Guide to Developing a Statewide Network of Infant/Toddler Specialists (Revised 2017)

child care providers and children Developing a Statewide Network of Infant/Toddler Specialists: Technical Assistance Guide for States and Territories, Revised 2017
This revised publication focuses on the development of statewide networks of infant/toddler (I/T) specialists. 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 the issues that have contributed to the development of infant/toddler specialist networks;
  • provides a framework for a step-by-step approach to create a network; and
  • emphasizes the importance of linking the network to other programs, quality initiatives, and consultant networks.



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.


Information for the original version of this document was gathered from States that are developing and implementing ITSNs, including States that participated in the National Infant & Toddler Child Care Initiative (NITCCI)’s ITSN 2006–2007 learning community. Information for this revised version comes from 2016–-2018 CCDF Plans and I/T specialists from across the country who shared their knowledge and experience; we are grateful for their contributions.