For early childhood mental health advocates
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KAIMH Connections

Resources for Early Childhood Mental Health Advocates

Updates |  January 2024

Highlights in this newsletter include a letter from the President of KAIMH, KAIMH annual conference registration, Alice Eberhart-Wright Nominations, information on Conceptual PlayWorld, professional development opportunities and more!

2024 Board President Letter


Tammy Wallin, IMH-E®

Kansas Association for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (KAIMH) is an organization that aligns deeply with my values and my passion for working towards ensuring all infants, toddlers, and young children as well as their families are well supported so they feel they are not just surviving but thriving.  During this first year of my presidential rotation, it has been an honor and privilege to serve such a strong, experienced, and passionate group of professionals. 2023 for KAIMH, like most, has had its ups and downs. KAIMH is a small organization made up of a volunteer board and yet that does not deter this group and its members from moving mountains one step at a time.

What has 2023 looked like for KAIMH? The KAIMH Board of Directors members has developed a new equity focused strategic plan which will guide some exciting steps for 2024 and beyond. KAIMH was accepted and members have participated in the Indigo Cultural Center Learning Cohort in 2023. We have also been working on securing a structure for supporting more Early Care & Education (ECE) providers to access both Reflective Supervision Consultation (RSC) and KAIMH Endorsement®. This past year through our partnership with KCCTO-DCF we have been able to support 22 ECE professionals in starting their endorsement application. 56 new professionals total have started the endorsement process this past year. Another major goal KAIMH had was to increase access to RSC and in 2023 we did that by supporting 8 new RSC groups.  The 2023 conference was a huge success and now we are looking forward to and working diligently on our 2024 conference. Come join us! 

KAIMH has participated in critical state level strategic planning and cohorts as well. KAIMH participates in the Zero to Three Infant Mental Health Financial Cohort which brings many state leaders together to focus on funding infant mental health. KAIMH is now represented and participating in The Early Childhood Recommendations Panel. KAIMH has also been working with the Career Pathways leadership to brainstorm what endorsement could look like for professionals.

Overall, it has been an exciting year for KAIMH. I have found KAIMH to be a place where professionals really care about children and families. If you are someone who truly cares about infants, toddlers and young children, I encourage you to join us as well! We are always looking for caring and determined professionals to join us in moving mountains!





Did You Know?

One benefit of a KAIMH membership is access to professional development scholarships for Brookes Publishing Pyramid Model e-learning courses,  Promoting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children. Courses covered by the scholarship include:

Infant Toddler Package ($49 for 18 hours)            

Birth to Five Package ($49 for 18 hours)

Culturally Responsive Practices to Reduce Bias, Disproportionality, Suspension & Expulsion ($29 for 2 hours)

Trauma Informed Care and the Pyramid Model ($39 for 5 hours)

Wellness: Taking Care of Yourself ($29 for 2 hours)


Alice Eberhart-Wright Nominations

The Alice Eberhart-Wright Award recognizes outstanding achievements and significant contributions in the field of infant and early childhood mental health. This award has been established in honor of Alice Eberhart-Wright, a pioneer in infant and early childhood mental health, who has been dedicated to supporting the social, emotional, and mental health of infants, young children and their families throughout her lifetime.

The Alice Eberhart-Wright Award will be presented each year at the KAIMH Annual Conference. The award recipient will be honored during the conference and their conference registration is covered.

The award is given to those who represent the mission of KAIMH and illustrate passion, creativity and best practices in their work supporting infant and early childhood mental health in Kansas. If you know someone you would like to nominate for this award, please submit the information via this form:   


Congratulations to our newest Endorsees!

Caroline Teter, IMH-E® Infant Family Associate, is an Infant-Toddler Training and Curriculum Specialist at Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Inc. she says, "I am proud to obtain my Infant Mental Health endorsement. It signifies another level in my early childhood professional journey! I wanted to pursue this recognition to continue bringing awareness and understanding of the impact of mental health and well-being on young children and those who help to take care of them. This endorsement reflects my beliefs and commitment to creating a world where young children are seen, heard, and valued."

April Shuman, IMH-E® Infant Family Associate, is a family child care provider. She says, "The KAMH endorsement means that not only do I care for infant and toddlers physical needs but I try to ensure I meet their mental health needs to the best of my ability. The Endorsement helps me keep in check what Core Competencies I have explored and learned about so I make sure I am covering all areas. The KAIMH Endorsement shows parents that I am a Child Care Educator who prides myself in showing professionalism and understanding for all aspects of children."


