May 2013
In This Issue
Developing Strong, Positive Relationships

The relationships that children develop with both the adults and children in their lives are critical to their social and emotional well-being. In fact research tells us that healthy development depends on the quality and consistency of those relationships. Strong, positive relationships help children develop the self-confidence to solve problems and conflicts, the motivation to learn, the ability to know right from wrong, and the desire to make and sustain friendships.


For Full Article...



The Backpack Connection Series was created by TACSEI to provide a way for teachers and parents/caregivers to work together to help young children develop social emotional skills and reduce challenging behavior. Teachers may choose to send a handout home in each child's backpack when a new strategy or skill is introduced to the class. Each Backpack Connection handout provides information that helps parents stay informed about what their child is learning at school and specific ideas on how to use the strategy or skill at home. This series was developed in collaboration with
Pyramid Plus: The Colorado Center for Social Emotional Competence and Inclusion and Bal Swan Children's Center in Broomfield, Colorado.




Also FREE from the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention (TACSEI)


Teaching Tools  

Creating Teaching Tools for Young Children with Challenging Behavior is a FREE product developed by the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI) that offers teachers practical strategies, developed from TACSEI's research activities and experiences in Positive Behavior Support, to   support young children with challenging behaviors.

The Teaching Tools provide:
easily accessible ideas and materials such as handouts, worksheets, techniques, strategies, and visuals to support children in the classroom and other learning environments and
    2) ideas for effective  approaches for interacting with children with challenging behaviors. 


Great Starts  
This new website, launched by the Office of Early Learning and developed in partnership with families and key partners in Delaware's early childhood system, is designed for families with young children.  The website promotes the importance of early learning for young children (birth to age 5) and the use of Delaware Stars as a guide for families seeking early childhood programs for their children. We encourage readers to share the news about this new website with families they know with young children and encourage them to check it out!  Since 90% of brain development occurs by the age of 5, families will want to know more about the importance of early learning for a young child and how to find the right early childhood programs for their children.

Feelings Book Cover
Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Service Promotes Early Childhood Mental Health with Curriculum and Toolkit

The Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services helped promote young child mental health this month by developing and distributing a week long social-emotional wellness curriculum and toolkit to more than 300 early learning programs.
The curriculum and "Lots of Feelings Social and Emotional Toolkit,"  contained creative and fun activities for young children, including  the Lots of Feelings book (pictured right) by Shelley Rotner. 
Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC)
Supports Early Childhood Programs Statewide


The Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) service, funded in part by the Early Learning Challenge, works in partnership with early childhood program staff to offer effective strategies for addressing and supporting young children's social and emotional development. The service is provided by licensed behavioral health clinicians with experience working in early childhood settings and is available upon request to all Delaware Stars programs.  The consultants (pictured below) provide child-specific and classroom-wide consultation, help with referrals of children who may benefit from treatment and also offer professional development training to enhance the skill set of early childhood professionals to help them promote young child social-emotional wellness and effectively manage child's challenging behaviors.  The service is managed by the Division of and Behavioral Health Services of the Delaware Children's Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.  MORE... 

Front Row:  Pam Morrison, LPCMH, NCC, CDA; Kelly Stanley, LPCMH; Tamara Perry, Psy.D.; Lisa Masse, Ph.D.; Katie King, LCSW; Jessica Whisler, LCSW
Second Row:  Kristin Fowles, LSCW; Stav Bennett, LPCMH, NCP; Kier Berkel, LPCMH; Martha Gregor, LCSW, CADC


One treatment developed for children with very challenging behaviors is Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), available statewide.  The Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services provides free clinical Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
training for community therapists, funded in part by the Early Learning Challenge grant. PCIT is offered in both outpatient and intensive, home-based models and works best with children ages 2 -5.  A PCIT therapist works with the parent or primary caregiver to build a strong, more positive relationship wit the child, then learn to use positive discipline strategies which result in compliance and dramatically reduce negative parent-child behavior interactions and the frequency and severity of the young child's challenging behaviors, leading to decreased parental stress.


