"A child's ability to express and regulate their emotions, to navigate peer and adult interactions and develop trusting relationships, to begin to explore and learn are key factors in their initial and enduring success in educational settings through high school," says Margo Candelaria, co-director of the Innovations Institute's Parent, Infant, and Early Childhood team.
That's why the University of Connecticut has been awarded a five-year, $30 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Children and Families to study the "positive social emotional development of very young children," the Hartford Courant reports.
The team will focus on the mental health of infants and very young children, as well as their parents, caregivers, relatives, pediatricians, social workers, childcare workers, preschool educators, and more.
"For some children the need for mental health supportand the questions their parents have around social and emotional developmentstart well before school," Innovations Institute Executive Director Michelle Zabel says in a press release.
The grant will allow the Innovations Institute's parent, infant, and very young children team to work with state and local governments, provider organizations, and hospitals, as well as the federal government, to "build public systems that effectively serve children, youth,