Alabama Political Reporter
Three Alabama early childhood educators were recently recognized by First 5 Alabama with the Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement for their commitment to childhood mental health.
The three women demonstrated specialized knowledge in applying infant and early childhood mental health principles when working with children and families.
Joy Winchester, from Montgomery; Nicole Harrington-Ryans, from Tuscaloosa; and Christal Coker, from Mobile, were recognized with the endorsement.
Winchester, an early learning best practice coordinator for the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education serving pre-K classrooms statewide, has been working in early childhood education for 24 years. She supports teachers in developing strategies for challenging behavior and classroom resiliency.
Harrington-Ryans, a disabilities coordinator for Head Start/Early Start at Community Service Programs of West AL in Tuscaloosa, has been working with families and children for 11 years developing strategies and techniques for mental health treatment and therapy.
Coker, a family and community engagement specialist with the B.E.S.T. Early Head Start Program, has been working for seven years providing services to children from birth to 6 years old.
First 5 Alabama issues their endorsements based on documentation and verification of specialized education, work, in-service training and reflective supervision and consultation experiences.