In the early care and education field, research has shown that credentials matter. Higher levels of education and formal training of caregivers/teachers result in higher levels of quality. For more information on studies that document this finding, visit the National Child Care Information Center at www.nccic.org
Until recently, little emphasis was placed on developmentally appropriate practice with regard to infants and toddlers and too often, the care and education of our youngest children consisted of “watered down” preschool programming. The lack of curricula targeted to infants and toddlers within teacher preparatory programs exacerbated this problem.
In fact, the care and education of infants and toddlers requires specific knowledge and skills.
Fortunately, new efforts are underway in New York to specifically address the gap in formal training and education for caregivers/teachers directed towards this population.
Community Level Training
The Infant Toddler Technical Assistance Centers across the State are creating a variety of workshops and training sessions that specifically address the unique needs of caregivers/teachers who work with infants and toddlers. These series can provide practical knowledge and skills that can be immediately applied by professionals in the field.
New York State Infant Toddler Credential
The New York State Association for the Education of Young Children (NYSAEYC) recently developed a new credential for professionals working in the field. For more information visit http://www.nysaeyc.org/
Higher Education Programs
An interactive guide to higher education programs in New York and a planner for professional development can be found by visiting www.earlychildhood.org
Early Childhood Degree Programs
Early childhood degree and courses in Infant and Toddler Development can be found on line. In New York, a unique collaboration of colleges has developed multiple program and degree options. For more information visit http://www.nyseceonline.suny.edu/