Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) in Early Care and Education (ECE)

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC)

Consultants provide the specialized consultation and professional development that early care and education providers need to keep children in care, support positive behavior skills, address challenging behavior in positive ways, and provide learning environments that are equitable - promoting children’s development, resilience, and overall well-being. Consultants are highly trained in their field. They are master’s level mental health professionals endorsed by the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health. Consultants use a proven model that includes partnering with providers to listen, observe, assess, and plan around the specific needs of children and providers. This process enhances the overall quality of care and environmental climate. These supports promote social emotional health during this critical birth to age 5 developmental timeframe, which leads to an improved life trajectory and offsets later, more costly interventions.

Kids at table with their teacher

History of IECMHC in Michigan

The state of Michigan set an early national standard for IECMHC in its Childcare Expulsion Prevention Program (CCEP), which was established in the late 1990s by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). Since then, CCEP has expanded and evolved, and in 2008 it was identified as one of the national leaders in the early childhood mental health consultation field by the Center for Child and Human Development, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

The Michigan Model of IECMHC in ECE

In 2013, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) partnered with Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to revive and update the CCEP model. The Michigan Model of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) was developed and continues to be recognized as a national model that adheres to these six central tenets:

  1. Consultants have specific expertise in infant mental health practice, an endorsement as an Infant Family Specialist or Infant Mental Health Specialist, and a Masters in a mental health related field.
  2. All consultants receive regular reflective supervision.
  3. All supervisors and consultants take part in state-level technical assistance that consists of regular and ongoing professional development, group reflection, and data review and improvement.
  4. Consultants use evidence-based tools and practices.
  5. All consultants provide child and family focused and programmatic consultation.
  6. Consultants actively engage other early childhood partners.

Kindergarten teacher with students

For more information about Infant and Early Childhood Consultation, please contact us.