F5 Center and Partners Host Early Childhood Mental Health Briefing; New Blogs Out on ECMH and Preventive Health Care for Children

Mar 29, 2021

Spring has arrived and with it a sense of hope, as vaccines roll out and the state slowly opens up. Yet the transition back to more of a sense of normalcy is likely to bring the emotional and mental strains of the last year bubbling to the surface for both young children and caregivers alike. Indeed, a recent poll found more than two-thirds of California's parents of young children are worried about their families' mental health. As such, interventions like Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMH) are more critical than ever.

Please join the Center and partners on Tuesday, March 30th at 2PM PT for a legislative briefing on ECMH Consultation. Experts in the child care, mental health and early childhood education arenas will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on early childhood mental health, the landscape of mental health services, trauma-informed care and support, local program best practices, and more. This event is sponsored by the Child Care Resource Center, The Children's Partnership, the First 5 Association of California, and the First 5 Center for Children's Policy. Register here.

Our new Center blog post examines several things the state can do to address the mental health crisis facing young children and families as the pandemic eases. In addition to funding Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, the state can support full coverage of dyadic (caregiver and child) therapy via Medi-Cal, and expand home visiting for families through Medi-Cal reprocurement of managed care plans and CalAIM. Read our blog for more details.

A second new Center blog post digs into recent data from the state Department of Health Care Services showing alarmingly low levels of preventive care for young children who received Medi-Cal Managed Care in 2019--i.e., before the pandemic caused well-child visits to decline. Low rates of developmental screening, well-child visits, and lead screening are of particular note. With 2020 data likely to be worse, it's more important than ever that California enact continuous Medi-Cal coverage for children 0 to 5, and that the reprocurement of managed care plan contracts include better oversight. You can read the full blog here.

I hope you’ll check out our blog regularly—and please let us know if you have any feedback!

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