Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
“Infant mental health” refers to how well a child develops socially and emotionally from birth to age three.
Understanding infant mental health is the key to preventing and treating the mental health problems of very young children and their families. It also helps guide the development of healthy social and emotional behaviors.
KINDERGARTEN PROJECT: Full day Kindergarten has been in place for several years, and there has been a number of behavioral challenges. This phenomenon has been reported in school boards across the province. Challenges include: managing transitions, self regulation skills and resiliency. These challenges can affect the child’s well-being and and could have an impact on their mental health longer term. So together with some of our community partners we developed a Kindergarten Project.
SPECIFIC GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
- Increased pro-social interactions amongst the kindergarten children
- Successful integration into the full-time kindergarten program
These goals were met: Students experienced more pro-social interactions with other children and with their educators. There were no classroom evacuations due to student behaviour during the pilot project. There were no instances where a child was sent home due to behaviour. Nor were any students asked to do partial days. Students were no longer sent to the principal’s office for misbehaving.
Educators experienced a reduction in work-related stress. They felt supported by the other kindergarten educators on their team and enjoyed being a part of a collaborative, cohesive team that shared similar philosophy and practices when working with kindergarten students.
Our community partners include the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, the Centre of Excellence, and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
For more information on the Kindergarten Project please contact Jessica House at 613-723-1623, extension 242.