Object play isn't the only play stage for infants and toddlers, as often thought. A study from Monash University has found that infants and toddlers are capable of engaging in imaginary play and confirming the profound significance of imaginative play in early childhood education. Monash has developed a Conceptual PlayWorld model that combines STEM concepts with storytelling to create an imaginative world. Click here to learn about creating your own PlayWorld through free training and resources!



KAIMH has a new resource section on our website connecting you to social emotional supports for infants and toddlers. Check it out at 





Early intervention services provided by states have wide gaps in access and quality. Black children with developmental delays are five times less likely to receive services that their white peers. To read more about this issue, check out The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.

Registration is open for the KAIMH Conference 2024 April 18-19th, Overland Park, KS



KAIMH is seeking board members to lead our organization into the future! Your time and talent are the key to moving forward our mission to helping us:

  • Share racial equity resources with KAIMH’s membership
  • Provide racial equity professional development opportunities
  • Increase knowledge and skills of mental health service providers
  • Engage community partners in anti-racist growth
  • Create opportunities for reflection and discussion

Click the image below to complete the interest form! 


For more information about our mission and volunteer board and committee opportunities, visit us at:


Below are upcoming professional development opportunities that support your Infant Mental Health Endorsement®  from KS LEND, the Early Childhood Investigations Webinars, Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Kansas Children's Service League, and Child Care Aware.

Theoretical Foundations
Understanding Risk and Promoting Resilience in the First Five Years, Jan. 18-25, 2024
Becoming Trauma Aware, Jan. 24 or Feb. 15, 2024
Preventing Infant Abuse with the Period of PURPLE Crying®, Jan. 24 or Feb. 7, 2024
Live Virtual: Understanding Infant Toddler Mental Health, Jan. 16, 2024
Connections Matter in Early Childhood, Feb. 1, 2024
Better Brains 1: Foundations in Brain Development and Learning, Feb. 1-8, 2024

Law, Regulation and Agency Policy
Darkness to Light Stewards of Children® Sexual Abuse Prevention Training, Jan. 17 or Feb. 13, 2024
Child Abuse and Neglect: Recognition, Reporting & Supporting, Jan. 25, 2024

Systems Expertise
Links for Learning: Understanding Special Education Supports, Jan. 23, 2024
A Shift in Perspective: A Preventative Approach in Supporting Families and Reducing Child Abuse and Neglect, Jan. 25 or Feb. 21, 2024

Direct Service Skills
Speech-Language Development Birth to Five, Jan. 17, 2024
Emotional Literacy, Jan.18 or Feb. 13 or 20, 2024
Guiding Infants and Toddlers: Understanding Behaviors, Jan. 18-25, 2024
Inclusive Care for Infants and Toddlers, Jan. 18-25, 2024
Supporting Relationships Through Engaging Environments, Jan. 18-25. 2024
Training Module: Building a Caring Community, Jan. 18 - March 14, 2024
Exploring Our World: Creating Infant and Toddler Learning Environments, Feb. 15-22, 2024
How Perspective-Taking Nurtures Empathy, Kindness, & Justice in ECE, Feb. 21, 2024

Working With Others
Exploring Early Relational Health: A New Perspective on Your Role as an ECE Professional, Jan. 17, 2024
Family Partnerships, Jan. 18-25, 2024
ACEs and Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope, Jan. 24 or Feb. 8, 2024
Making the Connection: Strong Families, Strong Businesses and Strong Communities, Feb. 1 or Feb. 28, 2024 
Promoting Family Engagement with Infant and Toddler Families, Feb. 1-8. 2024

Enhancing Communication through #SocialMedia, Feb. 1-8, 2024

Portfolios: Celebrating Each Child, Jan. 18-25
Educator Series: Trauma and Young Children, Jan. 25 - March 21, 2024
Meaningful Evidence: Understanding Assessment in Early Childhood Programs, Feb. 1-8, 2024

Early Relational Health: A New Perspective on Your Role as an Early Care and Education Professional, January 17, 2024
Self-Care for Early Childhood Providers, January 25, 2024
Mindfulness for Early Childhood Professionals, February 1-8, 2024

DEIBA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, Acceptance)
Racial Equity and Early Childhood Education, Feb. 1-8, 2024
Live Virtual: Unconscious Bias and Early Childhood Spaces, Feb. 8, 2024

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