Early Childhood Services

Connect with Early Childhood Services today

WARM LINE PHONE NUMBER 303-245-4418

Relationship-Based

Kid Connects uses a relationship-based integrated mental health consultation model in which early childhood consultants are based on-site in child care settings and in family child care homes. The Kid Connects model is informed by the latest research on attachment and early relationships, has a strong foundation in child development, and delivers effective, clinically sound, developmentally appropriate practices in the classroom setting and to families. Reflective practice guides our interactions with administrators, teachers/providers, parents and children.

Integrated Health & Mental Health

Kid Connects has provided integrated health and mental health consultation to licensed early care and education settings in Boulder and Broomfield Counties since 1997.  The Kid Connects program partners with licensed childcare homes and centers as well as other early education sites including Head Start and District preschools.  Kid Connects strives to improve the capacity of caregivers to respond to the social and emotional needs of young children, thus improving health, developmental and mental health outcomes for young children; reducing expulsions from early care; and creating mentally healthy learning environments for all young children and their caregivers. Kid Connects provides the right level of service at the right time!

The Kid Connects Theory of Change:

Through the experience of a supportive, dependable and trusting relationship with an early childhood consultant and the establishment of a shared language, perspective and vision, caregivers/educators will be better equipped to adapt a sense of:

  • Curiosity about the meaning of children’s behavior
  • Flexibility in thinking about young children’s needs
  • Emotional Availability to the children in their care
  • Openness to new information
  • Respect for self as parent and/or professional

Tier 1

On-site mental health consultation services

Program Consultation

Consultation support for program administration

  • Support regarding staff development and training needs
  • Support for classroom practices
  • Staff retention strategies
  • Consultation with directors and staff to foster a culture that promotes healthy social-emotional development of children and families
  • Assist in the development of “at-risk of expulsion” protocol to be used consistently throughout program

Program Consultation

Consultation support to teachers and other staff

  • Help teachers better understand, recognize and respond to children’s social/emotional needs
  • Support for highly effective classroom practices
  • Team building with classroom staff
  • Conflict resolution between team members
  • Observations of classroom as a whole as well as individual children and collaboration with teachers
  • Plan with teachers for needs of individual children or groups of children
  • Participate in teacher/parent conferences as requested
  • Help teacher manage stress/mental health issues in an effort to assist staff be more emotionally available to children and their families
  • Assist in responding to those children at-risk of expulsion according to protocol and child’s need
  • General classroom groups (e.g.: social skills, violence prevention)

Program Consultation

Community outreach and linkage-connecting with other programs

  • Assist with transitions to other programs
  • Assist in connecting with medical home, special education, early intervention and disabilities systems, and referral/linkage to other mental health supports as needed
  • Work with child welfare agencies to support reunification or other permanency planning.

Program Consultation

Classroom level mental health screening

  • Train staff in foundations of and administering screening tool
  • Provide interpretive results and assist staff in understanding findings and implementing strategies to promote resiliency and address behavior concerns 2013

Child Specific Consultation

  • Work with specific families, including parent meetings, home visits. parent-teacher conferences, and teacher team meetings, and individual guidance regarding specific children including those children at risk of expulsion
  • Targeted observation and assessment as appropriate
  • Individual mental health intervention services for identified children as indicated and with specific consent of parent
  • Referrals for further evaluation or other treatment resources for child or family member

Trainings and workshops for staff and families

  • Survey staff and parents for most meaningful topics and design training accordingly
  • Provide training opportunities for teachers and parents that include self-reflection as a vehicle for understanding and supporting the work of social and emotional development
    • Trainings include both formal presentations and informal learning opportunities regarding specific topics
      Assist teachers in understanding their impact on the healthy emotional development of young children
  • Facilitate bringing in outside presenters when needed

Health/Mental Health Integration

  • Cross training at centers/homes presented by health and mental health partners to discuss interplay of health and mental health on young children
  • Support coordination of primary health screenings (hearing, vision, dental, and developmental) and follow up services provided to all families in partnership with early care setting
  • Consultants monitor and utilize findings of both health and mental health screenings in partnership with teachers to assess the child’s behaviors and plan classrooms that provide optimal opportunities for growth and development

Tier 2

Professional Development Trainings

On-site trainings available to early care and education settings. Topics designed to meet needs of early care setting

Examples of previous trainings:

  • Engaging Parents/Working with Fathers
  • Incorporating Reflective Practice in Care
  • Responding to Challenging Behaviors
  • Infusing Social/Emotional Development in Programs
  • Improving Staff Communication to benefit Children
  • Responding to Children with Complex Needs
  • Building Resiliency in Teachers
  • Positive Solutions for Parents/Teachers (5 week training series)
  • How to talk about Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Tier 3

The “WARM LINE” – 303-245-4418

Resource for early care and education providers, as well as teachers and parents.

Referral can be made by parents, providers or community partners for a brief phone or on-site consultation regarding concerning or challenging behavior of children birth through seven years of age. Phone calls will generally be returned within 48 business hours. Contact will be made with the caller and a phone screening will be complete. Calls are reviewed daily for assignment to a consultant for follow up. Providers and community partners calling the WARM LINE will be asked to obtain verbal consent from custodial parent to discuss child or family.

Brief early childhood mental health consultation is available and may consist of:

  • Phone screening
  • Consultation with the parent(s)
  • Observation of child in care setting
  • Consultation with teacher/director
  • In home consultation and parent and child interaction
  • Action plan and referrals/resources

Please note: This is not a hotline for crisis situations. In those instances, please call 1-844-493-TALK (8255)

Contact

To Learn more about the Kid Connects Program you can reach Beverly LaRoe by phone at (720) 562-0560 or email blaroe@mhpcolorado.org.

THE GOALS OF KID CONNECTS:

To improve health, developmental and mental health outcomes for young children.

Improve capacity of caregivers to respond to the social and emotional needs of young children.

Create a mentally healthy classroom environment for young children and their caregivers.

Reduce suspension and expulsion rates of young children from early care and education settings.

Reduce the stigma of mental health.

What is Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC)?

IECMHC is a multi-level preventative intervention that teams mental health professionals with people who work with young children and their families to improve their social, emotional, and behavioral health and development. IECMHC builds the capacity of providers and families to understand the powerful influence of their relationships and interactions on young children’s development.

Children’s well-being is improved and mental health problems are prevented and/or reduced as a result of the mental health consultants partnership with adults in children’s lives. IECMHC includes skilled observations, individual strategies, and early identification of children with and at risk for mental health challenges.