Early childhood mental health has become a trending word in the literature, in early childhood development circles, and in public policy discussions in the United States. However, the severity of the problems of mental health in young children is often misunderstood, overlooked, or underestimated. This paper will review the literature about the definitions and foundations of early childhood mental health within the United States, explore some of the current frameworks of understanding early childhood mental health, and consider the continuum of services resonating in today’s social and political climate. Sprouting Melodies®, a music therapy based early childhood music program, will be presented as a potential solution to providing universal and preventative services sound mental health for young children and their families.
Keywords: Childhood, mental health, music therapy, sprouting melodies