Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Mental Health

The Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) program is sponsored jointly by UNC Charlotte’s School of Social Work and Department of Special Education and Child Development.  It is an interdisciplinary post-baccalaureate certificate program that addresses the increasing need for mental health services for children from birth to five years of age.  There is growing interest in infant and early childhood mental health; however, young children are rarely the focus of graduate training programs.  Whereas mental health work with older children emphasizes increased personal choice-making and negotiation skills, mental health work with younger children is focused on the quality of the child’s relationships, resources, and social environment.  Consequently, parents and other caretakers are a much more integral part of prevention and intervention efforts for young children.  Graduates of the EMCH certificate program will be able to:

  • Promote awareness about the importance of early childhood mental health
  • Work with diverse families with young children
  • Identify evidence-informed services for young children and their families
  • Recognize, refer, and perform ecologically valid mental health assessments of young children
  • Explain the relationships between social, cognitive, and communication development in young children
  • Support positive, relationship-focused communication between young children and their caretakers
  • Facilitate positive social-communication skills between young children and their caretakers in a variety of settings

To see a program planning sheet, refer to the link on the left-hand side of this page.   For more information on the Graduate Certificate Program, contact Ms. Amy Peters in the School of Social Work at 704-687-7924 or sswadmissions@uncc.edu.  You may also contact Dr. JaneDiane Smith (Child and Family Development Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Mental Health Graduate Concentration Coordinator)  at 704-687-8850 or jdianesm@uncc.edu

Admission and Progression Requirements, and all Program Requirements can be found in the Graduate Catalog. Please see the information below:

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Time Limits

If a certificate student is later accepted into either the M.S.W. or M.Ed. program at UNC Charlotte, all courses for the degree must be completed within six years of initial enrollment.  All courses for the Graduate Certificate in ECMH only must be completed within four years from initial enrollment in the certificate program.

For more information on the Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Mental Health, please visit
socialwork.uncc.edu/master-social-work-msw/early-childhood-mental-health-graduate.

For detailed information, admission requirements, and advising questions regarding the ECMH Graduate Certificate, please contact Ms. Amy Peters in the School of Social Work at 704-687-7924 or sswadmissions@uncc.edu.