Early Years 8 Areas of Focus

The purpose of this paper is to provide professionals, working with infants/young children and their families, with common messages focused on early social-emotional development which contributes to positive mental health and well-being. Download the Social-Emotional Development in the Early Years: A Common Message Paper (2nd Ed.).

A shared understanding of the experiences, resources and protective factors that foster healthy social-emotional development strengthens our collective ability to:

  • Provide caregivers with information and resources to promote their infant/young child’s healthy social-emotional development
  • Identify when infants/young children would benefit from additional help and support
  • Mitigate factors that can negatively impact an infant/young child’s social-emotional development
  • Ensure that infants/young children and/or their caregivers are linked to the right people providing the right services at the right time

The 8 areas of focus that promote healthy social-emotional development and their related messages can be used to:

  • Increase awareness of the importance of the early years in providing the foundation for mental health and well-being
  • Orientate, educate and align a shared understanding of factors that contribute to optimal social-emotional development
  • Tailor marketing and/or communication strategies promoting social-emotional well-being

Summary fact sheet: The 8 Areas of Focus

Moving from Knowledge to Practice

The EYMHC has developed a brief overview for each of the eight areas of focus, highlighting learning and talking points as well as linking to specific resources that can be shared with colleagues and/or families.


Brain Development & the Environment
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Stress & Brain Development
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Executive Function
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Icon of father holding hands of a young boy and girl

Positive Caring Relationships
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Icon of children playing
Icon of mother holding child

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Icon of head with a heart symbol

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