For more information on Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), download the PCIT Brochure in ENGLISH or SPANISH


To see how Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) works with parents and children, check out the short, highly informative  VIDEO #3 on this link.  


CARE (Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement) Training for non-clinicians including parents, primary caregivers and early childhood program staff is offered through DPBHS.  This six hour training is offered at least twice each month, with online registration available through the University of Delaware's Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood.

Office of Early Learning and the Delaware Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services partner with Rita's Water Ice spread awareness of children's mental health issues.

Rita's 2         Rita's 1   
On May 9 representatives from the Office of Early Learning and the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services were at Rita's Water Ice locations all around the First State giving out information on children's mental health issues, along with out free scoops of water ice.  More than 700 people across the state received information about children's mental health, the importance of early learning for young children and how to use Delaware Stars as a guide to finding early childhood programs for their children.

Office of Early Learning and the Delaware Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health partner with the Blue Rocks to increase awareness of importance of child mental health and quality early learning for young children birth to age 5.

Josh at Blue Rocks table Blue Rocks Go Green for CMH
On May 19, at the 'Wilmington Blue Rocks Go Green for Child Mental Health Awareness Month event, staff and parent volunteers met many in the crowd at the game, increasing awareness of the importance of young child social and emotional health well as promoting the importance of early learning for young children.  Delaware Stars promotional items such as backpacks for the kids, brochures for families and some fun give-aways like the Delaware Stars bright yellow star-shaped stress balls. More than 1,000 people accepted information, enjoyed watching the Blue Rocks win the game and learned more about early childhood mental health and early learning services in Delaware. Good time had by all!

Red Clays Wins Superstars in Education Award for Preschool

Two Red Clay programs were among seven state-wide winners of the 2013 Superstars in Education Awards. The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce announced on February 14, 2013 that the Preschool FRIENDS Program at Baltz, Mote, Shortlidge, and Warner was selected to receive an award. The Preschool FRIENDS (Families Reading to be Invested, Engaged, Nurturing, Devoted, and Supportive) supports young children's reading skills by actively involving families in the learning process.



The Delaware 211 Help Me Grow line is a great resource of families with young children (birth to age 5). Families call 211 for help in finding community resources to meet the needs of their young children and family. Help Me Grow call specialists link callers to community services and, by doing so, expect to increase the number of children in Delaware who meet their developmental milestones successfully by leveraging community resources and efficiently connecting families to resources they need.



Rep Lopez w Kids
State Senator Ernie Lopez (R-Lewes) visited students at the Telamon Coolsprings Head Start Program in Milton as part of Children's Mental Health Awareness Week. Senator Lopez read to the kids about using their words to express their feelings.
Delaware Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services Selects Two Telemon Programs to Showcase Social Emotional Curriculum

"What can I do when I get angry?  I can take three deep breaths or I can head over to Cozy Corner."

Those are just two pieces of sage advice you would receive if you asked that question of one of the children at Telemon Colonial Gardens Head Start.
May has been an exciting month for the teachers and students at the Telemon Cool Springs and Colonial Gardens.  Selected by the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services to showcase the use of the social emotional curriculum and toolkit for young children developed by the Division for May is Child Mental Health Awareness Month, both programs have partnered with Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants and experienced first hand just how effective the learning tools offered in the curriculum and the strategies suggested by the consultants are.                              Click for Full Article...

Click for a copy of the Social Emotional Wellness Curriculum that these programs and over 288 others used during May is Child Mental Health Awareness Month.

Child Health:  
 Early Childhood Trauma 


EARLY CHILDHOOD TRAUMA generally refers to the traumatic experiences that occur to children birth to age 5. Because infants' and young children's reactions may be different from older children's, and because they may not be able to verbalize their reactions to threatening or dangerous events, many people assume that young age protects children from the impact of traumatic experiences.


