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23 Empire Dr., Suite 1000
St. Paul, MN 55103
In 2014, the Minnesota Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (MAIECMH) conducted a survey of the professional development needs of multidisciplinary early childhood practitioners in Minnesota. The 575 respondents from around the state represented early intervention, early childhood special education and family education, public health, nursing, mental health, child welfare, early care and education, Head Start, Early Head Start, rehabilitation and home visiting. The training needs identified by the majority of respondents included engaging and working with parents, especially families experiencing challenges such as parental mental illness; working with children and families in the context of trauma; the need for a developmental lens; promoting healthy parent-child relationships/infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH); and working collaboratively across systems.
A focus group of faculty members from the Early Childhood Special Education Higher Education Consortium was conducted in June of 2014. The responses from the attendees supported the need for additional resources to integrate early brain development and IECMH content into their current curricula. This project also builds on previously funded initiatives, such as the Thrive Early Childhood Initiatives and Parent Aware, which informed the planning group of the need for increased training in the social-emotional development of children in the context of their families and caregivers.
The resulting Faculty Symposia on Embedding Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Principles into Curricula brought together faculty, practitioner, and community-based programs, and staff from multiple research and governmental agencies.
“...it’s been amazing to look at the interdisciplinary working across departments. So we’re not looking only at two-years and four-years but also partnering within our own institutions as well as across the college system in the state and even getting ideas from other states.” - Symposia Planner
IECMH Symposia are the result of a unique partnership and made possible through cross-disciplinary collaboration by staff and faculty, and with support from a variety of entities. The following are or have provided time and/or funding for the Symposia:
The Symposia Planning Group: