Preschools need services for children affected by violence, Nickels says

Margret Nickels, director of Erikson’s Center for Children and Families, spoke about preschools’ need to help children affected by violence in a Hechinger Report article.

Nickels says many child care workers, preschool teachers, and even principals think wrongly that young children aren’t affected by seeing violence in their homes.

“Shouting, watching your parent get hit; these are emotional and physiological experiences that even infants perceive, and trigger intense stress reactions,” she says.

She adds that putting money into mental health services for young children can add up to savings in the long term by spending less on special education classes for behavior disorder, on adolescent substance abuse, and on the juvenile justice system.