The Maine Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP®) is an infant and early childhood mental health consultation program that addresses the social-emotional needs of children birth to age eight (0-8) by offering support, education, and consultation to the adults who provide care for them.
ECCP® provides strategies, support, and training to improve the capacity of early childhood education and childcare providers as they work with children who have challenging behaviors or social-emotional concerns. ECCP® also incorporates brief consultation to families (including resource families) of children referred for support through the child’s early childhood education setting.
ECCP® is an evidence-based model with rigorous research support. The program is being piloted by OCFS through 2023. Implementation began with five initial counties in 2020 and expanded to eight counties in 2021 with the goal of future expansion statewide.
ECCP® is a time-limited, intensive service that helps providers, educators, and caregivers of young children build understanding and skills to respond to the social-emotional needs of children. Experienced mental health consultants work directly with caregivers and educators to identify and implement strategies to support children’s emotional wellbeing and effectively manage challenging behavior that may jeopardize a child’s ability to attend an early childhood program or educational setting.
- Managing aggressive behavior in children
- Creating age-appropriate behavioral expectations
- Creating a positive classroom or program culture
- Improving responsiveness of adults to meet the needs of children
- Supporting staff to build effective partnerships with families
Core Classroom Services
Core Classroom Services focus on a single classroom that may need to strengthen social, emotional, or behavioral supports for children throughout the class. The ECCP® consultant provides intensive, weekly support and coaching to the teaching staff or childcare provider with the goal of building capacity to better meet the social-emotional needs of the classroom.
Length of Service:
- Weekly for 12 weeks
- Meetings with teacher(s) and program director to discuss program needs, strengths, and goals
- Classroom observation at beginning and conclusion of the service
- Development of individualized classroom ECCP® Action Plan that outlines classroom/teacher strengths and strategies to be used in the classroom
- Weekly support and consultation with ECCP® Consultant for staff
- One staff development training for staff of the entire center on a social-emotional topic
- Consultation to the program director/administration by the ECCP® Consultant
- Follow-up with ECCP® Consultant to monitor progress
- Includes up to two (2) Child-Specific Services for children in the classroom who meet criteria for the service
Child-Specific Services focus on a young child who is struggling with social, emotional, or behavioral difficulties in their early education or childcare setting. The ECCP® consultant meets with the family and the educator/caregiver, conducts a home and classroom observation to identify the child’s strengths and needs, recommends specific strategies to meet the child’s needs, and facilitates referrals to more intensive services, if needed.
Length of Service:
- Weekly for 6 weeks
- Meetings between parent(s) and teachers/caregivers to better understand the child’s strengths and challenges
- Standardized behavior screenings conducted at service beginning and end to assess progress
- Development of an individualized ECCP ® Action Plan for the child that outlines specific strengths and strategies to be tried in the classroom and at home
- Observation of the child in their early learning environment and in the home
- Weekly support visits with the ECCP® consultant to coach and model strategies
- Referrals and referral assistance
- Follow-up with ECCP® consultant to monitor progress
How to Access Services
ECCP® services are provided at no cost to families and early care and education providers. Services are provided by licensed, master’s-level mental health clinicians who are employed by licensed mental health agencies. Consultants receive comprehensive training and ongoing supervision in ECCP® and mental health consultation.
ECCP® is currently available in the following counties:
Who Can Make a Referral?
Referrals for Core Classroom Services may be made by the center/program director, manager, owner, or teacher. Referrals for Child-Specific Services can be made by parents, providers, teachers, or program directors. The Child-Specific Service is completely voluntary, and the child’s family must provide consent for the service
Reasons to Refer
Core Classroom Services: ECCP® is ideal for programs interested in improving behavior management in the classroom; improving the social and emotional tone of the classroom; enhancing partnerships between and among teachers, parents and administrators; and obtaining hands-on and practical strategies to support the social and emotional needs of the children in their care.
Child-Specific Services: ECCP® may be helpful for children experiencing mild anxiety, behavioral challenges (e.g., biting, hitting, etc.), difficulty with attention, poor social skills, or is at risk of suspension or expulsion from their childcare setting may be referred. A child may also be experiencing a stressful event such as the birth of a sibling, parental separation, loss of a family member, or a community stressor such as a storm, flood, etc.
Making a Referral:
If you are interested in receiving services or would like more information, please contact:
- Amy Beaulieu, LCSW
- Maine ECCP® Program Manager
- Office of Child & Family Services
- 2 Anthony Avenue
- 11 State House Station
- Augusta, ME 04333
- Ph: (207) 624-7900
- Toll free: 1-877-680-5866
The Maine ECCP® program is funded and managed by the State of Maine, Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS).
ECCP® was developed by Advanced Behavioral Health (ABH) in Middletown, Connecticut. ABH manages the ECCP® proprietary integrated data system (EIS), provides training in the model to Maine ECCP® Consultants, and supports fidelity monitoring to ensure ECCP® Consultants adhere to the program structure.
Maine ECCP® Provider Agencies: OCFS contracts with the following licensed mental health agencies to provide ECCP® services throughout the state.
- Community Care: Androscoggin county, Cumberland county, Penobscot county, York county
- Community Health and Counselling Services (CHCS): Aroostook county, Kennebec county
- Sunrise Opportunities: Washington county, Hancock county
Maine Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP) Webinar
Informational webinar recorded on February 1, 2021 for childcare providers, early childhood educators, and other interested community members describing the Maine ECCP® program and services to be offered. The webinar is one hour and 30 minutes and includes Q & A.