In 2004, North Carolina, through the NC Division of Child Development funding, established a Statewide Infant and Toddler Enhancement Project. The Project goal is to improve the quality and availability of infant/toddler care in North Carolina. The Project team serves all 100 NC counties through Infant/Toddler Specialists housed in regional lead child care resource and referral agencies. A Project Manager, employed by Child Care Services Association, provides leadership and oversight of the project.
Specialists provide services statewide including technical assistance for child care programs and other community consultants and training specific to infant and toddler care best practices. For a list of the current trainings provided, please click here. The project is rigorously monitored to insure consistency, equitability and quality of services delivered across the state, and the impact is evaluated by several measurable outcomes. The Project Manager and Specialists contribute articles for use in local and regional publications and serve on a variety of state and local committees to provide support for birth to three initiatives.
Specialized training is provided and required of each specialist, including ITS-SIDS (safe sleep and SIDS reduction), Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale, and Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC). Specialists must also attain certification from WestEd as PITC trainers.
A statewide report on county, regional and statewide status of infant/toddler care, “Who’s Caring for Our Babies Now?” was completed in 2008. This report compares 2008 data to the baseline data for the project reported on in 2005/2006. The CCSA Research Department provided the data analysis, and the Executive Summary and complete report is available at www.childcareservices.org.
The Infant Toddler Quality Enhancement Project also created a resource designed as a supplement to the North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development for the Infant-Toddler workforce. Adults who spend time caring for and teaching very young children can use these simple and inexpensive experiences to guide interactions that support early learning and development. Children should be engaged in many different activities throughout the day, both indoors and outdoors. Before choosing an activity, the adult must first observe children and determine if the activity is developmentally appropriate and interesting to the children. To access the resource, please click here.
To contact an Infant/Toddler Specialist in your area, please click here and scroll down to Contact List.