As our country responds to and recovers from the pandemic, mental health and wellness have emerged as ongoing concerns. Parents and child care providers alike must be equipped to support their own mental health and wellness needs in addition to those of the children they love and care for. The entire early care and education workforce—regardless of setting and including those who provide out-of-school time and summer enrichment—must also have the resources and supports they need.
A collection of resources to support the mental health and wellness of children, their families, and the workforce are listed below. These resources are organized into two categories: (1) materials designed for families and (2) materials designed for child care providers. Some resources may benefit both audiences.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood" (2021).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). About mental health.Visit disclaimer pageU.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Resources for Child Care Providers- Supporting Children and Families
Supporting Children and Families
A Resource Guide for Developing Integrated Strategies to Support the Social and Emotional Wellness of Children
This Resource Guide highlights promising strategies and provides information about how some Child Care and Development Fund grantees have already leveraged partnerships and funding to support implementation success.
Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Self-Care and HealingVisit disclaimer page
This roundtable focuses on the importance of self-care and family care. The discussion asks three questions: 1) Why are self-care and healing so important yet so difficult? 2) What are culturally responsive strategies to support well-being? 3) What are key approaches for self-care during thisperiod of the COVID pandemic and increasing anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents?
Being Brave: Grounding Ourselves in Our Ancestors' ResilienceVisit disclaimer page
The recording ofBeing Brave: Grounding Ourselves in Our Ancestors' Resilience is a workshop that will guide you through some grounding techniques that tap into the strength and resilience of American Indian / Alaska Native communities. You'll work through exercises that you can adapt for any age to activate mindfulness into your programming. Be prepared to write and reflect, so bring a pen/pencil and something to write on.
CDC: Helping Children Cope with EmergenciesVisit disclaimer page
A web page addressingthe signs of distress in children of different ages, and strategies to support these children.
Available in Spanish
Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center: Children’s Response to Crises and Tragic Events
This tip sheet canenhanceadults' understanding ofchildren’s responses to a crisis.
Early Head Start National Resource Center@ Zero To Three: Pathways to Prevention(PDF)
Acomprehensive guide for supporting infant and toddler mental health, that includesdefinitions, strategies, and challenges.
Healthy Ways to Handle Life’s StressorsVisit disclaimer page
This short article by the American Psychological Association has 12 evidence-based tools proven to tackle stress.
Native Spirituality: Creating Time and Space for Trauma Recovery and WellnessVisit disclaimer page
Native people define spirituality as central to their culture and traditions. Spirituality, culture, and healing ceremonies not only reinforce the core beliefs of tribal life but also restore personal balance when life stressors threaten to overwhelm. The COVID-19 pandemic added enormous anxiety and fear into many tribal communities. This discussion with Native spiritual and cultural leaders provides an opportunity to applaud the bravery of our health care providers and community members, and to discuss how Native spirituality can support our ability to regain our health and balance. For many, Native spirituality can be a potential antidote that minimizes the consequences of anxiety, fear, depression, and other stresses caused during the coronavirus crisis.
OPRE Brief: Services for Families of Infants and Toddlers Experiencing Trauma(PDF)
A research-to-practice brief that focuses on the impacts of trauma on infants and toddlers and how child care providers can support their families.
SCBC: Supporting the Social-Emotional Health of Infants, Toddlers and Adults During Natural Disasters and Emergencies
This webinar features resources and practices to support infant/toddlers, families, and teachers during times of national disasters. This can be found under the hot topic tab on this page.
Early Childhood Workforce Wellness Strategies
Child Care State Capacity Building Center: The Health and Well-Being of Infant/Toddler ProfessionalsVisit disclaimer page(PDF)
ThisPower Point presentation highlights the need for workforce well-being and includes strategies to achieve this goal.
Compassion Fatigue: Can We Care Too Much?
This webinar explores the meaning of compassion fatigue, its causes and symptoms, and strategies for personal self-care as it relates to working in the child care field. Strategies are included for state policy professionals, professional development or technical assistance providers, or child care professionals.
NCASE: Supporting and Promoting Mental Health in Out-of-School Time Practice Brief (Spanish)
This practice brief explores some of the current mental health needs of school-age children, their families, and the OST workforce. It also discusses the social and emotional constructs that promote resilience, as well as examples of mental health supports that states and local jurisdictions can consider for collaborative implementation. Children are not the only recipients; parents and the OST workforce can benefit from mental health supports provided directly or indirectly in these environments.
Prioritizing Wellness for Infant and Toddler Caregivers: Infographic
This infographic depicts elements of wellness that program leaders may examine in order to support child care staff.
SCBC: Caring for Yourself: Foundational to Caring for Others
This webinar focused on policies and strategies for use by technical assistance providers and child care professionals to increase mindfulness and self-care. This can be found under the hot topic tab on this page.
Self-Care and Professionalism
This webpage offers resources to promote self care for child care providers.Crecimiento professional Resource page available in Spanish
ACF: Resources Specific to Early Childhood Programs Regarding Trauma-Informed Human Services
A compilation of issue briefs, information memoranda, webinars, and websites regarding trauma-informed care in early childhood programs.
CDC: Infographic: 6 Guiding Principles to a Trauma-Informed ApproachVisit disclaimer page
This infographicprovides an overview of a trauma-informed approach to care.
NCASE: Adverse Childhood Experiences and the School-Age Population Research Brief (Spanish)
Out-of-School Time (OST) programs can play a role in mitigating and preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which are disruptive to a school-age child’s academic and social development. State policies and initiatives are often the catalysts that support OST programs in this critical work. This Research Brief builds awareness of research and promising practices in the field of school-age child care.
NCASE: Responding to Adverse Childhood Experiences: Strategies for the Out-of-School Time Field Practice Brief
This practice brief includes an overview of ACES mitigation and prevention strategies from a national perspective using CDC and ACES Connection information, and highlights specific state examples of legislation, policies, and practices
The Importance of Infant Early Childhood Mental Health in State and Territory and Technical Assistance Efforts
This webpage provides resources for state level policy makers regarding I-ECMH Training and Technical assistance.
Trauma-Responsive Care Training for Trainers Opportunity
This series provides rationale and guidance for implementing trauma-responsive care in child care settings that serve infants, toddlers, and their families
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Trauma, PTSD, and Attachment in Infants and Young ChildrenVisit disclaimer page
This web page features resources thatexplains the effects of trauma on infants and young children and treatments to support them, with an emphasis on attachment.
Resources for Children and Families Responding to Infectious Disease Emergencies
CDC: Stress and CopingVisit disclaimer page
A web page featuring strategiesto help adults and children cope with stress duringan infectious disease outbreak.
SAMHSA: Talking with Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease OutbreaksVisit disclaimer page
This tip sheet addresses common reactions to stress and ways to help children understand and manage during stressful times, such as an outbreak of infectious disease.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
- listening to music.
- watching TV.
- playing video games.
- practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or tai-chi.
- mindfulness techniques are helpful to manage anxiety and negative or intrusive thoughts.
- catching up for drinks with a friend.
- play with pets.
- Relax and reduce stress.
- Find ways to learn and be creative.
- Spend time in nature.
- Connect with others.
- Look after your physical health.
- Try to get enough sleep.
Emotional and mental health is important because it's a vital part of your life and impacts your thoughts, behaviors and emotions. Being healthy emotionally can promote productivity and effectiveness in activities like work, school or caregiving.
Mental health is essential for leading a happy life. It affects how we feel, think, and live our lives by encompassing our emotional, psychological, and sociological well-being. Prioritizing mental health is, of course, critical. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.