Early Childhood Well-Being

WE PROVIDE developmentally appropriate behavioral health services for children ages 0-6 and their parents/families. Young children’s behavior, development and well-being are very much affected by what happens around them – at school, at childcare, at home, in their neighborhoods – by the interactions they have with adults and peers every day. The program provides behavioral health training, counseling, consultation, and related support services to parents/guardians, teachers, caregivers - in the child’s home, school, childcare, or other settings. We also consult with other health and behavioral health providers and schools, and work on child advocacy and policy advocacy.

Behaviors and other concerns that the program can address include but are not limited to the following:


  • Aggression (hitting, biting, pushing, fighting, cursing)
  • Withdrawn behavior (refuses to interact or talk, participate with other children or family members, stays to him/herself most of the time)
  • Anxiety (difficulty separating from adults, constantly worried or fearful)
  • Extreme sadness (rarely or never smiles or laughs or rarely interacts with other children, stays to him/herself)
  • Developmental concerns (seems to be learning less or slower than other children his/her age)
  • Attention span or over activity (more than just typical of other children his/her age - difficulty focusing, constantly moving)
  • Trauma or family crisis – recent major changes that are affecting the child such as divorce/separation, death of family member, homelessness; OR child has experienced or witnessed violence, abuse, accidents, chronic illness, domestic violence, etc.
  • Developmental or behavioral disorders (diagnosed or undiagnosed).

OUR GOAL is for young children to grow up healthy and become successful in school and life, with the support of their parents, families, caregivers and teachers,

to learn,

to explore,

to learn to make friends,

to to do things for themselves, and

to go to school.

Services are provided in collaboration with many community partners and usually at no cost to families. Bilingual staff are available.

It is important to understand that early signs of behavioral/mental health disorders may appear at a very young age, but “… there is a broad range of individual differences among young children that can make it difficult to distinguish typical variations in behavior from persistent problems, or normal differences in maturation from significant developmental delays” (2008, Center for the Developing Child, Harvard University).

Most young children are learning to do things that may seem very basic for adults and we may forget that at some point, none of us could tie our shoes, feed ourselves, walk or talk and communicate, socialize with friends, focus and pay attention, or just read a children’s book. Some children may not have as many opportunities to develop these skills, they may be affected by physical or developmental problems that slow down their learning, or they may experience trauma or extreme changes in their lives that get in the way of their development and progress.

Most young children may exhibit some anxiety, sadness, fear, worry, anger, learning difficulties, tantrums and it is important to not jump to conclusions that the child had a behavioral disorder. It is also important for parents and others to consult with professionals who have experience and training in working with very young children. A few children may be born with the possibility of developmental or learning difficulties or disabilities but most often go through the daily challenges of learning and developing basic skills.

Young children do not necessarily have the skills or ability to clearly communicate their stress, their problems, their challenges, their feelings or emotions, so

THEY

MAY

ACT

OUT!

Young children may communicate those difficulties to adults by showing challenging, delayed or difficult behavior that may be concerning to parents, teachers, caregivers, doctors or others who work with young children. If these early problems are not addressed early, they can turn into more serious issues.

The Early Childhood Well Being (ECWB) Program specializes in working with young children, their families, their caregivers, their teachers and their other service providers. Staff work especially with those children who are showing difficult and challenging behaviors that without help, can turn into more serious developmental, learning, or mental health problems. ECWB services are provided to young children, their families and others who work with them.

Sometimes seems easier to just quickly diagnose a child to get him/her services as soon as possible. The Early Childhood Well Being program works to help children access services as soon as possible and often does so while avoiding premature or inappropriate diagnosis. The program also provides advocacy both for children and their families, but also in partnership with policymakers so that we can work to remove barriers to services and increase the availability of developmentally appropriate behavioral health services.

Program Goal

To promote the early well being of young children and their families so that they may experience early positive early experiences and build strengths and resilience that can lead to school and life success. Services are provided in collaboration with parents and other service/educational providers. Most services are at no cost to families. For more information, call (210) 299-2400

Most services are at no cost to families. For more information, call Early Childhood Well-Being Program at (210) 299-2400

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~ Stacia Staucher