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High Quality Early Learning is Essential
ED, HHS Issue Recommendations to Improve Young Children’s Social-Emotional Development, Mental Health
The Departments of Education and Health and Human Services issued a Dear Colleague Letter on June 14 with four recommendations to equitably support the social-emotional development and mental health of young children.
These recommendations and action steps are intended for State, territorial, tribal, local administrators and policymakers to encourage early childhood systems to work collaboratively to ensure that young children and their caregivers have access to high-quality resources and services to support young children’s health and well-being, social-emotional development, and early learning.
The letter includes links to resources to support the four recommendations, which are:
- Implement evidence-based practices that support positive social-emotional development and mental health for all children and wellness for every caregiver.
- Prioritize workforce wellness and enhance workforce capacity to identify and respond to children’s and families’ social-emotional and mental health needs.
- Leverage policy and funding to increase access to social-emotional and mental health support and reduce barriers to access.
- Use data to promote equitable implementation and outcomes.
A series of videos, to be released throughout the summer and hosted on the HHS Administration for Children and Families’ website, spotlights issues for supporting young children’s mental health and well-being.
The letter, recommendations, and resources are part of ongoing work across the federal government to address mental health needs of children and their families.
Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse
The Department launched the Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse (the Clearinghouse), a website that highlights the innovative work underway nationwide in continuing to reopen early childhood programs, K-12 schools, and postsecondary institutions. Through the Clearinghouse, the Department is providing examples of how early childhood programs, schools and other educational institutions can safely resume in-person services and reopen as communities continue recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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