Fact Sheet: State and Territory Infant Toddler Specialist Networks: An Overview of Networks’ Structures and Functions

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The State Capacity Building Center’s Infant/Toddler Specialist Network has developed this resource to highlight the varied approaches states and territories use to administer statewide networks of infant/toddler (I/T) specialists. It provides an overview of the structures and functions of such networks—their delivery models, how they are funded and administered within each state, and their various quality assurance processes.

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 targets improvement in the supply and quality of infant/toddler care. Through this law, states and territories are encouraged to implement systems and approaches that strengthen the quality of infant/toddler care providers, improve the workforce’s capacity to meet the developmental needs of very young children, and increase the percentage of infants and toddlers in high-quality care. One such quality improvement strategy is the provision of coaching and technical assistance on infants’ and toddlers’ unique needs through statewide infant/toddler specialist networks (ITSNs).

Descriptions of state ITSN structural features highlighted in this resource were retrieved from state child care websites and from approved Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Plans for FY 2016–2018, which were published June 16, 2016, on the Office of Child Care's website. These CCDF Plans are available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/state-plans. Descriptions of ITSN services in this resource were also vetted with state child care leaders.

States and territories can use this resource to identify approaches to the provision of coaching and technical assistance from statewide networks of qualified infant/toddler specialists. Where available, web links are provided for documents that offer more detail about the ITSNs. Users are encouraged to refer to the web links provided and the 2016–2018 CCDF Plans for a more complete understanding of each state’s approach to ITSNs.