Hot Topic: Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation


Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) connects social-emotional development experts with early educators, health care providers, and others who work with young children. Positive mental health provides a foundation of stability that supports all other aspects of healthy development.

Why ECMHC matters

Children’s ability to thrive is impacted just as much by their social-emotional development as it is by their physical development. Positive experiences and loving relationships create the foundation for a lifetime of strong mental health, and families know this. In a 2019 survey, 52% of Colorado parents rated early childhood mental health as “very important” or “extremely important.” ECMHC is a service provided to adults to build their knowledge to support children’s healthy social-emotional development.

A major stressor to the early childhood workforce is challenging behavior. Turnover rates for early educators can be as high as 40% with nearly 30% of early educators saying children’s challenging behaviors are a major concern. ECMHC is a proven resource for retaining the early childhood workforce by providing guidance on challenging behaviors.

Demand is growing. Recent data indicates 25% of all mental health emergency room visits in Colorado are by children. Prevention is less expensive, yet it is estimated that Colorado has less than 15% of the early childhood mental health consultants needed to support early educators alone.

Learn what next steps must be taken for early childhood mental health consultation in the complete Milestones brief.

About Early Milestones Colorado

We are an independent organization helping to advance innovative solutions that improve policies and practices in early childhood development. We work with state and local partners to exchange ideas, share resources, and create lasting, positive change for children.