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Childcare Providers and Mental Health

Working as an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) is challenging at the best of times. Teaching and caring for young children so that they can grow and develop to be the best they can be is a huge responsibility. There are also so many competing responsibilities and pressures: your own organization or business, your supervisor(s), the college of ECEs, the parents, your colleagues - all in addition to the children themselves and their ever-present needs. It can be easy for you to lose a sense of yourself in all of this. Add the new restrictions, policies and procedures required as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it can quickly become overwhelming.


Helpful Tips:

Identify the challenges

  • think about challenges as you do your Reflective Practice
  • discussing challenges with colleagues may lead to some creative problem-solving
  • it is guaranteed that someone else is feeling the same way

Be aware of signs of stress in yourself and your colleagues

  • irritability
  • feelings of depression
  • trouble sleeping
  • absent-mindedness
  • increased sick days
  • constantly feeling worn-out
  • loss of interest at home and at work

Find your support system

  • rely on and talk to friends/family, colleagues or supervisors in stressful times
  • consider enlarging your circle by joining one of the Strive Networks or Communities of Practice where you will be able to share strategies and validate your experience as well as take advantage of many quality professional learning opportunities

Rediscover your passion

  • revisit why you became an Early Childhood Educator in the first place

Prioritize self-care

  • self-care is not selfish
  • self-care helps you be your best whatever you are doing and wherever you are


More Resources

Date of creation: January 25, 2021
Last modified on: September 1, 2023


1College of Early Childhood Educators. (2021). Reflective practice in a time of COVID-19 Retrieved from
2Childcare Education Institute. (2020, March). Self-Care Retrieved from
3Hough, L. (2019, Winter). Five easy steps to helping early childhood educators de-stress Retrieved from
4Bayer-Saltzman, J. & Saltzman, J. (2015, January 26). Just breathe. Wavecrest Films Retrieved from
5HelpGuide. (2020). Stress management: Quick stress relief Retrieved from
6College of Early Childhood Educators. (2023). The College Presents a Special Talk with Dr. Jean Clinton Retrieved from