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Early Years Mental Health Tools and Resources

These resources can enhance and complement the practice, policies, knowledge, and strategies used by service providers working with infants, young children, and their families.

Cross-disciplinary resource and practice tools aimed at developing professional competency in the field of early years mental health.

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Discover the competencies required to support the mental wellbeing of infants and young children and their families.

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Learning modules focused on best practices related to interventions and organizational policies and processes to support the mental wellbeing of infants and young children and their families.

Resources providing an overview of social-emotional development in the early years.

A series of online learning modules and resources discussing early brain development and factors influencing healthy development.

Training materials covering typical social emotional development in the early years (0-3), signs that additional support may be needed, and ways to promote healthy social emotional development.

Find multi-media resources in multiple languages; topics include preconception health, prenatal health, and early child development; free downloads.

Find tools to promote social-emotional development and reduce challenging behaviour; includes ways to manage stress and an interactive temperament tool; tutorials available.

CSEFEL's focus is on social-emotional development and school readiness of children birth to age 5; find resources and links for families and training for professionals.

Includes articles written by experts about development from conception to age 5; "Eyes on..." info sheets cover behaviour, education and learning, health and nutrition, pregnancy, family, policy.

Strategies for Promoting the Mental Health of Young Children in Community-Based Child Care: evidence-based resource.

Resources include social and emotional milestones, Hand in Hand developmental support model, tip sheets for parents, videos and handouts on infant development and attachment, and policy guidelines.

Australian mental health and wellbeing initiative for schools and early childhood educators. Tools for parents and professionals to promote social and emotional learning.

The centre seeks to improve outcomes for children facing adversity; find reports, presentations, and multimedia; topics such as brain architecture, stress, self-regulation, resiliency.

Promotes wellbeing; provides resources that cover development of social-emotional strengths, and videos of experts discussing child/youth mental health.

Provides parents with practical resources that help them connect more positively with their children; gives professionals and policy makers knowledge and tools to help them support healthy early development.

Information and resources to promote attachment and positive caring relationships in the early years.

Learning modules and other resources focused on early brain development and the factors influencing healthy brain development.

Features a study of Canadian parents with children 0 to 5-years-old. Helps organizations promote and maintain positive cross-cultural attachment practices in programs; includes practical resources.

Developed by the Canadian Paediatric Society. Provides key messages related to healthy attachment that can be shared with parents and caregivers.

A site developed by the Canadian Paediatric Society; provides key messages related to healthy attachment that can be shared with parents and caregivers.

Summary of evidence and an overview of key concepts related to developing attachment and positive relationships, as well as the impact on healthy development.

Relationship-based early intervention program to enhance attachment between parents and children; find handouts under the Resource tab (read guidelines for proper use).

Interactive site supports teachers and parents of young children in understanding the theory of attachment; find tips, tools, videos.

Created by the Search Institute, DA are skills, experiences, relationships, behaviours that enable youth to develop into successful adults; learn about assets by age category and family strengths.

Parent-friendly website developed by the Search Institute that provides information and activities to understand and strengthen family relationships.

Tips, strategies, and videos to help parents raise socially and emotionally resilient children.

Information and resources focused on the influence of the environment on healthy brain development in the early years.

Series of online learning modules and resources discussing early brain development and factors influencing healthy development; covers the effects of stress.

Explores alcohol, tobacco, and drug use during pregnancy, healthy child development, and ways to reduce environmental risks.

Developed by the Canadian Paediatric Society:  Information for parents to support healthy child development.

Summary of evidence and an overview of key concepts related to the architecture of the developing brain and the impact on healthy development.

Explores the importance of early childhood development and brain maturation.

(Nipissing District Developmental Screen) Screening tool for children 0 to 6-years-old; vision, hearing, speech, language, fine motor, gross motor, cognitive, social, emotional, and self-help.

Activities for parents to support healthy development; includes "Little Kids, Big Questions" podcast series, handouts and booklets covering developmental milestones, and interactive Baby Brain Map.

Information and resources related to the influence of culture on healthy social-emotional development in the early years.

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Features a study of Canadian parents with children aged 0 to 5 years; helps organizations promote and maintain positive cross-cultural attachment practices in programs; includes practical resources.

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Information and resources for parents and professionals such as "Growing up in a new land" and "When children speak more than one language".

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Guide for health professionals working with immigrant and refugee children and youth; support for providing culturally competent care.

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Tutorials discussing the bio-social context of culture's influence on values, beliefs, child rearing practices, child development and social-emotional wellbeing.

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Handbook of cross-cultural approaches for relationship-building when screening young children of immigrant and refugee families.

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Discusses how child development and culture are connectedand the effects of cultural differences on children of immigrant families.

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Discusses factors influencing the acculturation process for families.

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Discusses the impact of bilingualism on children's cognitive development.

Information and resources about the development of executive function and self-regulation in the early years.

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Air Traffic Control (Executive Function): Learning modules and resources discussing early brain development and factors influencing healthy development; covers the development of executive function.