Young children may have traumatic stress from a vehicle accident or dog bite, from witnessing community or domestic violence or from intentional violence such as physical or sexual abuse. Their sense of safety may be shattered by frightening visual stimuli, loud noises, violent movements, and other sensations associated with an unpredictable frightening event. The frightening images tend to recur in the form of nightmares, new fears, and actions or play that reenact the event. Lacking an accurate understanding of the relationship between cause and effect, young children believe that their thoughts, wishes, and fears have the power to become real and can make things happen. Young children are less able to anticipate danger or to know how to keep themselves safe, and so are particularly vulnerable to the effects of exposure to trauma.


The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers this DOWNLOADABLE GUIDE for helping your children and families with traumatic stress. 


In Delaware, effective treatment is available statewide, even for very young children with symptoms of child traumatic stress.  To learn more about the symptoms and how to access treatment, download the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services's Trauma-Focused Behavioral Cognitive Therapy BROCHURE.



ZERO TO THREE offers  some helpful resources for helping very young children cope after exposure to a traumatic event.

LITTLE LISTENERS outlines behaviors you might see in a young child and offers advice on how to help them cope.  There are also some excellent, reasonably priced resources for caregivers in the Zero to Three Bookstore.

 A  new INFOGRAPHIC from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) examines how adverse childhood experiences affect our lives and society. The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and health and well-being later in life.

A collaboration between the CDC's Division of Violence Prevention and Kaiser Permanente's Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego, the study's findings suggest that certain adverse childhood experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death, as well as poor quality of life in the United States

Early Childhood Mental Health
Social Emotional Learning
The Mental Health in Early Education and Child Care webinar originally broadcast on April 30, 2013, provides information on early childhood mental health in early education and child care, including the use and benefits of mental health consultants in these settings.  


Offered by the Child Care and Health Partnership (CCHP) of Healthy Child Care America (HCCA), theh webinar offers an overview on:

  • Important influences on early mental health
  • Effective interventions to promote early childhood mental health
  • Using mental health consultants in the child care setting
  • Strategies to promote early childhood mental health in child care settings


PLAYS NICE WITH OTHERS: How Educators Can Best Support Social Emotional Learning in Young Children;

This webinar examines research on young children's social emotional development and how it is related to kindergarten readiness and success in school.


Harvard Brief Highlights Importance of Early Child Mental Health

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University recently released a BRIEF that focuses on the science behind early childhood mental health. The report is part of their 'In Brief' series that summarizes findings from recent scientific research on early childhood. The brief outlines five key points pertaining to early childhood mental health.    
By better understanding how emotional well-being can be either improved or damaged in early childhood, policymakers, physicians, and providers of early care and education can work to promote the types of environments and experiences that prevent problems and address early difficulties to avoid long-term developmental damage.

Infant Development

Babies whose efforts are praised become more motivated kids, say Stanford researchers
We think our babies are so smart, so amazing, so good. But please, say Stanford researchers, don't tell them that "It's better to focus on effort and the action your baby is doing. 'You worked hard on that' versus 'you're so good at that,' " says Stanford psychology Professor Carol S. Dweck.

In a NEW STUDY, Dweck, with graduate students Sarah Gripshover and Carissa Romero, found that the kind of praise parents give their babies and toddlers influences the child's motivation later on. It also plays a role in children's beliefs about themselves and their  desire to take on challenges five years later.

Home Visiting
Dual Language Learners
Recommendations for Public Health Program Evaluation

This brief draws on lessons learned through PolicyLab's evaluation of the Pennsylvania Nurse-Family Partnership, and presents key concepts and recommendations for public health program evaluation.
  Download the brief HERE.

Importance of Home Language Series for Teachers and Families


There are a number of ways teachers and families can help young DLLs learn their home language and a second language. The SERIES, offered by the Office of Head Start's National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsivenessrecommends telling stories, singing songs, and reading books in the home language. Additionally, teachers can encourage families to use their home language in the household, and families can make intentional efforts to speak with their children in the home language. Teachers and families can also encourage children to talk about their traditions and cultures and can look for community activities that allow them to hear and use their home language.

In our increasingly diverse country and globally connected society, development of two or more languages provides critical short and long-term benefits. For young DLLs, families and caregivers play a crucial role in their achieving these benefits.


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Wilmington, DE 19801

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