Building Services and Systems to Support the Healthy Emotional Development of Young Children—An Action Guide for Policymakers

Knitzer, Jane

For most young children, early experiences—sensitive, responsive parents, stable child care situations, and generally supportive emotional experiences—provide the kind of nurturing and stimulation that enables them to develop age-appropriate emotional and cognitive competencies. But there is also a group of young children for whom emotional development does not proceed smoothly, placing the children at risk for poor cognitive, social, and behavioral outcomes. To date, there has been very little systematic attention paid to how to develop policies and practices to promote healthy emotional development in these children. This guide is for policymakers and community leaders who want to craft such policies and improve practices. It paints a portrait of the kinds of young children and families who are in need of preventive, early intervention, or treatment services; highlights why policymakers should invest in such services; describes emerging principles and strategies for what are often called early childhood mental health services; and offers concrete tips from early leaders in these efforts, as well as more general recommendations.


More About This Work

Academic Units
National Center for Children in Poverty
National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University
Published Here
July 8, 2010