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Promoting Children’s Social and Emotional Well-being

Promoting children’s social competence is one of the founding principles of the Office of Head Start. That strong commitment to nurturing children’s mental health continues today. Social and emotional well-being is closely linked to children’s school readiness. When early educators and families know more about early childhood mental health, they are better able to support children’s learning and development.

What Is Early Childhood Mental Health?

From the beginning, Head Start has been committed to promoting the mental health of young children and their families. In this resource, explore how to help promote children’s mental health and social and emotional development.

Early Childhood Mental Health

In this resource, learn more about how staff and families can support children's social emotional development through nurturing relationships, environments and interactions. Also, find resources for your work with families and staff around this topic.

Biting: A Fact Sheet for Families

This fact sheet provides tips for parents and program staff on how to better understand issues around biting.

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

Explore resources from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) at Vanderbilt University.

Discovering Feelings

This booklet is designed to assist staff in helping children to label their feelings. Strategies are included to support children in linking emotional vocabulary with specific actions.

Eliminating Preschool Expulsion

Preschool expulsion denies comprehensive services that nurture social and emotional development to children in need of them. In this resource, find information that can help programs eliminate preschool expulsion.

Fostering Emotional Literacy in Young Children: Labeling Emotions

This brief addresses children’s emotional literacy development.  Practical intervention strategies for early childhood settings and home environments are provided.

Healthy Gender Development and Young Children

Explore this resource to find practical guidance on healthy early childhood gender development for all staff who work with children and families. It draws on decades of research and experiences of early childhood educators, pediatricians, and mental health professionals.

Last Updated: June 11, 2018