For early childhood mental health advocates
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KAIMH Connections

Resources for Early Childhood Mental Health Advocates

Updates |  September, 2023

Highlights in this newsletter include information on Celebrate Babies Week coming up this October, books for young children on race and social justice, early childhood educator stress, upcoming professional development classes, and more!


Celebrate Babies Week October 16 – 20, 2023 

Join us as we dedicate one week to celebrating infants and toddlers, their families and early childhood professionals in Kansas. How will you celebrate babies and the hard work you do on their behalf? Let us recognize your expertise! The Kansas Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (KAIMH) is inviting all early educators and directors to become recognized for their work in supporting infant and toddler mental health. The Infant Mental Health Endorsement® is a national credential that recognizes your work in infant/toddler mental health promotion. It identifies you as a professional that is committed to high-quality care for all infants, toddlers, and their families.

Thanks to funding from the Department for Children and Families, application fees are now covered. There are also incentives you can earn for participating. For more information visit our website



The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University has launched a new group: the Early Childhood Scientific Council on Equity and the Environment (ECSCEE). Its efforts will include communicating emerging science around the role of the environment in shaping the communities where families are raising young children. This includes the ways that systemic racism has influenced historic and current policies and practices that have resulted in the inequitable distribution of risk and opportunity across communities. To learn more go here.

Upcoming Conferences

Check out these fall conferences for sessions that support your Infant Mental Health Endorsement®

Capital City Learn and Share Topeka, KS September 30, 2023

Family Conservancy Fall Symposium 2023 Overland Park, KS | October 7, 2023

2023 NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Kansas Annual Meeting & Conference Topeka, KS |October 6-7, 2023

KCSL (Kansas Children's Service League) 47th Annual Governor’s Conference Wichita, KS  October 18-20, 2023

This is a reminder for everyone renewing their IMH-Endorsement® You will be required to demonstrate 1 hour (of the 15 training hours) that addresses DEIBA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, Acceptance.) If you need any assistance finding options, feel free to contact



Check out this free resource from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network - Helping Young Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers. It outlines the feelings of young children struggling with the death of someone meaningful and offers suggestions on what caregivers can do to help.


In the article, It Matters: Early Childhood Mental Health, Educator Stress, and Burnout (Stein, Garay, Nguyen, 2022) from the Early Childhood Education Journal December 2022 issue it states that there is, “a relationship between teacher psychological stress and an increase in child behavioral problems and a lesser quality of teacher-provided emotional support. When home care providers had more support they had lower levels of stress, but also that professional support was harder to access for home care providers than ECEs in other settings. Additionally, there is some evidence that early childhood educators experience more stress than their K-12 counterparts, due to environments that are emotionally and financially challenging, limited resources, and a job that is often not highly regarded by society.”

What are we doing in Kansas to support the emotional health of our early care and education workforce? At KAIMH we are giving the early education workforce access to Reflective Supervision/Consultation as resource to support their mental health. Through partner funds from the Department for Children and Families and Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities we can connect early educators with a reflective supervision group at no cost to the provider.

Let us know if you are interested in joining a Reflective Supervision/ Consultation group and we will connect you!

If you want to advocate for the mental well-being of young children and their direct care providers, contact All In For Kansas Kids to find out how you can be a voice for this important need.

Stein R, Garay M, Nguyen A. It Matters: Early Childhood Mental Health, Educator Stress, and Burnout. Early Child Educ J. 2022 Dec 30:1-12. doi: 10.1007/s10643-022-01438-8. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36619683; PMCID: PMC9803254.



How do you teach young children about racial and social justice? Early education has often taken two approaches – to either teach children to be “color blind” or celebrate our differences. Teaching acceptance and kindness is a worthy approach, but what about understanding the system of racism that continues to be a part of their world? Infants begin to notice racial differences between 3-6 months and by age two and a half children they can begin making decisions about other’s behaviors based on their race. To teach children about anti-racism, adults need to have early conversations that breakdown racial myths. Choosing to avoid talking about race can be a form of white privilege. Books can be an excellent way to share experiences through others’ viewpoints and start these conversations. Books for Littles has a list of suggested books for ages 2 and up.



There are many professional development opportunities to support your Infant Mental Health Endorsement® this fall offered by Early Childhood Investigations Webinars, Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Kansas Parents As Teachers, and Child Care Aware, categorized by IMH-Endorsement® Competency.

Theoretical Foundations
Exploring Social and Emotional Development, Sept. 21-28 
Social and Emotional Literacy, Sept. 23
Live Virtual: Behavior Guidance: Stating Behavioral Expectations, Sept. 26
Early Ed Book Study: Culturally Responsive Teaching, Oct. 12 – Nov. 16

Law, Regulation and Agency Policy
Introduction to Ethics in the Early Childhood Profession, Sept. 21-28 

Systems Expertise
Perinatal Mental Health, Oct. 19

Direct Service Skills
Social and Emotional Literacy, Sept. 23
Preschool Democracy: Teaching Young Children Five Democratic Life Skills, Dan Gartrell, Ed.D. Sept. 27, 2023 
Building Confidence and Resilience Skills in Young Children, Claire Goss, M.A., Sept. 28, 2023
Respectful Teaching: A Responsive Approach to Infant and Toddler Learners, Oct 5-12
Supporting Children's Mental Health Through Playful Interactions, October 11- 25, 2023
Inclusive Care for Infants and Toddlers, Oct. 19 – 26

Working With Others
Understanding Family Homelessness Part 1, Sept. 21-28
Racial Equity, November 16

Family Partnerships, October 19 – 26

Observation 1: An Introduction to Observing Children, Sept. 21-28 
Responsive Planning for Infants and Toddlers, Oct. 5-12
Early Ed Book Study: Culturally Responsive Teaching, Oct. 12 – November 16
Anxiety in Preschool Children: Identifying and supporting anxious young learners, by Sarah Taylor Vanover, Ed.D., October 26, 2023

The Power of Adult Play for ECE Professionals, by Miriam Beloglovsky, M.A., October 5, 2023
Educator Series: Overcoming Teacher Burnout in Early Childhood, Oct. 12 – November 16
Overcoming Burnout in the ECE Workplace, by Ellen M. Drolette, December 6, 2023 

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