Behavioral Health Integration in Early Childhood Programs – New Resources Announced


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) recently established new policy guidelines and resources for behavioral health integration within early childhood programs. These resources aim to promote academic and personal success in children’s lives through healthy and nurturing learning environments. See below for the latest ACF Behavioral Health resources for:

ACF’s new resources provide recommendations and strategies to integrate behavioral health support within early childhood care and education programs. They align with the Biden-Harris Unity Agenda’s prioritization of mental health and build upon the HHS Roadmap for Behavioral Health Integration, which encourages equitable, evidence-based, patient-centered, culturally sensitive care. The resources are tailored toward four childhood funding streams: the Child Care and Development Fund, the Preschool Development Grants Birth through Five program, the Tribal Home Visiting Program, and the Head Start program, the last of which has already initiated behavioral health integration.

For more information on integrated behavioral health as it pertains to children, please read the Academy’s news story on Integrated Behavioral Health – A Solution for the Youth Mental Health Crisis and review the Academy’s Literature Collection. Parents and caregivers looking to better understand and support their children’s mental health needs may refer to the Screen4Success Tool.