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There is good reason for providers to be concerned with a child's social emotional needs:

Who We Are

This unique free support program helps child care providers throughout the state of Illinois recognize, understand, and respond to the social emotional needs of the children, birth through age five, in their care. For over 15 years, Caregiver Connections has provided mental health consultation to childcare programs across Illinois. Our mission? To support childcare providers, families and communities, to build capacity in nurturing positive relationships, healthy social-emotional development and resiliency for all young children.

Mental Health Consultants - IL Map

The clear relationship between a child's healthy social emotional development, success in childcare, and later success in school.

New findings on young children's behavior and the importance of the child/caregiver relationship.

"Non-typical or difficult to manage behaviors" in young children may be the result of emotional problems.

​Our services are based on trauma-informed, culturally sensitive, relationship-based and developmentally appropriate principles:

We provide professional development opportunities and trainings for providers, families and communities on a variety of topics including trauma, culture and diversity, child development, and the importance of healthy relationships/attachment.

We collaborate with providers and families to assess and reflect on the relationships, routines and practices that impact the classroom, caregiving and home environment.

We collaborate with providers and families to identify healthy social emotional teaching strategies and supports that help young children stabilize and succeed in the classroom, caregiving and home environment.

We provide opportunities for providers and families to increase self-awareness of their caregiving strengths by building reflective capacity.

We help providers and families identify and access important community resources that support healthy development and resiliency in young children.

We provide an outside and supportive perspective in helping providers and families to better understand and explore the meaning in individual/group behavior of children.

We assist providers and families in accessing and utilizing appropriate developmental screenings to understand and inform on the individual needs of children and determine when a referral for additional services may be helpful.

We facilitate opportunities for providers and families to build on their skills to regulate themselves and children through healthy self-care and caregiving routines.

Our Impact

“Our MHC has allowed us to look at our own implicit biases, our environments, and our own temperaments. Once we’ve achieved this reflection-we’re better able to help understand our own relationships and techniques with children and families”.

“As a director working with the MHC has helped me focus on my role to see the bigger picture. My center’s mission, vision and values and to set appropriate goals, I see this as the mental health practice for our whole center”.

“Because of the support I received I am able to self-reflect. I respond better to the needs of the children in care, manage my mental health needs, which allow me to recognize the mental health needs of the children in care. Knowing that if I’m not okay, they’re not okay.”

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