Clay Announces Partnership with Growing Room Child Development Centers

Clay is unrolling a multi-center partnership with  early childhood operator Growing Room in Georgia. Clay specializes in behavioral health services for young children and acts as the first pediatric behavioral health platform to integrate with preschools.

Clay, a virtual behavioral health solution designed specifically to support young children, today announced its statewide partnership with Growing Room Learning Centers, a best-in-class operator of early childhood education schools. Clay is the first virtual behavioral health platform integrating with early education centers and comes at a critical time as the mental/emotional health crisis threatening young children has worsened post-COVID.

This partnership acknowledges the important role and responsibility early childhood education schools have in turning the tides on the mental health crisis.

The seed of Growing Room sprouted deep in the heart of pediatric nurse Sheree Mitchell. As a working mother, she was frustrated with the lack of quality child care available for her son; she believed all children deserved more than just basic daycare.

In her mind, the ideal learning environment would be colorful, welcoming and spark a child’s imagination as soon as they entered. The school would be secure, so parents wouldn’t worry about their child’s safety. There would be good health practices in place to minimize exposure to illness and all children would be treated with dignity and respect. The school would offer developmentally appropriate curriculum for all ages, beginning with infants, and would instill strong character traits and good citizenship. In short, it would give them a foundation for a lifelong love of learning that would lead to success in life.

Holding fast to her dream of creating this education-focused setting for preschoolers, Sheree and her husband opened their first Growing Room in 1989. Families quickly responded and soon she was hearing stories of their children’s success. Teachers told her they could tell the difference with Growing Room children – they were well prepared for Kindergarten! Little did Sheree know that the success of these children and their families would also lead to Sheree to being named Georgia Small Business Person of the Year, and later U.S. Small Business Person of the Year.

In an ever-changing world, we are seeing more challenging behaviors in the preschool setting and the need for resources for parents and early childhood educators to help with these challenging behaviors. Growing Room has always believed that for a child to be successful, we must have a strong partnership between home and school. Through our partnership with Clay we can support our Growing Room families and enhance our school and family relationship with valuable resources that will help to identify and provide early intervention for behavioral health needs. We are excited to offer these additional resources to our Growing Room families and teachers, and we look forward to partnering with Clay.  

– Brittany Haines

CEO, Growing Room Child Development Centers

Starting this fall, Clay will serve as the behavioral health partner to Growing Room’s community (students, parents, teachers), with comprehensive behavioral health services including developmental and behavioral screening for early identification, personalized strategies, and behavioral support to drive better outcomes both at home and in the classroom, and proactive training for teachers around behavioral health.

 Growing Room Learning Centers is a leader when it comes to early childhood education and it is a privilege to serve their community of parents and educators. By providing families access to behavioral and developmental tools, the Growing Room team is acknowledging the importance of early monitoring in young children. 

– Lee Rotenberg

CEO and cofounder of Clay

About the team

Founded by repeat technology entrepreneurs Lee Rotenberg, Alex Schinasi and Omri Mendellevich, Clay is joined by a team of best-in-class clinicians with decades of experience at leading institutions such as Boston Children’s Hospital,  NYU Langone and the Family Institute at Northwestern. They are backed by healthcare thought leaders like Jonathan Bush of Athenahealth & Zus, Mark Frank of Sondermind and Scott Flanders of eHealth.

About the Product

Clay’s product allows for schools and their families to access a behavioral care team on demand when behavioral concerns arise. Their proprietary technology automatically assigns age-appropriate developmental & behavioral screeners, scores results and creates meaningful behavioral health assessments with care navigation on what to do next and evidence-based strategies to address the concern. The platform also powers teacher groups and parent groups moderated by behavioral coaches for immediate support.

The Clay app allows educators and families to keep a pulse of children’s behavioral and developmental challenges and to enable points of intervention when needed.

To learn more, contact [email protected]