History and Current Status of the Association of Early Childhood and Infant Psychologists (AECIP)

Article excerpt

The Association of Early Childhood and Infant Psychologists (AECIP) is the new organizational name for the New York Association of Early Childhood and Infant Psychologists (NYAECIP). Given the expanding interest from psychologists working within early childhood and infant psychology beyond the New York metropolitan area, the membership voted and approved changing the organizational name from NYAECIP to AECIP. The name change was effected in 2005 to reflect the expansion of the organization. Consideration for the history and goals of the organization are given as they relate to the impetus for the name change and how, if at all, the goals are impacted by the name change.

As noted in the first volume of the Journal of Early Childhood and Infant Psychology (JECIP), NYAECIP was founded in 1997 to meet the needs of early childhood and infant psychologists in the New York City area. With the founding of NYAECIP several goals were established and incorporated into the organizational by-laws. The article by Mowder and Rubinson (2005) detailed the by-laws of NYAECIP. Some of the by-laws directly pertaining to the desire to change the organizational name include: providing a vehicle for networking within early childhood and infant psychology; fostering research, meetings, writing, and interactions among those interested in early childhood and infant psychology; working toward the establishment of early childhood and infant psychology as a recognized specialty within our own profession (e.g., APA); and acting as an information and communication vehicle for those interested in early childhood and infant psychology developments, issues, research, and training.

Since the establishment of NYAECIP, several Presidents (Dr. Barbara Mowder, Dr. Gil Foley, Dr. Mark Sossin, Dr. Florence Rubinson) have steered the organization to meeting the goals specified above. Since its inception, the organization has fostered communication and networking at conferences typically held three times per year. Recently, a listserve was established to provide an informal means of communication and information transmission that is time efficient and user friendly. Achieving the organizational goals has also been aided by the newsletter that is distributed two times per year. The newsletter has recently been updated and expanded not only to include more information regarding upcoming conferences and events but also to include information about employment and/or training opportunities. One of the greatest steps towards fulfilling the organizational goals has certainly been the establishment of this journal, the Journal of Early Childhood and Infant Psychology. JECIP fosters writing and research within the area of early childhood and will also serve to enhance the presence of the organization in the greater scope of psychology. JECIP contributors, as well as the editorial board membership, reflect the ability of the organization to reach professionals across the nation.

Most recently, the organization is in the process of creating a directory that lists psychologists specializing in work with young children and their families. This document will be useful to families in need of assistance for learning and mental health issues with their young children. In addition, the directory will be an excellent referral source for other professionals. The directory might begin as a resource for families within New York City. However, it could eventually emerge as a resource for the entire metropolitan area, or the entire state, and could serve as a model for other states. …