A focus on infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) has been shown to improve children’s social skills and emotional functioning, promote healthy relationships, reduce challenging behaviors, reduce the number of suspensions and expulsions, improve classroom quality, and reduce provider stress, burnout, and turnover.
DC: 0-5™ Training?
Age-appropriate assessment and diagnosis are key to providing effective mental health supports for children from birth through age five. In 2021, the Washington State Legislature created policy to support Apple Health providers in offering best clinical practices for very young children, including free training in the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC: 0-5).
Early relationships and experiences impact a child's future growth and potential – and this begins at birth. Supporting mental health – or social-emotional well-being – in babies, toddlers, and preschoolers is critical in preventing problems and ensuring that they can thrive.
Why pursue DC: 0-5 training?
The training helps professionals recognize, understand, assess, and diagnose mental health and developmental disorders in children birth to five. The DC: 0-5 is a diagnostic system that identifies these challenges while considering how relationships and environmental factors contribute to the child’s social and emotional well-being and developmental progress.
The DC: 0-5 uses developmentally specific diagnostic criteria that reflect mental health disorders that are typically diagnosed in infancy and early childhood, and is an internationally-accepted system for developmentally appropriate assessment and diagnosis of young children’s mental health.
Taking into consideration the family’s cultural background, community context, and other sources of diversity
How this benefits your practice
Very young children and their families interact with many different professionals in early learning, healthcare, mental health, and other systems of care. It is important for all infant and early childhood professionals to understand the unique needs of this age group and how to recognize emerging problems and provide appropriate supports.
The IECMH Workforce Collaborative (IECMH-WC) Resource Hub offers a variety of professional development resources to help build workforce knowledge and capacity around IECMH and the adoption of DC: 0-5, including:
IECMH foundational principles
Tools and resources for clinicians and allied professionals
DC: 0-5 billing guidance
Policy and advocacy opportunities
Regional and discipline-specific resources
What are the outcomes of
DC: 0-5 Training?
Washington State is home to nearly a half million children ages 0 – 5. With providers who offer services that are relevant for infant and early childhood development, we can support the social-emotional health of very young children in our state and address their challenges. If babies, toddlers, or preschoolers are experiencing emotional, relational, or behavioral issues, they can be connected with services if properly identified using criteria relevant to infant and early childhood development
The promotion of healthy social-emotional development
The prevention of developmental, behavioral, and mental health problems
Timely treatment of these problems in very young children – all in the context of their families and communities
Who is Organizing DC: 0-5 Training?
IECMH Workforce Collaborative
In Washington state, DC: 0-5 training is being implemented through the Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health Workforce Collaborative (IECMH-WC). WA-AIMH is leading the coordination of statewide training and additional workforce supports, along with the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) and our Regional Advisors Steering Committee.
IECMH -WC Goals
DC: 0-5 trainings provided free to
Apple Health Providers through
IECMH Workforce Collaborative