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!
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.
The Kid Connects Theory 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
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.