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Neon Spheres


Infant and Early Childhood Mental
Health Foundational Training


Infant and early childhood mental health includes the capacities for developing enjoyable, trusting relationships with others; experiencing, communicating, and managing a range of emotions; and playing and learning. Nurturing relationships with loving, capable, consistent caregivers provide the context for developing these abilities, which create the foundation for continued growth and success across childhood and beyond.

This 5-module, 15 hour training provides an introduction to foundational themes in the field and practice of infant and early childhood mental health. Participants will learn trends in current research and theory related to early development, relationships, and professional practice, and will engage in collaborative discussions and learning activities designed to illustrate principles of infant and early childhood mental health and the use of reflective, relationship-based approaches in understanding and supporting infants, young children, and their families.


Introduction to Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health: An introduction to foundational themes in the field and practice of IECMH, including the critical influence of early experiences and relationships on the developing brain; on children’s understanding of themselves, others and the world; and on their ability to self-regulate and to cope with stress.

Attachment Relationships: An overview of early attachment relationships, and the role of attuned, responsive caregiving in buffering the effects of stress and adversity and promoting the development of self-regulation and learning.

Pregnancy and Early Parenting: An overview of stressors, supports, and relationship-based themes experienced during pregnancy and the transition to parenthood.

Developmental Concerns and Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood: An introduction to the most common developmental and mental health of infancy and early childhood, designed for non-clinical practitioners.

Reflective Practice: A framework for building capacity for personal and professional reflection, including consideration of how one’s emotional responses and personal story impact the work, in order to promote professional growth and enhance interactions and practice with young children and families.


This training is recommended for individuals seeking an introduction to foundational concepts of infant and early childhood mental health and relationship-based practice. Participants may include professionals serving expectant parents, infants, young children, and families in a variety of fields, including early learning, home visiting, doula care, early intervention, mental health, healthcare, and others, as well as supervisors and administrators in child/family-focused programs and related fields.

Endorsement Competencies and CEUs

These competencies are addressed in the content of the training:

  • Infant/young child development and behavior

  • Relationship-focused practice

  • Attachment, separation, grief, and loss

  • Pregnancy and early parenthood

  • Family relationships and dynamics

  • Disorders of infancy/early childhood

  • Self-awareness

  • Curiosity

  • Emotional response

Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) for mental health professionals and STARS/clock hours are available.

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