0-5 Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative

The Child Center of NY is pleased to serve as the Queens borough-wide provider of the Early Childhood Mental Health Network, a ThriveNYC initiative designed to provide mental health services and supports for families who have young children, ages 0–5, with mental health needs. Our bilingual and bicultural therapists utilize evidence-based, trauma-focused models of treatment that have been proven to make a difference for this age group and give them the promising start we want for all our children.

Just as we need to ensure that children begin school academically ready to learn, we also need to ensure they begin life socially and emotionally ready to thrive. The Child Center can help with that piece of the puzzle. 

Many people wonder what mental health counseling for such young children entails. It mostly involves strengthening the parent-child bond in ways that make the child feel safe and secure and support his or her development. We work with children by themselves and with their parents, and we also sometimes work just with parents who have children 0-5, including pregnant mothers. Here are some things that we can provide children, parents, and families who enter counseling with us:

  • parent groups and individual therapy
  • individual parent and child screenings
  • caregiver depression screening
  • guidance in increasing positive interactions and communication between parent and child
  • assistance in developing social-emotional skills, building resiliency, improving self-esteem, and encouraging self-regulation
  • the tools to help families handle the inevitable setbacks and challenges of life in a safe and constructive way, now and in the future

In order to reach children who need our help the most, we work directly with Early Head Start, Head Start, EarlyLearn, and preschool programs. Here are some services we can provide to early childhood educators in Queens:

  • staff and teacher training
  • consultations and coaching on incorporating social-emotional learning in the classroom
  • assistance in identifying and assessing children’s and families’ social and emotional needs
  • strategies for working with young children and their families
  • a place where you can feel confident referring families who may be in need of mental health support

Locations

Director, 0-5 ECMH and School Consultation Program: Michele Neuhaus micheleneuhaus@childcenterny.org
Director, 0-5 ECMH, Clinical Services: Seline Bearman, LCSW-R selinebearman@childcenterny.org

Referral hotline: 718–530–6892

Elmhurst Clinic
Hank Auffarth Family Center
81-14 Queens Boulevard
Elmhurst, NY 11373

Flushing Clinic at the Macari Family Center
140-15B Sanford Avenue
Flushing, NY 11355

South Jamaica Clinic at the Lorraine Petracca Family Center
115-15 Sutphin Boulevard
Jamaica, NY 11434

Woodside Clinic
67-14 41st Avenue
Woodside, NY 11377

  • Services Provided: individual and family counseling that utilizes evidence-based approaches for clients with trauma, including play therapy and Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP); parent groups; assessments and screenings; staff and teacher training.
  • Admission criteria: Children ages 0-5 and their families. Preference given to those enrolled in EarlyLearn and Pre-K for All programs. All clinics accept Medicaid and other insurance and work with families to ensure access.
  • Languages: English, Bengali, Mandarin, and Spanish
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