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The Role of Quality ECE in Facilitating Mental Health and Well-Being in Children

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This article explores trends and statistics specific to the mental health status of children from both the Canadian and the global contexts to inform a conversation on the environmental conditions and experiences that impact the mental health of young children. The research described here focused on the intersection between mental health and early child education (ECE), along with the educational and professional development experiences of early childhood educators, in an attempt to identify mitigating factors that can ensure social-emotional development in children. The article argues that while ECE can help the social-emotional development of young children, there needs to be a focus on ensuring quality of experience with explicit social-emotional learning outcomes, delivered by highly educated professionals. It concludes with a call to focus on the mental health of young children, early child educators, and the critical importance of healthy relationships in the lives of these children.

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