Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement®

The Competency Guidelines for Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health® (Endorsement) are internationally recognized credentials that support and recognize the development and proficiency of professionals who work with or on behalf of pregnant women, young children, birth up to 6-years old, and their families. Infant Mental Health Endorsement® (IMH-E®) and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement  (ECMH-E®) are based on a set of competencies designed to support and enhance culturally sensitive, relationship focused practice within the framework of infant/early childhood mental health (IECMH).

The NC Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Association (NCIMHA) knows that working with this population requires specialized training and experience, and IMH-E® ensures professionals have attained a certain level of expertise with 0-6-year-olds and their families. IMH-E® and ECMH-E® are relevant for professionals across disciplines including early care and education, early intervention, home visitation, medicine, child welfare, mental health, policy, academia, and more.

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Fast Facts

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State or Local? State
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Lead Agency North Carolina Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Association
Type of Agency


Racial Equity Lens

NCIMHA is committed to working towards diversity, equity, inclusion, and access for all professionals that the Endorsement® seeks to support and engage. 

  • Interested Endorsement applicants will be placed into cohorts to move through the process and NCIMHA will select cohort members with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion.
  • Endorsement fees are structured and scaled by category to make it accessible across various workforce sectors.
  • Ample scholarships are available for NCIMHA membership, which is required to move through the Endorsement process, to ensure equitable access. 



Beginning in spring 2022, IMH Endorsement® will:           

  • Create an early childhood workforce that is prepared and supported to identify, promote, prevent, treat, and lead in ways that support the healthy social-emotional development and early relational health for children ages birth to 6. 
  • Support the provision of high quality, culturally informed, reflective, and relationship-based services to pregnant people, infants, toddlers, young children and their families across a variety of disciplines, systems, and early childhood workforce sectors.
Next Steps
  • Increase knowledge of and training in IECMH competency areas for early childhood professionals across the state, including knowledge of and access to reflective supervision/consultation.
  • Work with higher education and evidenced based intervention modalities to align their curriculum with various competency areas emphasized within the Endorsement credential.
  • Partner with state and local organizations whose initiatives and programs focus on early childhood social emotional wellbeing, early relational health, and IECMH.
Primary Partners
  • NC Division of Child Development and Early Education
  • Advancing Resources for Children (ARCh) Project
  • Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health
Primary Funders
  • NC Division of Child Development and Early Education, through the Preschool Development Grant
  • Advancing Resources for Children (ARCh) Project: Connecting NC’s Systems to Advance Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Outcomes
Contact Jessica Taylor-Pickford

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