Ennis Baker is the project director for the Building Capacity for Trauma-Informed Infant & Toddler Care: A Professional Development Framework project. In this role, she provides leadership for this new collaborative project that will leverage existing resources to craft a professional development framework focused on trauma-informed practice in infant/toddler care. The framework will be designed to be practical, evidence-based, sustainable and maximally effective for children under age 3 in North Carolina licensed child care and for the teachers and child care administrators who care for them.
Baker is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in early childhood mental health and has served in a variety of roles serving vulnerable children ages birth to 5 and their families. She began her career as a toddler teacher in San Francisco’s Bayview/Hunter’s Point neighborhood in 1988 and since 1990 has lived and worked in various counties in North Carolina, focusing on children under age 5 as a child care provider, home visitor, program director and on a multidisciplinary evaluation team.
From 1999-2018, Baker served as a manager and mental health specialist for Orange County Head Start/Early Head Start in Chapel Hill, NC. In this role, she provided leadership and early childhood mental health consultation to program staff and families around issues of toxic stress, child abuse and neglect, best practice in infant/toddler child care, parenting, preventing and managing children’s challenging behavior, adult and child mental health, and strengthening families by promoting protective factors. Baker is trained as a facilitator/parent educator in Triple P Level 3, Incredible Years Parenting Program, Circle of Security Parenting and Darkness to Light/Stewards of Children. She has co-chaired the Orange/Chatham Early Childhood Mental Health Task Force since 2012 and has co-led the Orange RESILIENCE Initiative since 2017.