Perspectives on Early Childhood Psychology and Education

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Supporting infant and early childhood mental health is a vital component of school readiness, but suspension or expulsion from early childhood educational settings can have a lasting impact on a child. The Pyramid Model for Social and Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children (PM) framework and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) are two models to address preschool suspension and expulsion, while promoting young children’s healthy social emotional development. Both models require a qualified workforce. In Maryland, several initiatives are underway to address workforce development needs and to create pipelines of professionals trained in infant and early childhood mental health. These include statewide coordination of PM and IECMHC programming, the creation of new guidelines and pipelines for IECMHC service providers, workforce development, specific focus on equity within PM and IECMHC programs statewide, and an expansion of these efforts into early elementary school.