An important bill is being proposed in Maryland called the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Program. House Bill 513 will be considered on February 17th by the House Ways and Means Committee.
The purpose of this bill is to:
“establish an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program within the State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood Development to promote positive mental and behavioral health practices for young children by providing certain referrals and services for children, families, teachers and caregivers; and generally relating to the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program”
Here are some highlights:
- The proposed bill includes $6 million dollars for the operation of the program beginning in 2024 and each year ongoing.
- “Initially eligible children” are those who are enrolled in family child care homes, child care centers or publicly funded prekindergarten program.
- The program will include referrals to appropriate programs and technical assistance for teachers and caregivers
Read the proposed bill to learn more about what the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Program bill is seeking to accomplish and a brief insight into how that might happen.
Want to know more?
- Watch the hearing on February 17, find the information here. (Scroll down to the 17th > find “Ways and Means” > Click the link )
- Track the bill’s progress through the two chambers and to the Governor’s desk here.
The Resource Center urges support for HB 513. This is undoubtedly the best time to make this investment to promote positive mental and behavioral health practices for young children. We must make sure referrals are possible, and we must make sure services are available for those who seek them. 72% of Prince George’s County child care providers are seeking training to provide children with social emotional supports.