Endorsement Overview

The Competency Guidelines for Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health® (Endorsement) are internationally recognized credentials that support and recognize the development and proficiency of professionals who work with or on behalf of pregnant women, young children, birth up to 6-years old, and their families. Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® (IECMH-E®) are based on a set of competencies designed to support and enhance culturally sensitive, relationship focused practice within the framework of infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH). An Endorsement applicant demonstrates acquisition of these competencies through education, work, specialized training, and reflective supervision experiences.

Working with our youngest citizens requires specialized training and experience, and IECMH-E® ensures professionals have attained a certain level of expertise with 0 – 6 year olds and their families. IECMH-E® is relevant for professionals across disciplines including early care and education, prevention and early intervention, home visitation, medicine, child welfare, mental health, policy, academia, and others. 

Endorsement is available across multiple practice specialties spanning the continuum of care. Individuals apply for the Endorsement category that best matches their scope of practice. Learn more about each category below:  


Infant Mental Health Endorsement® Categories

For professionals working with or on behalf of children birth to 3:

Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® Categories

For professionals working with or on behalf of children 3 to 6:

Infant Family Associate

Infant Family Specialist

Infant Family Reflective Supervisor

Infant Mental Health Specialist

Infant Mental Health Mentor Clinical

Infant Mental Health Mentor Policy

Infant Mental Health Mentor Research/Faculty

Early Childhood Family Associate

Early Childhood Family Specialist

Early Childhood Family Reflective Supervisor

Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist

Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor Clinical

Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor Policy

Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor Research/Faculty



For Yourself: Endorsement enhances your professional credibility and your confidence in working with pregnant people, infants, young children and their families.

For Children and Families: Endorsement supports the provision of high quality, culturally informed, reflective, and relationship based services to pregnant people, infants, toddlers and their families across a variety of disciplines, systems, and early childhood workforce sectors.

For Communities: Endorsement provides assurance to families, agencies, employers and the public at large that the endorsed professional meets high standards of care.

For Employers: Endorsement signifies that professionals have attained a specified level of functioning and understanding about the promotion of IMH and relationship-based approaches.

For the Field: Endorsement supports professional development and career planning within an organized framework and creates a supported, competent, high quality workforce that is better equipped to create positive outcomes for the pregnant people, infants, toddlers and families they serve.


Read the latest research on the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement Credential!

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 the full report by staff from the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health here.