Early Childhood – ECCP

What is ECCP?

The Maine Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP®) is a free infant and early childhood mental health consultation program that addresses the social-emotional needs of children birth to age five (0-5) by offering support, education, and consultation to the adults who provide care for them. ECCP consultants 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. Services may last anywhere from 6 weeks (Child-Specific) to 14 weeks (Core Classroom). Specific consultation topics may include anything from managing aggressive behaviors, difficulties with transitions, creating positive classroom cultures, improving responsiveness of teaching staff, and building effective partnerships with families.

Who Can Make a Referral?

Referrals can be made by parents, providers, teachers, or program directors. The service is voluntary, and the child’s family must provide consent for the service.

How do I get ECCP services?

The program is being piloted by the Maine Office of Child and Family Services through 2023. Sunrise Opportunities is the agency offering ECCP® services in Hancock and Washington County.  Barbara Chatterton, LCPC, is the ECCP consultant with Sunrise Opportunities.  Referrals can be made to Barbara by contacting her at bchatterton@sun-rise.org or 207-271-7397.

ECCP’s History

ECCP® is the result of Maine legislators and early childhood experts coming together to expand mental health consultation across the state including the highly successful Early Childhood Consultation and Outreach (ECCO) program developed by the CCC, based on the Georgetown University Mental Health Consultation model.  First offered under the program name “Mental Health Consultation,” ECCO provided services of an early childhood expert to educators, child care staff and parents in order to develop effective strengths-based strategies and plans that support children’s success across environments. ECCO consultants worked with child care providers, Head Start centers, pre-schools, early elementary classrooms, and in homes with parents and foster parents. Services were utilized for one child or for groups of children. ECCO responded to the unmet needs of at-risk children and changes outcomes for children in Washington County and beyond.

ECCO’s Impact:

  • Adults who feel unable to meet the needs of a child or need support with difficult transitions for a child or children gain new insights, strategies an skills.
  • Families who experience difficulties when trying to set limits, boundaries, or create routines with their child or children become more effective and positive.
  • Individuals who find that children in their care struggle with too much energy, impulsivity, difficulty following rules, or effectively communicating their needs or wants gain improved outcomes.
  • Adults wishing to increase their understanding and skills in responding to typical and atypical child development (social, emotional, cognitive, motor, sensory, etc.) become more effective.
  • Teachers or child care providers who are challenged by a child’s behavior that is affecting other children and keeping the child from being successful in their learning environment report improvements that change the classroom environment.