• want to promote and support healthy social and emotional development and nurturing relationships for all of the infants and young children you work with?
  • work as a teacher, teacher assistant, family/case worker or supervisor in a childcare center, family childcare home or Early Head Start OR are you a family, friend or neighbor that cares for a child, birth to age three, in Virginia?
  • AND, do you have at least 2 years of paid work experience doing so?

Then the Infant Mental Health Endorsement is for you!

As part of a new Early Childhood Mental Health initiative in Virginia, if you answered yes to the above questions, then you can apply for over $1200 in funding provided by the Virginia Department of Social Services to fully support you in completing the new Infant Mental Health Endorsement at

  • Level I: Infant Family Associate or
  • Level II:  Infant Family Specialist

This new endorsement in Virginia offers you and others working with infants and toddlers, in any job capacity, a professional development plan that focuses on documenting the knowledge, best practices, and reflective work experience that are identified in the infant mental health competencies needed to fully support children birth to age three in their healthy social and emotional development or “infant mental health.”

You might think that “infant mental health” refers to someone else like a Mental Health Therapist or Counselor, but the Infant Mental Health Endorsement is for YOU too!

Infant Mental Health = Healthy Social & Emotional Development!

Zero to Three defines “infant mental health” as “the developing capacity of the young child to experience, regulate, and express emotions; form close and secure interpersonal relationships; and explore the environment and learn, in the context of a care giving environment that includes family, community, and cultural expectations for young children.”

When these earliest relationships are positive, responsive and predictable, the stage is set for successful learning in later development.

The Texas Association for Infant Mental Health (TX-AIMH) reminds us all that “since 80%-90% of the human brain’s capacity is developed in the first three years of life, the potential YOU have to influence and shape the future of the infants and toddlers you work with is astonishing and requires you to have the competencies necessary to effectively help these young children thrive.”

Who is better able to support infants and toddlers healthy development and provide nurturing relationships than those who work with young children every day in childcare centers, family childcare homes, Early Head Start programs, or a family member, friend, or neighbor caring for a child age birth to three?

For more information about Endorsement:  Go to

To begin the application process:  Go to

Questions? Contact Bonnie Grifa, State ECMH Coordinator at

HURRY! The Application deadline is April 11th, 2014