Volume 02 | February 2021
Partnering with Orange County Early Childhood and Education (ECE) providers and families, to support social-emotional competence and build nurturing environments focused on positive mental and behavioral health for all children.
February 2021 Newsletter
Dear Start Well Community,
Happy New Year! We hope 2021 brings you lots of joy and peace. This month we are focusing on self care and learning how to love ourselves a little more during these times!

Welcome & Thank you!
Welcome to all of the programs that have joined the Start Well Community!
Angelica's Daycare, Happy Kiddos, Rosa's Daycare, St. John's Lutheran Preschool, Rossmoor Elementary (LAUSD), LHCLA Lambees Preschool, Village Montessori School of Irvine, Bethany Christian Academy, Mariners Church Preschool, and Irvine Community Nursery School! We are also so grateful for all of our past and current programs, thank you so much for partnering with us!

Congratulations to our raffle winners in our October, November and December Community of Practice (CoP).
Bhawna Garg
EXCEL Montessori Inc
“The Thankful book”
By Todd Par
Jeanette Garcia
Good Shepherd Preschool
“In my heart: A Book of Feelings” By Joe Witek
Donna Schwartze
Irvine Community
Nursery School
“Words are Not for Hurting”
By Elizabeth Verdick
Open Enrollment

Start Well only has a few spots left for open enrollment! If your early care and education program would like to partner with an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant
email info@startwelloc.org to enroll!

Follow us @startwellorangecounty on both Facebook and Instagram
Taking Time to Care for YOU!
To all our incredible providers, we see you! We know you are the most giving, selfless, caring group and you continuously work to better your programs, classrooms, families and organizations. As we begin this new year, some of you may be feeling tired, overwhelmed and anxious for what 2021 will bring. This month we want to encourage you to self reflect on how full your "cup" is. If you feel like you are running on empty, overly busy and perpetually on the edge of exhaustion now is the time to break the cycle. Children are able to sense our feelings of frustration or anxiety even if they are not directed towards them. Your work is a marathon not a race, cultivating a habit of checking the fullness of your cup is important not just for ourselves but for the children we support. This month we want to encourage you to give yourself permission to refill your cup.

  • Monitor your mental health, sleep and eating habits
  • Make a list of tasks that need to be competed daily, weekly, monthly
  • Create a calendar of your daily activities (include breaks)
  • Schedule time on the calendar for activities that bring you joy
  • Allow "good enough" to be good enough
  • Reach out to family, friends or colleagues
We are here for you. If you have a Start Well Consultant, reach out to them. If you don’t have a consultant yet, contact us and join the community. We can help you explore ways to fill your cup.
Early Childhood Mental Health Resources

The resources attached all focus on how to support yourself and the children in your care.
As COVID concerns increase it is important to recognize our emotions. Recognizing our feeling can alert us to use self help tools so that we can better support our children.
This article discusses the different types of "Love Languages" children have and how understanding their love language can help us as caregivers fill their "love tank." You can find the book online by clicking on the image.
Self-regulation is influenced by many external and internal factors. In addition, the temperament children are born with influences their ability to self-regulate. This article from Zero to Three provides tips to promote self-regulation in young children.
This handout includes visuals you can print and use to facilitate problem solving at home and school.
Community Resources
Discovery Cube
Discovery Cube offers resources for Teachers through Professional Development programs, free workshops, free education events, and great lesson plans through their Teacher Education Network. Join their network today!
Families and Communities Together
Families and Communities Together (FaCT) is a network of Family Resource Centers (FRCs) located throughout Orange County’s highest-risk communities providing essential family support services, education and resources.
Western Youth Services
Western Youth Services matches the right services to every child and every family. Their integrated service model means they offer programs intended to prevent mental health issues by using wellness solutions.
Teacher and Program Highlights

Rochelle Santacruz
Early Childhood Lab School Manager
OCC Early Childhood Lab School

“Receiving the experience in developing a “behavior plan” has helped tremendously with our students, parents, teachers and for our program. The joint effort of everyone involved, our ECMH Consultant, parents, teachers, and myself, had such a positive outcome that we will continue to implement the behavior plan into our program year after year. Thank you (Start Well)! You helped us create a bridge to help the most vulnerable in our preschool program!"
Our Team
Leadership Team
Program Manager,
Sadhna Matai
Content Expert & Training Specialist,
Sandy Avzaradel
Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants
Hannah Thompson
Hazel Vickers
Kim Versluis
Rhysa Suh
Veronica Oliver
Funded by: OC Health Care Agency (OCHCA), Behavioral Health Services, Prevention & Intervention, Mental Health Services Act/Prop 63