The first five years of life are a time of unparalleled change in the brains and abilities of young children. All families need access to a wide range of services and supports to promote healthy development. Additionally, some families need specialized services to mitigate risk factors or address problems young children may experience. The Early Childhood Team at GUCCHD is involved in a wide array of activities to support young children's healthy development. Our special areas of focus and expertise include:
- Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH): Increasingly, the needs of young children from birth for positive social and emotional health are becoming recognized as a critical component of school readiness and overall well-being. GUCCHD works on various levels to promote early childhood mental health including research, systems-building, policy development and support for best practice implementation.
- Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC): One strategy that is increasingly being used by states and communities to promote healthy social and emotional development for young children in early care and education settings is ECMHC. The Early Childhood Team at GUCCHD is at the forefront of defining this approach, supporting the design and implementation of effective ECMHC programs, and promoting rigorous evaluations by states and communities.
- Building Early Childhood Systems: Many states and communities are working to bridge the gaps that exist within the fragmented array of services available to families raising young children. GUCCHD is a national leader in early childhood systems-building through our affiliation with the National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health (NTAC). Our Early Childhood Team provides technical assistance to state and local leaders across the country who are striving to develop effective early childhood systems.
- Bringing Best Practices in Early Childhood to the Field: GUCCHD's Early Childhood Team is committed to bridging the divide between what is known among researchers and practitioners to be effective and what is available in communities for young children and families. We work at multiple levels to ensure this translation between evidence-based and best practice knowledge and "real world" implementation.
- Early Childhood Research and Evaluation: GUCCHD's Early Childhood Team conducts a variety of research and evaluation activities to build the early childhood research base and provide research-informed guidance to states and communities on effective strategies and interventions. Ultimately, we strive to improve the linkages between research, policy and practice.
- Early Childhood Clinical and Community Services: GUCCHD has a long history of providing clinical services in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for young children with or at risk for developmental disabilities and their caregivers. These include diagnostic services and interventions in homes and community-based settings.
Services the Early Childhood Team offers: The Team can provide a range of technical assistance, strategic planning, evaluation, and training services to states and communities. Please contact us to discuss your needs for assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org.