Early Childhood Mental Health
Getting Ready for School
The first eight years of life are crucial to academic success. During those eight years, how a child learns and develops mentally, emotionally, and socially is critical. Lincoln's Early Childhood Mental Health Programs provides supports for children, families, and early childhood educators to build school readiness and social emotional skills through a variety of services and settings:
- Consultation: Providing parent and teacher consultation within the classroom setting to strengthen skills in preparing young children for school.
- Early Intervention: Providing individualized therapeutic services to young children and families for strengthening healthy social and emotional development.
Disparities in School Discipline
Suspensions start early. Disparities in discipline and school treatment begin from the first day of class, even in kindergarten and pre-kindergarten settings. African American children represent only 18% of preschool enrollment, yet they account for over 40% of all preschool students suspended at least once.
Recent research demonstrates that early identification of mental health and behavior issues and intervention can have a significant impact on the outcomes for young children, decreasing behavior problems in later childhood and adolescence.
The Lincoln Solution: Early Childhood Mental Health
By working with preschool-age children, their families, and childhood education staff, we engage in early intervention and prevention while providing a continuity of care and services for children throughout their educational years.
Our Unique Consultation Model
Through intentionally delivering early childhood mental health consultation in Childhood Development Centers (CDCs) that are linked to elementary schools where we also provide services, Lincoln creates critical hubs of support. Lincoln partners our mental health consultants with Early Care Education (ECE) professionals to strengthen their skills to prepare children for school through a variety of services:
- Classroom: General support, classroom observation, and consultation with early childhood educators on topics such as typical and atypical child development, social-emotional development, curriculum, environment setup, and inclusion of children with special needs.
- Child Specific: Consultation with teachers, directors, and families, including individual child assessment and intervention plan development to address social, emotional, and/or developmental needs.
- Program: Working with all levels of program staff in the early care and education settings to address systemic issues that may impact a child’s success.
- Referral: Family assistance in accessing community supports and referrals for other support services.
Early Intervention Services
Lincoln's Early Intervention services provide supports for young children up to age six and their families in Alameda County. Therapeutic services are family-centered, relationship-based, and predominantly delivered in the communities where a child lives. Our team works with families to deliver services tailored to their unique needs and designed to encourage healthy social and emotional development of their children.