Throughout the past month, Healthi Kids and our partners at the New York State Association for Infant Mental Health (NYS-AIMH) have been busy raising awareness with state policymakers about the importance of infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) and supporting those who work with and on behalf of young children and their families. We're excited that lawmakers have expressed significant interest in learning more about Healthi Kids and NYS-AIMH, endorsement, and professional development opportunities for the early childhood workforce in IECMH, and we will be continuing these conversations over the next several months. 

At the beginning of the month, Governor Hochul released her FY 2024 budget proposal, and we were pleased to see that she has proposed $12 million to expand Healthy Steps pediatric programs throughout the state. We also applaud her support of Medicaid reimbursement for Doula care, which has shown to improve and advance equity in maternal and infant health outcomes, particularly for Black women. 

We were hoping the Governor's budget would address critical resources needed to support an infant mental health-informed early childhood workforce, and to ensure that young children and their families are getting the services and supports they need to thrive. Greater investments in Early Intervention, IECMH consulting, Pyramid Model, and Strong Starts Court Initiative, among many others, would benefit thousands of kids and families for years to come.  

NYS-AIMH and Healthi Kids will continue to advocate and build awareness for policies and practices such as these that advance our shared goal of growing a workforce prepared to support the relational development of 0-5 year olds and their families.

To learn more or get involved, please contact Stephanie David, Early Childhood Policy Director, at