The first years of life are a critical period of rapid brain development, and research is clear that infants and toddlers need good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences to thrive. Our state’s 10-year Early Learning Plan includes a strategy (#4) to build a continuum of quality services and programs to promote the healthy development of infants and toddlers from birth through age 3.
The Department of Early Learning (DEL), Thrive by Five Washington (Thrive), and other partners are working to build a statewide infant-toddler system. There are 10 infant-toddler regions in the state; each region is implementing a coordinated system for infant-toddler consultation services, sometimes called “interdisciplinary child care consultations,” for licensed child care providers who care for infants and toddlers.
Learn more about the 10 infant-toddler regions
What are infant-toddler child care consultations?
Infant-toddler child care consultations are delivered in licensed child care settings by trained consultants to help support the needs of infants and toddlers. Consultants partner with classroom teachers and directors to identify strengths and areas for improvement in their programs. They work together to develop a plan for improving their knowledge and skills across disciplines such as:
- Infant-toddler caregiving and education.
- Infant-toddler social-emotional development and behavioral health.
- Infant-toddler child care health.
The 10 infant-toddler regions use the Washington infant-toddler interdisciplinary child care consultation guidelines created in 2011 to promote common understanding across regions about best practices and essential skills of infant-toddler child care consultants.
Each of the 10 infant-toddler regions has worked with its regional steering committee to develop models for providing infant-toddler child care consultation services based on findings from their regional data summaries.
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