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Neon Spheres

About DC: 0-5

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.

What is
DC: 0-5

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.

What is DC: 0-5 Training

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.

Toddler Playing
Taking into consideration the family’s cultural background, community context, and other sources of diversity
Why Pursue DC Training

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

How Can This Benefit Your Career
What Are the Goals of DC: 0-5

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

Benefits include:

  • 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

Additional Information

Additional Informaton

Make your case for this training with your employer with this letter

Get Your Employer On Board

Explore a range of tools and resources to support your work with children prenatal to five and their families.

IECMH Resources

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.


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DC: 0-5 trainings provided free to

Apple Health Providers through

IECMH Workforce Collaborative 

Who is Organizing DC: 0-5

For questions about how your program or organization
can grow capacity in providing IECMH services,
please contact us at

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