Summary of Arkansas’s Strategic Plan for Early Childhood Mental Health

Early childhood professionals often use the terms early childhood mental health and positive social and emotional development interchangeably. Social development involves skills like communicating needs, getting along with others and making friends. Emotional development involves skills like being able to be soothed when upset, recognizing feelings and expressing them appropriately, and beginning to understand that others have feelings too. When children experience healthy social and emotional development, they are able form satisfying relationships with others, play, communicate, learn and face challenges successfully. These are the skills children need to succeed in school, and later in the workplace and in relationships.