Importance of Starting off Right in Early Childhood
Methods: The evolution of the Professional Development Network, developed by the Irving Harris Foundation, will be described, including ‘lessons learned’ about increasing awareness, education, training, and service across disciplines in the infant and early childhood field. Methods for achieving those goals will be described as well as ways of advocating for the well-being of infants through non-profit agencies, foundations, government involvement, public understanding, and financial investment.
Findings: Several decades of efforts have led to an infrastructure of multidisciplinary professionals dedicated to developing a well trained work force with skills necessary to accomplish an ambitious agenda for very young children and their families.
Implications: Results suggest that focus on achieving a broad agenda for the infant and early childhood field is possible with single-minded devotion, commitment, and ability to leverage both public and private resources to accomplish these goals. In addition to training and services, a holistic approach to public policy, including public health, is crucial to raise awareness and support the overall effort with increased focus on complex issues of disadvantaged children.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Describe policy and practice issues concerning the well-being of young disadvantaged children
Keyword(s): Mental Health, Child/Adolescent Mental Health
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Executive Director of the Irving Harris Foundation and has a commitment to early childhood education, infant mental health, and youth development. She has great expertise in policy in this area and developing public private partnerships to effect change.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.