Essential Elements to Frame Support for Quality, Relationship-Based Infant and Toddler Care
The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 added a new permanent requirement: states and territories must spend at least 3 percent of Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) funds on improving the supply and quality of care for infants and toddlers. The law also increased the amount of money states and territories must spend to improve the overall quality of child care. This amount will increase in phases, ending with states and territories spending at least 9 percent of funds on these activities by 2020. These quality funds must be spent on at least one of 10 activities, such as supporting professional development for child care providers and implementing early learning and development guidelines (Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. § 98.50b ).
This chapter is intended to support professional development and technical assistance providers who are working with states and territories to ensure quality in family child care and center-based programs that serve infants and toddlers. The information in this chapter can help readers
Research tells us that early relationships are key to healthy brain development. These relationships lay the foundation for all future learning and are at the core of quality care for infants and toddlers in group care settings (Sosinsky et al., 2016, p. 3). Anyone involved in providing infant and toddlers in group care is faced with two primary questions: “How can we develop and strengthen relationships within programs?” and, “How can we design and support child care programs to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for infants and toddlers?”
The evidence-based program practices developed by the Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) offer a cohesive approach to high-quality care and education for children under age 3 (PITC, n.d.). The six essential program practices are primary care, continuity of care, inclusion, cultural sensitivity, small groups, and individualized care. Each article in this chapter highlights one of these practices. Together they provide a framework for promoting strong relationships that support positive early learning and development outcomes for infants and toddlers.
Each article includes
Including Relationship Based Practices in Infant-Toddler Care: Implications for Practice and Policy (2016), by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This report describes relationship-based care practices, with an emphasis on primary care and continuity of care. It focuses on research that supports the need for quality relationships in infant and toddler care, considerations for adopting or enhancing relationship-based practices, and implications of state standards for incorporating these practices into programs.
Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. pt. 98 (2016).
Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2014). Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014: Plain language summary of statutory changes. Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/ccdbg-of-2014-plain-language-summary-of-statutory-changes
Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC). (n.d.). Mission statement and PITC philosophy. Retrieved from https://www.pitc.org/pub/pitc_docs/about.html
Sosinsky, L., Ruprecht, K., Horm, D., Kriener-Althen, K., Vogel, C., & Halle, T. (2016). Including relationship-based care practices in infant-toddler care: Implications for practice and policy. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.