Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care
Provide Access to Training, Education, and Ongoing Supports
What policies can states use to move toward this recommendation?
To move toward this recommendation, states may use multiple policy levers, starting from different points. Potential state policies include:
- Mandate that licensed providers have specialized training or education specific to babies and toddlers prior to caring for this age group.
- Require and train licensing staff to assess whether providers caring for babies and toddlers have sufficient knowledge of infant/toddler health and safety, development, and care, and to provide information about available pathways to securing needed training and education.
- Require licensed infant/toddler providers to receive individualized consultation from an infant/toddler specialist to assess quality and develop plans for ongoing improvement.
- Require child care providers seeking state licensure to receive 40 hours of pre-service training and 24 hours of ongoing training annually that addresses infant/toddler development, health and safety, parent partnerships, and other issues important for caring for babies and toddlers. Ensure sufficient resources, supports, and capacity of the state training system to help providers meet these training levels, including for providers who speak languages other than English.
- Require licensed child care settings to implement reflective supervision techniques with staff caring for babies and toddlers.
- Provide incentives and rewards, including higher payment rates, to infant and toddler care providers receiving child care subsidies if they enroll in or complete infant/toddler- specific training and education that meets state recommendations on the core body of knowledge.
- Provide grants or contracts that pay for staff education and training to child care centers that serve babies and toddlers receiving subsidies.
- Award contracts or grants to family child care networks or associations to raise education and training levels for participating providers who serve babies and toddlers receiving subsidies.
- Require providers and family, friend, and neighbor caregivers who accept subsidy payments to care for children under age three to complete training on infant/toddler development and caregiving techniques, and provide resources to assist with the costs of meeting this requirement.
- Require providers receiving subsidies to care for children under age three to participate in on-site consultation with an infant/toddler specialist and provide resources to assist providers in meeting this requirement.
Ensure that state-level professional development system and planning includes an intentional focus promoting the quality of infant/toddler care:
- Conduct an audit of state professional development offerings and providers' learning opportunities specific to infants and toddlers, including higher education, resource and referral, special education, and other relevant community-based resources, and analyze gaps and barriers. Include in the audit offerings for linguistically diverse providers and caregivers.
- Ensure credit-based coursework in higher education and other institutions is available and addresses the core body of knowledge.
- Convene universities, community colleges, and other institutions offering credit-based coursework, degrees in early childhood education, Child Development Associate credentials (CDA), and/or infant-toddler credentials to develop a plan to allow for articulation among such offerings.
- Encourage universities, community colleges, and other institutions to offer relevant coursework and training in languages other than English.
- Ensure that the standards, design, and incentives of state quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) address and encourage the state's goals for education and training specific to babies' and toddlers' health and safety, development, and care.
- Create statewide infant/toddler specialist networks that provide coaching, mentoring, individualized consultation, technical assistance, and other supports for all infant and toddler providers and caregivers.
- Develop methods to ensure access to education, training, and support in all regions of the state where babies and toddlers are in care, including rural areas.
- Work with four- and two-year institutions of higher education as well as community-based training providers to increase articulation in infant/toddler training and coursework.
- Track and recognize increasing levels of formal education and training in infant/toddler- specific coursework through a state professional development registry system.
Increase access to formal education for infant/toddler providers:
- Provide scholarships, substitutes, paid release time, and other supports to help current infant and toddler center-based and family child care providers access state infant/toddler credentials, the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, higher education, and training on the core body of knowledge, and require providers to commit to their positions serving infants and toddlers for at least one year after receiving financial support to meet their education goals.
- Support the professional development of racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse providers through scholarships and stipends, access to professional development opportunities, and information in multiple languages.
- Fund counseling and mentoring programs to encourage and assist working infant/toddler providers and caregivers as they seek and complete higher education.
Provide training and supports to improve knowledge and practice of infant/toddler providers and caregivers:
- Use supportive strategies to reach family, friend, and neighbor caregivers with child development information, such as home visitation, voluntary community-based learning opportunities, and partnerships with networks of family, friend, and neighbor caregivers.
- Support professional development and community-level training targeted to networks of family child care providers serving infants and toddlers.
- Fund mentoring programs linking experienced providers with center-based and family child care providers new to caring for infants and toddlers with special needs, to share knowledge and provide support.
- Use state child care resource and referral networks and public education strategies to better inform parents about the importance of training and education for infant/toddler providers and quality.
- Work with child care resource and referral agencies to create community-based professional development plans that incorporate culturally and linguistically appropriate training on child development, health, and safety, and the basic components of state licensing.
- Partner with community-based organizations as a trusted messenger to offer culturally and linguistically appropriate trainings and support services for family, friend, and neighbor caregivers.
Related Project Recommendations
Visit page: http://www.clasp.org/babiesinchildcare/recommendations?id=0002