Idaho Uses Economic Stimulus Funds to Promote Infant Mental Health

From ZERO TO THREE’S Policy and Advocacy Newsletter:  The Baby Monitor

The Idaho Secure Beginnings workgroup recently took an important step in helping the state’s early childhood workforce build core knowledge and skills about the social-emotional health of very young children. In fall 2009, using IDEA Part C funds allocated as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), they purchased a license to use the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health’s competencies and endorsement process. Adopting the Michigan endorsement process will allow Idaho to use this system to support professionals in promoting infant and early childhood mental health principles and practices and verify that they have the core knowledge needed to work with very young children and their families. [emphasis added]

Idaho Secure Beginnings has leveraged a contract with the Idaho Child Welfare Training Center at Eastern Washington University to initially staff and develop the endorsement system. Over the next twenty months, they will develop coursework content and promote the process within the higher education system. Staff at the Idaho Child Welfare Training Center is currently recruiting for the first cohort to enter the endorsement process and expect training to start by the summer. Once the endorsement system is fully developed, the Idaho Association for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health will take over the management of the process.