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Using evidence from neuroscience, health, education, and psychology, this site helps educators, professionals, and parents promote higher levels of learning, self-regulation, and development.

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Executive Function and Self-Regulation: Summary of evidence and an overview of key concepts related to the development of executive function and self-regulation and the impact on healthy development.

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Executive Function: Overview of how executive function develops and its impact on a person's social, emotional, and cognitive development, from early childhood to adulthood.

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Activities to support and strengthen various components of executive function and self-regulation in children from infants to teens.

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Learning module developed by Washington State Dept. of Early Learning to support the development of executive function.

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Strategies for promoting essential life skills in children; includes focus and self-control, communicating, critical thinking, taking on challenges, self-directed learning.

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Information about self-regulation; includes online learning modules, information sheets, infographics, blogs, links to parent resources, and links to multi-media resources.

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Strategies to support positive parenting with a focus on mindfulness.

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Research and practice briefs focused on promoting self-regulation in young children and adults.

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Developing Self-Regulation by Developing Intentional Make-Believe Play: presentation from the 2009 School Readiness Conference, highlighting the importance of make-believe play in the development of self-regulation.

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Creative ways to turn everyday activities into brain building moments; includes a free app with access to fun activities.

Information and resources on the importance of play and its role in shaping healthy social-emotional development in the early years.

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Activities that promote physical literacy for young children.

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Learning to Play and Playing to Learn: What Families Can Do: information and resources that support play-based learning in different environments.

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Information and resources to support teachers and parents of children up to age 8; offers tips/strategies to support healthy development.

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Information and resources on the benefits of play.

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Comfort, Play, Teach: resources based on the science of early childhood development; provides practical activities.

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Information and resources supporting professionals on the importance of play in early learning.

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Information and resources about the power of play in early childhood.

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Information and resources for caregivers on healthy child development. Includes activities based on "Comfort, Play & Teach".

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Activities for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners that support healthy development.

Information and resources on promoting resiliency in the early years.

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Workshop for service providers that includes practical tips and simple messaging on promoting resiliency.

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Discusses the factors that impact a child's development in the face of adversity and identifies ways to foster resiliency.

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Evidence-based program for caregivers and professionals that promotes resiliency in young children.

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Information and resources on resiliency including workshops.

Information and resources on the impact of stress on the developing brain in the early years.

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Research on the effects of adverse childhood experiences, including epidemiology, neurobiology, and the biomedical and epigenetic consequences of toxic stress.

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AFWI mobilizes knowledge about early brain development and the impact of stress on lifelong physical and mental health.

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Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE): study provides evidence linking the effects of childhood maltreatment to health and wellbeing later in life.

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Toxic Stress: summary of the evidence and an overview of key concepts related to adversity in early childhood.

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Information and resources on the impact of stress on early child development.

Information and resources on temperament and its relationship to healthy social-emotional development of infants/young children.

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Information describing how temperament shapes outcomes for children and influences the way they interact with their environment.

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Caregivers can access The Interactive Infant Toddler Temperament Tool (IT3) to help them explore their own temperament traits as well as their child's.

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Videos and tools for professionals and parents on understanding children's temperament. Includes a workshop with a facilitator guide and activities.

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Information and resources for caregivers on children's temperament. Includes resources such as The Temperament Wheel and The Temperament Worksheet.

Cross-disciplinary practice documents, policies, and reports aimed at promoting infant/young children's mental health.

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A Call to Action on Behalf of Maltreated Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers in Canada (IMHP): evidence-based information about the vulnerability of maltreated infants which supports recommendations for policy change.

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RSC/CAHS Early Childhood Development: report on early adversity and its impact on development and the mental health of children.

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Social, economic, and scientific rationale for investment in early childhood education; introduces the Early Childhood Education Report to monitor funding, policy, access, and quality.

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Summary of key findings, identifying existing gaps, barriers, opportunities for improved service delivery, and potential solutions for inter-systemic supports to promote the social-emotional development of infants/young children.

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The Science of Early Child Development: research that has shaped policy and intervention efforts in early childhood development.

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Support the Mental Health and Wellness of Young Children, Mothers, and their Families: explores ways to support women and families to build healthy relationships with their babies and toddlers.

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Ontario's Pedagogy for the Early Years: resource for those working in early learning and childcare that builds on foundational knowledge about how children learn.

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A Resource for the Community: promotes mental wellness for vulnerable caregivers.

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Investing in the Mental Health of Children under 6: policy paper on infant and early childhood mental health; provides evidence-informed recommendations to strengthen early childhood mental health services.

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Lessons from Research about Young Children: research in early child development and strategies to embed ideas into practice.

Information and resources on the eight areas of focus to help promote social emotional development in the early years.

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Promoting healthy attachment.

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Creating nurturing environments.

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Promoting executive function and self-regulation skills.

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Connecting through play.

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Promoting positive relationships.

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Fostering resiliency.

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Mitigating the impact of toxic stress on the developing brain.

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Understanding and nurturing temperament.