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Implementation of an early childhood mental health consultation pilot in Virginia: Critical tensions and implications for scale-up


Early childhood mental health consultation (ECMHC) is a targeted prevention service that aims to build the capacity of early care and education (ECE) professionals and foster supportive environments that promote children’s social–emotional competence and improve mental health and well-being. A key challenge to delivering ECMHC at scale is navigating complex multi-level factors to maximize successful implementation and program benefits at scale. The current study describes the implementation tensions arising during the first year of a pilot ECMHC program conducted in partnership across multiple agencies and a state’s department of education. In the 2021–2022 pilot year, ECMHC was offered as a free service to ECE programs in one large region of Virginia, with the goal of examining feasibility to scale statewide in future years. Consultation was implemented in 45 preschool classrooms across 30 programs. Implementation data were collected using consultation logs and participant surveys, and 20 participants (educators, families, program directors) participated in focus groups. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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