Creating a Statewide "Toolkit" for Early Intervention in Children’s Emotional Problems 

What: A comprehensive document that will provide recommendations, resources, screening tools and instructions for service providers in the Early Intervention Program—which identifies delays and disabilities in young kids—to better set standards and achieve expectations in the healthy social-emotional development of children under the age of 3.

The Players: Joint task force made up of members from the New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council and members of the State Department of Health’s Statewide Early Intervention Coordinating Council; New York State Office of Mental Health; the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

How Much: A $10,000 grant will be used to hire a writer who will distill the work product of EICC and ECAC members.  

How Many: New York State’s Early Intervention program is the second-largest in the nation, serving approximately 70,000 children with high needs each year.

When: 2015.                                          

While in theory the New York State Department of Health’s Early Intervention Program can work with babies and toddlers whose only issues are social-emotional, advocates and researchers have long contended that in practice the program largely addresses developmental delays and disabilities.

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Trauma Training for Day Care Teachers

What: Early childhood specialists train day care teachers in "The Incredible Years," an evidence-based curriculum designed to promote healthy social and emotional development in the classroom.

The Players: United Neighborhood Houses; New York Center for Child Development; High Impact Partnering; Henry Street Settlement; Grand St. Settlement; Hudson Guild; The Shorefront YM-YWHA; the Office of Children and Family Services.

How much: A one-year grant of $329,000.

How many: Seventy-five early childhood teachers have been trained. Approximately 190 children were screened for trauma, stress and developmental delays. Early childhood specialists consult weekly with three early childhood classrooms at each of four day care providers in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

When: August 2014 - September 2015.

Teachers involved in a small-scale demonstration project received training to promote healthy social and emotional development in classrooms. The project's coordinators hope to use its successful results to push the city to require similar training in all city-funded early childhood programs.

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A Credential in Infant Mental Health

What: State infant mental health advocates are bringing to New York the Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health's endorsement system—a way for New Yorkers who work with young kids to earn a credential demonstrating their savviness in infant mental health.

The Players: A committee composed of New York State advocates and experts; the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health; the newly created New York State Association for Infant Mental Health, which holds the license to use the Michigan Association's system, and is based at Adelphi University's Institute for Parenting.

How Much: $45,000 from a private funder to purchase a license to use the Michigan endorsement system for three years, with a renewal fee of $1,000 annually after the three year period. In addition there are fees for technical assistance.

How Many: One optimistic stakeholder expects to see about 120 early childhood professionals endorsed in 2016.

When: The endorsement system is expected to launch in calendar year 2016.

New Yorkers working with young children will soon have a way to prove to employers and clients their expertise in infant mental health.

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Training the Trainers

What: The Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) is bringing to New York the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social-Emotional Competence.

The Players: The Early Childhood Advisory Committee, an initiative of the state's Council on Children and Families; the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL), the federally funded research institute that developed the Pyramid model.

How much: $30,000 from a federal grant ending in September 2015; pieces of other grants are likely to be cobbled together to continue the effort.

How many: The goal is to prepare 30-50 trainers to help a wide range of early childhood programs to use the Pyramid Model.

When: Calendar year 2015.

For 10 years, the Early Childhood Advisory Committee has wanted to bring to New York the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social-Emotional Competence—a kind of toolbox for helping programs better support young kids' social emotional development. The stars have finally aligned.

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