our youngest children.

You can:

  • Support first relationships by recognizing that quality relationships between parents and children and providers and children are critical to healthy development- relationships are a vital sign!
  • Engage in a “serve and return” interaction with the children you serve and role model and teach this interaction to families
  • Identify everyday opportunities to include teaching resiliency, social-emotional literacy and social-emotional health in your curriculum and other interactions
    Promote positive parenting
  • Link families to local resources to support social-emotional health and provide intervention when necessary
  • Screen children routinely for social-emotional health and families for maternal/caregiver depression/mental health
  • Educate your community about social-emotional health in early childhood
  • Advocate for integrating social-emotional health in early childhood policies/programs

Priority Issues

Champions

2015: A Year of Building Better Systems for Young Children in New York

Docs for Tots is proud of the work accomplished in 2015 towards our mission of creating connections between young children’s doctors, policymakers, early childhood practitioners, and other stakeholders to improve children’s lifelong health and success. In 2015 Docs for Tots: Worked with clinics in

Latest News

Are We, as Early Childhood Professionals, Asking the Right Questions?

The other day I was asked by a 4-year-old boy: “Have you ever been to prison? My daddy’s been to prison.” Jay and his . . .
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Ikadshi

2015: A Year of Building Better Systems for Young Children in New York

Docs for Tots is proud of the work accomplished in 2015 towards our mission of creating connections between young children’s doctors, policymakers, early childhood practitioners, and other stakeholders to . . .
Read More

A-Waiting Opportunity

Dr. Dina Lieser is Co-Director of Docs for Tots and Director of Community Pediatrics and Ambulatory Pediatrics at Nassau University Medical Center.     . . .
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Early environments matter and nurturing relationships are essential.

Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development