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The North Carolina Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Association (NCIMHA) is a statewide, interdisciplinary non-profit organization established to promote and support the optimal development of infants, toddlers, young children, and families through relationship-focused workforce development and advocacy efforts.

We recognize the vital importance of the foundational early years of development and that families need and deserve the support necessary in order to be able to nurture their children in a way that supports their ongoing, healthy development.  Like you, we are providers and professionals serving young children and families that are dedicated to promoting healthy social and emotional development in the earliest stages and relationships of life.



Every North Carolina child will grow up in nurturing foundational relationships and supportive environments that provide the basis for emotional, cognitive, and social capacities necessary for a healthy future.


Promote mental health for children birth through age 5 and expectant parents by collaborating to strengthen early childhood systems and developing an effective and supported workforce.





What is infant and early childhood mental health? 

Infant and early childhood mental health is the developing capacity of the child from birth to 5 years old

  • to form close and secure adult and peer relationships;
  • experience, manage, and express a full range of emotions; and
  • explore the environment and learn

all in the context of family, community, and culture (ZERO TO THREE).  Shaped by cultural expectations and community resources, these skills are built in the early years within relationships with nurturing, consistent, responsive caregivers.

The infant and early childhood mental health field is multi-disciplinary. It includes the full continuum of services, supports, and policies necessary to promote healthy development, prevent ongoing problems, and treat mental health disorders.

North Carolina becomes the 32nd state to license the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health’s culturally responsive, relationship focused Endorsement® credential. [Read More]

Infant mental health work is social justice work. See NCIMHA’s statement on anti-racism and the adoption of the Diversity Informed Tenants. [Read More]

Endorsement ensures that the professionals serving our most vulnerable are  equipped with the culturally responsive and reflective skills to promote early relational health, making life better for babies and their families. [Read More]

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