The First 5 Association, together with the First 5 Center for Children’s Policy and The Children’s Partnership, have released a detailed report titled “Addressing Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Needs: Opportunities for Community Solutions” that delves into the historical and escalating mental health needs of very young children, the current landscape, and the ways in which California, local agencies, and communities must bolster their support and resources in the wake of the pandemic and its potential impacts on child development.
The report focuses on community-based programs in California supporting infants, toddlers, and preschoolers’ social-emotional health, as well as their goals, service models, and funding sources. Research shows that these community-level programs are uniquely positioned to create long-lasting change at a local level, yet, existing programs for young children are often limited by a lack of resources, lack of workforce and lack of public understanding and political will. New state and federal funding in response to the pandemic have the potential to create significant change, but more must be done to ensure that these investments reach our youngest children in community-based settings that offer critical opportunities for prevention and early supports.
Learn more and read the fuller report here: https://first5center.org/publications/addressing-infant-and-early-childhood-mental-health-needs-opportunities-for-community-solutions