Social Emotional Development Landing Pad

Social development and emotional development are closely interrelated; both encompass a child’s ability and desire to interact effectively with adults and other children. Many children acquire social and emotional skills in a relatively predictable manner; others need support from caring adults. This landing pad highlights research, policies, and position statements (Why Do It?), print materials (Read All About It), videos and DVDs (See for Yourself), and web resources (Find It Online) to support the social and emotional development of young children. Featured resources are high-quality, readily available, and no-cost or low-cost. A special section (Virginia Guidance) features Web sites, organizations, and other state-specific resources.

Why Do It?

Evidence-Based Social-Emotional Curricula for Children 0-5 Years and Their Families

The Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI) reviewed and synthesized information for programs to use in selecting curricula or intervention packages. The information can help to identify curricula that are most appropriate for their setting and that best meet the needs of the children and families they serve.

Promoting Social Behavior of Young Children in Group Settings: A Summary of Research

Glen Dunlap and Diane Powell authored this summary of intervention practices that are supported by empirical evidence for promoting adaptive social-emotional behavior of young children in group contexts. The focus is on toddlers and preschool children who are identified as having or being at risk for disabilities, and who have identified problems with social-emotional behaviors.

Working Paper on the Importance of Addressing Serious Emotional and Behavioral Problems Early

Mental Health Problems in Early Childhood Can Impair Learning and Behavior for Life, a working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, reviews recent evidence on the potentially serious consequences of significant mental health problems in young children and examines the importance of addressing emerging emotional and behavioral problems early.

See For Yourself

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL)

Videos produced by CSEFEL are available to view online. Go to to see Promoting Social Emotional Competence, Practical Strategies for Teaching Social Emotional Skills, and other titles in their entirety.

Find It Online Part 1

Creating Teaching Tools for Young Children with Challenging Behavior

This free resource gives teachers practical strategies, developed from TACSEI's research activities and experiences in positive behavior support, to create a plan to support young children who are having challenging behavior. The teaching tools provide easily accessible ideas and materials such as handouts, worksheets, techniques, strategies, and visuals to support children in the classroom and other learning environments. In addition they can offer ideas of effective intervention approaches for children who do not need a functional assessment to determine the function of the child's problem behavior or a team-based process to address persistent challenging behavior.

Early Childhood Mental Health, Social-Emotional Development, and Challenging Behaviors

The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC) Web site has a section on early childhood mental health, social emotional development and challenging behavior. This site includes links to definitions, legislation, initiatives, organizations, foundations, research centers and supports.

Key Measurement Issues in Screening, Referral, and Follow-Up Care for Social and Emotional Development

This report is designated to assist states in assessing the effectiveness of their efforts to strengthen mental health services for very young children. The paper is an outgrowth of the work being conducted by the five states involved in the ABCD II Consortium, a project of the National Academy for State Health Policy and the Commonwealth Fund that seeks to improve the delivery of services needed by very young children to ensure their healthy mental development.

Most Popular Resources on Promoting Social Emotional Development

This Zero to Three Web site offers downloadable guidance on frequency requested topics ranging from When a Child is Inconsolable to Toddlers and Challenging Behavior. Resources on early childhood mental health, challenging behavior, mental health screening and assessment, and temperament are also avalable (see column on the left hand side of the Web page).

Parent Training Modules

CSEFEL has developed a series of six modules (Making Connections, Making It Happen, Why Do Children Do What They Do, Teach Me What To Do, Facing the Challenge Part 1, and Facing the Challenge Part 2) to support family members in understanding and supporting social and emotional development. Each module, which is available in English and Spanish, includes a script, activities, and a PowerPoint presentation. A Family Workbook and a Facilitators Guide are also available to download.

Promoting Social and Emotional Competence Modules

Based on input from early childhood program administrators, training and technical assistance providers, educators and family members about the types and content of training that would be most useful in addressing the social-emotional needs of young children, CSEFEL has developed a series of modules. The content of the modules is consistent with evidence-based practices identified through a thorough review of the literature. Infant-toddler and preschool modules are available to download in English or Spanish.

Find It Online Part 2

Resources on the Pyramid Model for Promoting Children's Social and Emotional Development

TACSEI and CSEFEL have developed a number of resources on implementing the Pyramid Model to help promote young children's social, emotional and behavioral competenece. These include:

Pyramid Model for Promoting the Social and Emotional Development of Infants and Young Children Factsheet - This 4-page fact sheet briefly describes the three tiers of intervention practice and outlines six key assumptions that were made during the design process about how the Pyramid Model would be implemented.

State Collaborative Planning Tool Kit - This tool kit pulls together in one place several resources, tools, samples, and state product examples to help states in statewide Pyramid Model planning.

Review of Screening Instruments for Social Emotional Concerns

A document from TACSEI entitled Emotional Concerns: Considerations in the Selection of Instruments (2009) by Jasolyn Henderson and Phillip Strain provides a brief overview of the use of screening instruments to help identify children and families who would benefit from erly and targeted intervention strategies. It is meant to help administrators and teachers choose appropriate instruments for implementing a screening program.

What Works Briefs

Each CSEFEL What Works Brief describes practical strategies, provides references to more information about the practice, and includes a one-page handout, highlighting the major points of the brief. Twenty-two briefs in English and Spanish are available to download or purchase. Topics range from Understanding the Impact of Language Differences on Classroom Behavior to Helping Children Learn to Manage Their Own Behavior

Read About It

Emotional Development of Young Children: Building an Emotion-Centered Curriculum

As young children talk, play, plan, write and argue, emotions are constantly present, helping to focus their attention, influence their interpretation of events and output. Marilou Hyson's book offers effective teaching strategies and helpful resources. This book is available from Teachers College Press for $21.95.

Virginia Guidance

Social Emotional Development of Young Children

This free online learning module was developed as an introduction to social emotional development, also known as infant mental health, for children birth to age five. Topics covered in this module include: social emotional development, evidence-based research including a framework for infant child mental health, and reflection on the impact of past experiences, family, culture on healthy social emotional development.

The Foundation of the Pyramid: Social Emotional Development within the Context of Nurturing Relationships and Supportive Environments

This archived webinar was presented by Dr. Rob Corso and Bonnie Griffa as a Talks on Tuesdays webinar.

Developmental Checklist Brochures.

The Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia has developed downloadable brochures in English, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, and Vietnamese to promote public awareness of typical milestones for birth – 36 months.

Milestones of Child Development: Learning and Development from Birth to Kindergarten.

This resource from Virginia’s Early Childhood Development Alignment Project provides a set of child development indicators and strategies for adults designed to support the growth and development of young children from birth to kindergarten entry. The milestones are organized by domain (e.g., Social and Emotional Development). Within each domain are related strands (e.g., Relationship with Others) and indicators, examples, and strategies arranged in a gradual age progression from birth to kindergarten entry. The content on social and emotional development may be found on pages 47-55.

Child Development

This free online learning module addresses infant and toddler development between the ages of birth through 36 months. This module is one of a series of modules required to be completed by certified early intervention practitioners in VA.

Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center

Virginia Commonwealth University
Partnership for People with Disabilities

Integrated Training Collaborative
Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia
Partnership for People with Disabilities

This professional development activity is supported by the Integrated Training Collaborative (ITC), with funding support from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Copyright © 2011, Updated 2013.