Who We Are
The Iowa Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IAIECMH) is a committed group of professionals who understand and value the role of mental health among young children and their families, and actively strive to deliver quality services that support children’s social, emotional and behavioral development.
Our Strategic Goals:
- Enhance the quality and capacity of Iowa’s early childhood professionals to meet the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of young children and their families
- Increase public awareness and understanding of the need for high quality, nurturing relationships during infancy and early childhood
- Promote comprehensive and integrated services and supports for those working together to help children achieve their full social and emotional potential
The last three decades have produced significant research linking relationships, environments and experiences in early childhood with brain development, physical health and social, emotional and behavioral wellbeing across the lifespan. This research has resulted in a paradigm shift that changes the question from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Research findings suggest that, by supporting young children and their families, we can actually promote strong families and nurture healthy mental development.
The Iowa Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IAIECMH) was formed in June, 2013, by professionals in a variety of settings (mental health, education, private practice, state government, and advocacy groups). This group shares a desire to collect and disseminate information about current research, training opportunities, best practices, funding, and policies to inform the system for children's mental health. The IAIECMH serves as a hub to bring parents, practitioners, educators, and policymakers together to improve the health and wellbeing of Iowa’s children.
Board of Directors
President: Megan Caves
Past President: Kelly Pelzel
Secretary: Lea Boldt
Treasurer: Rhonda Rairden-Nelson
Student Representative: Luke Huber
Family Representative: Allison Schroeder
Director At-Large: Gladys Alvarez
Director At-Large: Stephanie McFarland
Director At-Large: Kere Hughes-Belding
Director At-Large: Jessie Miereles
Director At-Large: Rhonda Rairden-Nelson