Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families Early Experiences Matter
Get Connected
Please leave this field empty
why should I register?


Donate Now

From Baby to Big Kid

An e-newsletter that showcases how children learn and grow each month from birth to 3 years. From Baby to Big Kid translates the science of early childhood and offers strategies parents can tailor to their unique family situation and to the needs of their child.
Sign Up!


Resource Details

Initiative Name: 

Arkansas ECMH consultation project




Professional Development, Social and Emotional Health, Developmental Screening, Professional Development

Source Of Information: 

ZERO TO THREE Policy Center state updates



Year Started: 



Arkansas is strengthening early childhood mental health (ECMH) supports in early care and education programs through its ECMH consultation project, called Project PLAY (Positive Learning for Arkansas’ Youngest). Consultants work out of community health centers in five regions of the state, partnering with licensed child care programs. The goals of Project PLAY are two-fold: 1) Promote positive social and emotional development of children through changes in the early learning environment; and 2) Decrease problematic social and emotional behaviors of young children in early child care settings by building the skills of child care providers and family members. Project PLAY serves child care centers at all levels of quality and prioritizes and conducts outreach to centers that serve foster children.

Child care programs partnering with Project Play work with consultants during weekly visits over a 5-7 month period. Services included: classroom observation; coaching on strategies to promote pro-social behavior; training on behavior management, child development and mental health; promoting team building and communication between staff; and supporting individual children and families with screening, behavior management plans and referrals.

ECMH consultants are required to be licensed mental health professionals. New consultants participate in an intensive 40 hour training and receive ongoing support once they are in the field through reflective supervision and regular team meetings. An evaluation of the ECMH consultation project published in the Infant Mental Health Journal found positive impacts on teacher sensitivity and child behavior.

Funds from the Child Care and Development Block Grant quality improvement dollars have supported the ECMH consultation project. For more information about the Arkansas ECMH consultation project, visit the University of Arkansas website at

Updated December 2013


National Infant and Toddler Child Care InitiativeComing Together Around Military FamiliesNational Training InstituteEarly Head Start

Home   |   Careers   |   Permissions   |   Contact Us   |   Tell a Friend   |     |   Privacy Policy

Copyright 2010 ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families
2000 M St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: (202) 638-1144 | Fax: (202) 638-0851

All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, go to