Parents support healthy social and emotional development in children when they model how to express and communicate emotions effectively, self-regulate, and make friends. A child's social and emotional competence is crucial to sound relationships with family, adults, and peers. Conversely, delayed social-emotional development may obstruct healthy relationships. Early identification of such delays and early assistance for children and parents can provide support for family relationships and sustain positive and appropriate development.
Addressing Early Mental Health and Developmental Needs (PDF - 460 KB)
Klain, Pilnik, Talati, Maze, Diamond-Berry, Hudson, et al. (2009)
In Healthy Beginnings, Healthy Futures: A Judge's Guide
Describes the cognitive and developmental needs of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in foster care and shares practices that support healthy cognitive and social-emotional development.
Impact Findings from the Head Start CARES Demonstration: National Evaluation of the Three Approaches to Improving Preschoolers' Social and Emotional Competence
Morris, Mattera, Castells, Bangser, Bierman, & Raver
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (2014)
Describes the impact of the CARES demonstration, focusing on outcomes during the spring of the preschool year in: (1) teacher practices; (2) classroom climate; (3) children’s behavior regulation, executive function, emotion knowledge, and social problem-solving skills; and (4) children’s learning behaviors and social behaviors.
Lessons Learned From Home Visiting With Home-Based Child Care Providers
McCabe, Peterson, Baker, Dumka, Brach, & Webb (2011)
ZERO TO THREE, 31(5)
Describes two home visiting programs designed to improve the quality of home-based child care. The article discusses the challenges that arose in assessing and supporting social-emotional development in young children, and how providers' "readiness to change" related to home visiting outcomes.
The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress
Shonkoff & Garner (2011)
Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption, and Dependent Care, & Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Presents an eco-biodevelopmental framework that illustrates how early experiences and environmental influences can affect emerging brain architecture and long-term health. The report also examines effects of toxic stress and links early adversity to later impairments in learning, behavior, and both physical and mental well-being. Also see the American Academy of Pediatrics' related policy statement (PDF - 536 KB).
Making It Happen: Overcoming Barriers to Providing Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health (PDF - 543 KB)
ZERO TO THREE (2012)
Highlights the importance of healthy social and emotional development and examines issues faced by national, State, and local program directors and mental health practitioners in providing infant-early childhood mental health services. A set of recommendations for policy improvements at the Federal level are also provided.
Parents' Views of Early Social and Emotional Development: More and Less Than Meets the Eye
Newton & Thompson (2010)
ZERO TO THREE, 30(4)
Reviews the results of survey that found parents don't fully understand how deeply babies' and toddlers' social-emotional development is affected by their early experiences. The article shares findings on the complex emotional lives of infants, the ways that caregivers' emotions affect development in the first months of life, the development of self-awareness, and the time necessary for developing self-regulation in the preschool years.
Promoting Social-Emotional Wellbeing in Early Intervention Services: A Fifty-State View (PDF - 1,010 KB)
National Center for Children in Poverty (2009)
Aims to determine how States leveraged different policy choices to support integration of social-emotional developmental strategies into early intervention services. Forty-eight States' Part C coordinators participated in the study.
Results-Based Public Policy Strategies for Promoting Children's Social, Emotional and Behavioral Health (PDF - 236 KB)
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2012)
Provides policy strategies States can use to implement evidence-based practices to prevent and address social, emotional, and behavioral health disorders. State examples of effective policies and financing approaches are also included.