Jul 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ECD 209 - Introduction to Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health

Credits: 3
3 Lecture Hours

Co-requisites: ECD 103  or permission of instructor

This course introduces the growing field of infant and early childhood mental health (I/ECMH). It provides an in-depth examination of the theories, practices and structures which specifically support the positive social and emotional development of young children, from birth to age eight. Integrating theory into interactions with young children and their families to promote healthy relationships is a focus of the course. Ethical considerations and career opportunities are also discussed.

Students must have three current clearances: FBI Fingerprint Clearance, a Pennsylvania State Police Criminal History Clearance, and a Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance and meet the local requirements of the field placement site, including the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) Verification Clearance.

A weekly field observation in infant/toddler and/or early childhood programs is required, based on the student’s course of study.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, the student will:

  1. Identify the role of relationships in promoting brain development.
  2. Describe how attachment, separation, trauma, grief and loss impact the social and emotional development of young children.
  3. Compare the characteristics of trauma-sensitive schools with the characteristics of developmentally appropriate practice as described in National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) position statements and I/ECMH best practice literature.
  4. Develop resources that support families in their efforts to provide safe, healthy and stable environments for their children.
  5. Identify ways that best practices for early childhood mental health can be integrated into home, classroom, agency and community settings.
  6. Analyze case studies involving a wide variety of child and family challenges impacting social and emotional development by using the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct.
  7. Relate NAEYC’s position statement on equity to the social and emotional development of economically, culturally and linguistically diverse children and families.
  8. Research the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement process in Pennsylvania.
  9. Compile a portfolio that aligns with the NAEYC Standards and the I/ECMH Competencies.
Listed Topics
  1. Attachment theory
  2. Brain development and stress
  3. ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences)
  4. Resilience theory
  5. Trauma-sensitive schools
  6. Family substance use disorder’s impact on young children
  7. Early childhood mental health consultation
  8. Home visitation programs
  9. The role of federal, state and local laws and regulations in promoting mental health
  10. Infant/young child centered practices
  11. Relationship-based pedagogy
  12. Early childhood professional organizations, e.g., Zero To Three, Pennsylvania Association for Infant Mental Health (PA-AIMH), NAEYC, etc.
  13. Professionalism, including confidentiality
  14. Advocacy
Reference Materials
Trade texts, OER and multimedia materials
Students who successfully complete this course acquire general knowledge, skills and abilities that align with CCAC’s definition of an educated person. Specifically, this course fulfills these General Education Goals:
  • Communication
  • Information Literacy
Approved By: Dr. Quintin B. Bullock Date Approved: 03/20/2020
Last Reviewed: 9/23/2022

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