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What is Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health?

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) is the developing capacity from birth to 6 to experience, regulate, and express emotions; to form close relationships; and to explore the environment and learn, all in the context of family, community, and cultural expectations for young children.

In Our July Newsletter

       Since our last newsletter a lot has happened. We are facing multiple pandemics. We continue to face uncertainty and consequences of COVID-19 and the relentless and pervasive pandemic of racism. There are strong indications that we may soon to be faced with crisis levels of need in behavioral health and child welfare. Mental Health work is social justice work and we strive to ensure that every child born has access to supports to reach their developmental potential. We in the field of IECMH are in a unique position to actively interrupt the cycle of historical trauma before it continues to permeate into future generations, by taking action and being accountable for integrating an equity informed lens in all our policies and practices. 


The Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children and Families (Tenets) are a set of strategies and tools for strengthening the commitment and capacity of professionals, organizations and systems to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into work with infants, children, and families. 

These set of ten guiding aspirational principles raise awareness of inequities and injustices embedded in our society by empowering individual practitioners, agencies and systems of care to identify and address the social justice issues intricately intertwined with all work with and on behalf of infants, children & families.

Using these principles as our compass to guide our work, our vision is to operationalize the tenets in the IECMH policies and practices.


Systemic oppression and racism continue to impact our black and brown families and children. Here are resources to share with caregivers on ‘how to talk to young children’ on racial injustice.


Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Bubbles for Babies video in honor of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health!

Click the image above to view our Bubbles for Babies video, or click here.


What is MassAIMH Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement®?
MassAIMH Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® is a credential that provides recognition of specialized knowledge and expertise for professionals working with or on behalf of families with young children. To learn more, click the image above!

MassAIMH invites applications for IECMH Endorsement® for 2021. 
If you work with or on behalf of young children (0-6 years of age) and their families, please complete this short survey to state your interest. 


The Children’s Mental Health Campaign is finalizing a report with recommendations on IECMH Integration in Primary Care, based on previous grant work done in MA. 

The 4 main recommendations 

To invest in: 

  • Infrastructure - workforce and family voice inclusive of race and culture;
  • Prevention and Promotion for all children - alternative payment forms and/or parity to widen the ability to provide 2 generational services in pediatrics;
  • Intervention for children who screen positive - standard implementation of DC: 0-5 across the state.

Check out our page with wonderful handouts and tipsheets to support transition to re-opening and social emotional wellness for young children and the workforce.

These times have also stressed how essential, quality, affordable childcare is. If you haven't had a chance to, watch the No Small Matter documentary. This documentary masterfully shows why the early years matter and how quality childcare can change the future of our kids.

Did you know you can access free online trainings on the MassAIMH website?

In response to COVID-19 pandemic, the Infant Mental Health Journal is making articles relevant to supporting early development in times of crisis freely available. Please visit our website to access the link to the articles.

Zero-to-Three has just launched their 2020 State of Babies Yearbook.

To learn about how we are doing in Massachusetts, click here.

During this year’s launch, ZTT had a powerful talk that addressed the three main areas their report looks into (Good Health, Strong Families and Positive Learning Experiences) aligned with the need for social and racial justice.


As the state is re-opening and children are transitioning back into childcare, we as the IECMH community would love to learn what are the needs of those supporting our youngest children.

Your opinion and voice are very meaningful to help us learn!


Link not working? Sign up here!

Thank you!

Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

Contact Aditi Subramaniam



Massachusetts Department of Mental Health 

25 Staniford Street, Boston MA, 02118

Contact Andrea Gonçalves-Oliveira


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