Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation for Child Care Providers
Smart Support is a unique program that partners early childhood mental health consultants with child care providers to promote the social and emotional development of all children in care, and help providers respond to children with behavioral challenges.
Smart Support can help:
- Ensure the children in your program are engaged and learning
- Manage children’s difficult behaviors effectively
- Enhance staff communication skills
- Guide conversations with parents about children’s needs and behaviors
- Provide referrals to community resources
How does Smart Support work?
Smart Support consultants work with you to design an individualized plan to meet your program’s needs for children ages birth to 5. Services may include early childhood mental health consultation and professional development, implementation of classroom strategies and resources or referrals for specific children or situations. Your plan may be short- or long-term, depending on need.
Download “Arizona’s Smart Support Evaluation Report: The First Four Years”
What is early childhood mental health consultation?
This partnership between child care providers and mental health consultants is:
- A proven approach to supporting the healthy development of children
- Designed to benefit all children, not just those who are exhibiting challenging behaviors
- Essential for child care centers working to maximize the quality of their services
Who provides the service?
Smart Support mental health consultants have a masters-level degree in mental health or an early childhood field. All have specialized training in children’s social-emotional development and early care and education staff development. Services are provided by two different organizations depending on the child care program location:
- Central and Northern Arizona – Southwest Human Development
- Southern Arizona – Easterseals Blake Foundation
What are the eligibility requirements?
Child care centers and preschools must be ADHS licensed, and home-based providers must be DES regulated. Providers must also be located in a First Things First-funded region of Arizona.
Is there a cost?
Smart Support is provided at no cost to eligible child care providers.
How do I get started?
Call Smart Support to begin the application process and determine whether your center is located in an eligible area. Following the preliminary application, a mental health consultant will meet with the program director to begin developing a plan for your program.
Call 1-866-330-5520 for more information or to begin the application process.