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Strengthening Support for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Erikson is proud to be among several institutions selected by Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office to offer full-tuition grants for professionals seeking an Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate (IECMH) to advance the social and emotional well-being of very young children.

Early experiences are the cornerstone of a child’s mental health. Beginning before birth, children’s brain development is influenced by their mothers’ experiences during pregnancy. Relationships with the people whom infants, babies and toddlers depend upon for care continue to shape brain development and outcomes for their mental health. Positive experiences such as feeling safe, comforted and having their needs met regularly contribute to child well-being, while adverse childhood experiences, such as exposure to community violence, food scarcity, child abuse or domestic violence can result in poor social and emotional health.

Erikson’s online Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate program focuses not just on very young children, but also on the adults who care for them. We look holistically at the child and family; at both the stressors they face and the strengths inherent in the family and community. Erikson believes all children deserve the best start in life, especially those living in divested communities where there may not be many mental health resources. The Erikson Advance Grants will provide fully funded tuition for IECHMH students who are Illinois residents, particularly those in central and southern Illinois—creating more equitable access to early childhood mental health services.

Erikson’s Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate is a two-year, online program. Students in the IECMH Certificate Program come from a variety of fields and backgrounds. Admission criteria for this program include a background in a clinical or child development related field with a minimum of three years working in the field. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required. We offer generous scholarships and financial support for students, and Illinois residents may apply for an Advance Grant, which covers 100% of tuition costs. Applications for the summer cohort must be received by April 14, 2023.

Students choose Erikson because we are a trusted educational institution for infant and early childhood mental health, and one of the few institutions in Illinois that offer this specialized area of study. As a pioneer in early childhood education and development, we offer an evidence-based approach to curriculum, and our professors are experts in their fields.

If you are passionate about supporting the social, emotional, and mental health of very young children and their families, then you belong at Erikson.

The Advance Grant is available for students who begin their degree program in Summer or Fall 2023. Grant eligibility is for Illinois residents with a minimum of three years of experience with infants and toddlers only and contingent upon admission and enrollment. Additional criteria may apply. Please refer to for details.

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