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Little Kids, Big Questions
is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into parenting practices that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. This podcast series is generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

Raising Awareness about Early Childhood Mental Health

The Baby Monitor

April 29, 2013



How Will You Be Raising Awareness About Early Childhood Social and Emotional Health?

May 9, 2013 is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, and this edition of The Baby Monitor is dedicated to marking this event and the importance of early childhood social and emotional health. We’ve got a new resource for states and links to national and community events you can participate in.

  • Wisconsin, California, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Louisiana – What do these states have in common?

    These six states are profiled in the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center’s latest resource on infant and early childhood mental health (I-ECMH) for offering compelling and varied examples of successful I-ECMH work. Now available for download, Nurturing Change: State Strategies for Improving Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health is a follow-up to our 2012 paper, Making It Happen: Overcoming Barriers to Providing Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health

    In this new paper, you will find an in-depth look at some of the promising strategies states have employed to address I-ECMH access, delivery, financing, evidence base, and systems-level issues across the promotion, prevention, and treatment continuum.  State policymakers will find actionable models and policy strategies, as well as strategic questions to consider in planning for I-ECMH. See how your state can build on opportunities to advance I-ECMH by sharing this new publication with key policymakers on Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.
  • SAMHSA’s Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Events: Local, National and Virtual

    This year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will host its annual Children's Mental Health Awareness Day event virtually. The event video will debut on May 7 at 3 PM Eastern Time at www.samhsa.gov/children. Many Awareness Day events will be taking place on May 9 in communities across the nation. Click here to see what’s happening in your state.




Federal Policy Update

The Sequester’s Pain: Air Travelers Get Relief, Little Kids Not So Much

On Friday, Congress eased the pain of the across-the-board funding cuts known as the sequester—but only for those people being inconvenienced by flight delays due to air traffic controller furloughs. The children who will lose their places in Head Start and Early Head Start programs were offered no respite. Neither were the families who thought they were on their way to a stable roof over their heads, only to have that vision snatched back by housing authorities forced to cut rental assistance. Read the rest in the Baby Policy Blog.



State Policy Update

Public-Private Fund in Washington State Supports Home Visiting

Washington State has a strong history of supporting home visiting and taking creative policy action to guide that support. The centerpiece is the Home Visiting Services Account, which was created in 2010 by the state legislature through a budget proviso.  In the current state fiscal year, Washington projects $7.9 million federal funds, $1 million state funds, and $2.5 million private funds to support evidence-based voluntary home visiting models and promising practices.  The account is overseen by the state’s Department of Early Learning and administered by Thrive by Five Washington, a public-private partnership. Read more in Baby Matters.



Publications & Resources


New Early Childhood Mental Health Brief
A new brief from the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child, InBrief: Early Childhood Mental Health, explains why many costly social problems, such as incarceration and homelessness, could be reduced dramatically if attention were paid to improving children’s experiences early in life. The brief is an overview the Center’s working paper, Establishing a Level Foundation for Life: Mental Health Begins in Early Childhood.

ACF Releases Early Childhood State Advisory Council Status Report
The Administration for Children and Families recently released the Early Childhood State Advisory Council Status Report 2013. The report provides a status update on the progress made by federally funded State Advisory Councils (SAC) since the grant was awarded. The report describes the legislatively required activities, progress made to date, and individual profile of each SAC grantee.

Report on Businesses as Baby Champions
Ready Nation and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives released a new report, Championing Success: Business Organizations for Early Childhood Investments,  which presents findings from a survey that examined business support of early childhood programs in the U.S. The report found that business organizations in nearly all states (49 states) have publicly supported early childhood policy or program initiatives. Read the executive summary here and the full report here.


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