JFCS East Bay’s preschool consultation services bring our early childhood experts into the school to provide guidance to teachers and parents on childhood trauma, child development, behavioral issues, and positive discipline.
Our trauma-informed Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation program focuses on underserved preschools in Oakland and other areas of Alameda County, where children are routinely exposed to domestic and community violence. This kind of exposure impacts brain development and leads to both behavioral and learning challenges at school. We work to help teachers understand why children react to trauma the way they do and we support teachers in developing positive strategies to respond to traumatized children in their classrooms.
If a particular child is exhibiting developmental delays or more pronounced behavioral challenges, our Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists and Child Development Specialists can provide child-specific consultation, including meeting with parents and teachers to develop support and behavior plans. We can also link families to further assessment, treatment, and resources.
At school sites, our staff advises administrators and teachers on program development, team dynamics, communication, and classroom set-up. We also offer guidance to early childhood educators so they can better recognize, understand, and manage behavioral issues. Our consultation program provides preschools with an in-depth understanding of early childhood development so they can nurture the children in their care.
JFCS East Bay currently provides early childhood mental health consultation at twenty Oakland Unified School District sites; three Oakland Head Start sites; two YMCA of the Bay Area Head Start sites; 2 Unity Council sites; and 1 independent preschool in West Oakland. The children served by these programs come from predominately Latino and African American families who experience poverty and violence in their daily lives.
JFCS East Bay also provides consultation to various Jewish preschools and is available for consultation at other private preschools and family child care centers on a fee-for-service basis to address each site’s particular needs.