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Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program Expands to Address Growing Pandemic-related Need

Mother holds her smiling toddler in the air.

The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Early Childhood (OEC), which administers the Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) Consultation Program, announced funding for 47 consultants statewide, an increase of nearly 38% from 2019 (34 consultants). The free and confidential program pairs mental health consultants with the adults who work directly with infants and young children in child care, preschools, homes, and other settings where they learn and grow. Consultants further strengthen the capacity of teachers and caregivers to use evidence-based practices as they support the social, emotional, and behavioral development of children, ages birth to age six.

An additional $1.4 million for program expansion was made possible through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA). Nearly all proposals for state funding identified the COVID-19 pandemic as a key reason why more consultants were needed in their community across the state.

Ongoing work by the Colorado Lab supports OEC in identifying continuous improvements to the consultation program and in implementing a thoughtfully standardized approach to drive positive outcomes while retaining regional flexibility. Learn more about the ECMH consultation program, 2021 RFA Awardee Announcement, and the Lab’s support.