Connected Beginnings provides, coordinates, and evaluates professional development opportunities aimed at enhancing the social emotional well-being of children birth to 8 years within their families, their communities, and their early care and educational settings. Over the organization’s 15 year history these activities have evolved into five general categories of service:
- Early Childhood Social Emotional Development & Mental Health: Including content on development from birth-8 years, assessment, growth and wellness, relationship-based practices, risk & resiliency, promoting positive behavior, and addressing challenging behavior.
- Effective Parent Engagement: Including content on adult learning and social emotional wellness, working with families facing adversity, cultural competence, data collection on family needs, evaluating family engagement and participation.
- System & Program Climate Change: Including content on self-study, goal-setting, identification of shared values, action planning, and data collection/use documenting change. This category includes training and coaching in Trauma-Sensitive Practices implemented across a variety of settings.
- Reflective Practice & Supervision: Including content on self-reflection, shared reflection, perspective-taking, creating on-going reflective professional practice, providing reflective supervision.
- Professional Development with Early Childhood Trainers and Coaches: Including content on effective social emotional training strategies, effective practice-based coaching strategies, trouble-shooting, obtaining and assessing feedback
In response to these categories of service, Connected Beginnings has the capacity to create training curriculum, adapt existing materials, and design professional development experiences that incorporates both training and coaching. All professional development experiences can be offered in-person, virtually, or in a hybrid format.
Connected Beginnings’ strategies and activities are targeted to ensure professionals will be able to confidently and effectively help parents and caregivers develop relationships that provide the foundation for children’s learning, health and well-being.
Evaluation of Professional Development Efforts
To advance the field of infant and early childhood mental health and ensure that professional development and training activities achieve positive outcomes for professionals, very young children, and their families, Connected Beginnings will maintain an active dialogue between practice and research through implementation of evaluations of professional development activities in collaboration with academic institutions. Connected Beginnings will disseminate findings through white papers, conference presentations, and articles in professional journals.