Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 91–99 | Cite as

Evaluation of Mental Health Consultation in Child Care Centers

Article

Abstract

Mental health professionals have speculated that their consultation services should improve the overall quality of a child care center, but few research studies have shown this effect in child care settings. In the present study, mental health consultation services were provided by four agencies to 25 urban child care centers to enhance children's emotional lives and social abilities, and to strengthen child care center staff's capacity to work with children who have difficult behaviors. A one-year evaluation was conducted to assess the impact of the mental health services on the teachers and child care centers using observational measures, director- and teacher-completed questionnaires, and qualitative focus group data. Centers with more than one year of consultation showed increases in overall quality, teachers' self-efficacy, and teachers' competence. In addition, staff expressed satisfaction with the mental health consultation services provided. Implications of findings and suggestions for future interventions are discussed.

child mental health child care evaluation 

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abbey Alkon
    • 1
  • Malia Ramler
    • 2
  • Katharine MacLennan
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Family Health Care NursingUniversity of California, San Francisco, School of NursingSan Francisco
  2. 2.John Bowman AssociatesOakland
  3. 3.City University of New YorkUSA

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