Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Services

We believe that Early Childhood Professionals deserve access to quality mental health services in their programming, too.

What is Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (I/ECMHC)?

Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation is a proactive, prevention-based approach that pairs a Mental Health Specialist with early childhood programs (birth to 5 years old) in order to support adults in building their capacity to meet the social and emotional needs of young children.

What does a Mental Health Specialist do?

The Mental Health Specialist collaborates with early educators, including administrators, classroom teachers, and other support staff to provide:

  • Monthly site visits
  • Observations of classrooms and individual children
  • One-on-one or group consultation for early childhood staff
  • Guidance developing individualized support plans for children/families
  • Professional development training for staff and groups for parents on topics related to Children’s Mental Health
  • Support with making referrals to community and educational resources
  • Guidance for programs on how to support and promote staff wellbeing

Research has shown that I/ECMHC can help providers/educators to:

  • Be more reflective
  • Feel less stress and more supported with children’s behavior
  • Feel more confident to manage children’s behavior in proactive and positive ways
  • Attend to children more equitably and provide individualized supports

I/ECMHC can help programs to:

  • Develop plans for supporting teacher/staff wellness and reduce burnout
  • Create more positive classroom environments that support children in developing social and emotional skills
  • Strengthen relationships with parents/families
  • Reduce the likelihood of expulsion of suspension

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is seeking early education program partners to receive these services for FREE, thanks to the generous support of local Community Mental Health Boards!

Click here to visit the website for Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development to learn more about the research and importance of I/ECMHC.


Bloomingdale Township (Download Flyer)
Milton Township (Download Flyer)


Katherine Layden