Last week, both CT Voices for Children and the Connecticut Health and Development Institute (CHDI) issued publications focusing on the young child. CT Voices addressed access to high-quality early care and education; CHDI promoted a system through which early childhood professionals become more skilled in detecting mental health problems early. Both publications hit the nail on the head; early childhood professionals are in the ideal position to detect developmental delays and early childhood mental health concerns. The importance of revealing developmental delays at an early stage has been addressed since the 1960s; more recently the early identification of mental health concerns gained traction too. Addressing mental health concerns at a young age can increase the likelihood that children will grow up happy, healthy, and successful.
Imagine sitting in a room with 360 other people. Now imagine that 95 percent of these people are women. Indeed, the room is filled with chatter, laughter, and anticipation. The room is in a downtown Waterbury hotel and occupied by pre-school and kindergarten teachers, home daycare providers, and administrators. The women, and the handful of men, have come to kick off an important movement in Waterbury: to make early childhood care more aware of and informed about the prevalence and impact of trauma. Specifically, how traumatic experiences influences the lives of the young children they work with.