Developing and Strengthening Infant/Toddler Specialist Networks, A Guide for States and Territories (Revised 2021)

child care providers and children Developing and Strengthening Infant/Toddler Specialist Networks
This revised publication focuses on the development and strengthening of infant/toddler specialist networks. These specialists work directly with infant/toddler providers to increase their skills, knowledge, and practice-based competencies, which helps the workforce offer high-quality early care and learning experiences for infants and toddlers across early childhood settings. This publication:


  • explores how Infant/Toddler Specialist Networks (ITSN) can support the I/T workforce and increase access to high-quality care;
  • provides an integrated, stage-based approach to implementing ITSNs; and
  • describes concepts to support, strengthen, and enhance existing ITSNs.

Two companion resources provide additional examples and resources for States that are developing, implementing, and evaluating ITSNs:

  • The ITSN 2017 Fact Sheet, based on the 44 ITSNs reported in 2016–2018 CCDF Plans, provides funding information, ITSN administrative oversight and operation information, and I/T specialist education requirements.
  • The ITSN State Promising Practices document, developed in collaboration with participating States during the Infant/Toddler Peer Learning Forum in 2017, provides current state examples and additional information relevant to developing and maintaining an ITSN.