Early childhood is a pivotal period of child development that begins before birth through age 8. This is a period of rapid brain and body development. In the first few years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections are formed every second (Center for Developing Child). The experiences and opportunities offered in early childhood lay the foundation for how children grow, learn, build relationships, and prepare for school.

A child does not grow in a silo. The health of their family, community, safety of their environment as well as the systems and policy all interact to affect the trajectory and health of a child.

Together with a comprehensive well-child care system, pediatricians can promote healthy development and prevent and treat risks to development during 15 recommended visits from ages 0-5 years old.

New Course! Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: Relational Foundations for Lifelong Health

AAP launched new online education course titled Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: Relational Foundations for Lifelong Health funded by the Perigee Fund. The first 1,000 learners can access the course for free using code SAVE5. The intended audience is pediatricians, family medicine, and their teams, and others that care for infants and young children’s health and family well-being. The course requires creation or use of a free login AAP.org account to access our learning platform. 

Course learning objective: Learn and apply an infant and early childhood mental health principles to promote, prevent risks, and intervene to support healthy early childhood development. This course is organized in 5 modules:

  1. Introduction to Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
  2. Attuned Interactions
  3. Promoting and Preventing Social-Emotional Development Risks
  4. Intervening When a Developmental Concern Is Identified
  5. Building an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health-Informed Practice  

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