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Caring for Mental Health in Early Childhood Education Settings


Volume 41 No 3

This issue of the ZERO TO THREE Journal represents a unique collaboration between ZERO TO THREE and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to collectively focus our respective journals on the emotional health of infants and toddlers. The catalyst for this issue was threefold: (1) the shared interest in supporting the early childhood education workforce to have the resources and tools necessary for meeting the needs of the youngest children in their care, (2) the understanding that social-emotional development is critical to learning and a fundamental aspect of infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH); and (3) the recognition of the power of collaboration to elevate the vital role of early childhood educators in supporting IECMH. Perhaps more than ever, mental health has been on the minds of many over the past year, and this issue includes what we know from research about the emotional health of infants and toddlers and the adults who care for and educate them.

Table of Contents

Pg 5-The Legacy of the First 3 Years
L. Alan Sroufe

Pg 10-Guardians in the Nursery: The Role of Early Childhood Educators in Fostering Infant and Young Children’s Positive Mental Health
Dorinda Silver Williams and Kathleen Mulrooney
Feature Article – Free Access

Pg 17-Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation in the Midst of a Syndemic: How Does the Field Pivot?
Amy Hunter and Neal Horen

Pg 24-Trauma-Informed Practices in Early Childhood Education
Jessica Dym Bartlett

Pg 35-Early Childhood Teachers’ Well-Being: What We Know and Why We Should Care
Kyong-Ah Kwon, Diane M. Horm, and Chris Amirault
Feature Article – Free Access

Pg 45-The Most Powerful Voice Is Yours: Urging Policymakers to Think BabiesTM
Brooke Cisneros, Destiney Prieto, Jennifer Jennings-Shaffer, and Amanda Perez

Pg 51-Safeguarding the Well-Being of Babies in the Midst of Unprecedented Turmoil
Jenifer Chacon and Kathy L. Reschke

Pg 59-PERSPECTIVES: Equity and Power Dynamics: Effective Collaboration in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation and Early Childhood Education
Kristin Greene with Sarah LeMoine and Katrina Macasaet
Feature Article – Free Access

Pg 68-The Value of Reflective Supervision/Consultation in Early Childhood Education
Nichole Paradis, Kira Johnson, and Zsalanda Richardson

Also in This Issue

NAEYC's Young Children

NAEYC logoRead both ZERO TO THREE Journal and NAEYC’s Young Childeren to learn new perspectives and find valuable resources to support infants, toddlers, and their families. This issue of Young Children offers a cluster of articles devoted to intentional practices that promote social and emotional development.

Introduction – Social & Emotional Development: For Our Youngest Learners & Beyondoffsite link

Cluster Article 1 – What Babies Ask of Us: Contexts to Support Learning about Self and Othero

Cluster Article 2 – When in Doubt, Reach Out: Teaming Strategies for Inclusive Early Childhood Settings

Cluster Article 3 – Rocking and Rolling. Caring for the Mental Health of Infants and Toddlers


Each issue of the ZERO TO THREE Journal focuses on a critical topic within the early childhood development field. Journal articles are carefully composed to present current knowledge, latest research, and practical advice to help early childhood professionals do their best work in support of infants and toddlers.