Program for Infant/Toddler Care
Posted October 3rd 2012
Caring for and teaching infants and toddlers is not the same as caring for and teaching preschoolers. Infants require special care and their own unique methods for teaching and interacting. The Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) was developed to improve the quality of care that infants and toddlers receive in group care settings . PITC is an evidence-based program that is supported by brain research and best practices.
PITC has a 3-pronged mission
- Increase the availability and quality of child care for all children under age three;
- Disseminate information that increases the practice of responsive, respectful and relationship based infant toddler care; and
- Influence national, regional, and local policies and practices so that the needs and interests of individual infants, toddlers, and their families are the foundation for all curriculum development and program activity.
The main thrust of the PITC philosophy is as follows:
Good infant care is neither baby-sitting nor preschool. It is a special kind of care that resembles no other.
PITC has 6 essential program policies that strengthen its responsive, relationship based approach.
- Primary care – where one teacher is primarily responsible for a small group of infants and toddlers.
- Small groups – where the teacher to child ratios are 1:3 or 1:4, depending on the age of the children in care and where the total number of children in a group is limited so that each child gets his/her needs met.
- Continuity – where the primary care teacher stays with their group of children for three years.
- Individualized care - where teachers respond quickly and supportively to an infant or toddler’s unique style and needs.
- Cultural continuity – where teachers understand, acknowledge, and respect culture and cultural differences; as well as remain open and responsive to parents and families.
- Inclusion of children with Special Needs – where all children are included in caregiving routines and the curriculum and environment are designed to be accessible and available to all children.
Does this sound interesting?
PITC offers training on their relationship-based care model and practices. There are Train-the-Trainer PITC Institutes offered through an application process. Afterwards, you can become certified to train caregivers in centers and family childcare homes. After graduating from the PITC Institutes, participants are eligible to attend the PITC Graduate conference that is held every other year. Upon completion of the Institutes and passing the certification process, participants are eligible to train for the PITC/Partners for Quality. PITC/Partners for Quality provide on-site training, technical assistance and coaching to infant/toddler centers and family childcare homes. Partners for Quality Infant/Toddler Specialists work on-site with Centers and groups of Family Child Care Providers over many months.
Partners for Quality’s intensive training allows the Infant/Toddler Specialist to build up trusting relationships with the early childhood staff, create reflective action plans, and offer intensive support. In one real-life case, a Specialist saw first-hand how PITC training changed the care being provided to infants and toddlers at one center. The teachers were initially trained to teach preschool. The PITC trainer helped the staff to develop more age-appropriate and individualized lesson plans for the children in their care. By the time the PITC trainer/specialist completed the training plan, the parents realized that their children enjoyed going to the center more and the teachers enjoyed their job better. Additionally, enrollment at the center increased so much that the center opened another infant room. This trainer/specialist states that, “This type of age-appropriate, relationship-based care should be available to all infants and toddlers.”
For more information, you can log on to www.pitc.org
|Reply to the above post|
|Reply from Marina F posted on May 19th 2014|
|It sounds really great! Interestingly, the description matches exactly with the program my kids were enrolled to when they were receiving childcare services. They went to the same teacher for four consecutive years and five years later they still remember her and can’t wait to visit her house (I don’t think they will be able to forget their caregiver Natalia). She speaks the same language we do (English is our second language), she always spent quality time with kids and was somehow able to cook homemade food for them. Once a week a supervising teacher was visiting for providing educational materials and instructing on the teaching strategies. It was expensive (I worked full time only for paying for this program), but it was worth it. Both of my kids were fully prepared for Kindergarten, that’s why I raise both hands up for PITC! |
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Marina|
|Reply from Brianne Moreno posted on May 19th 2014|
|These programs for infants and toddlers are great! I like how the six essential policies touch on pretty much every topic necessary. I think one of the main focuses from those policies that stood out to me was number six, which was inclusion of children with special needs. I think that it is wonderful to to have an environment and curriculum that is designed to be accesbile and available to all children, including these kids. I feel like it is important to make them feel as comfortable as possible so the other children will learn how to interact with them and not shy away because they act "different." The second policy that I loved is number five on the list. It states that teachers should respect the children's cultures and cultural differences if there may be any. I think this is a very important topic because I know a lot of people are not tolerant of other peoples religions and because they are not a specific typ of religiong they are outcasted and treated differently so I am glad to see that this was addressed on the policies. A lot of people use childcare nowadays because the majority of homes are now two-income homes because of th eeconomy, so I think that it is awesome that there are different types of childcare that parents can choose from to suit their child's needs. If I had a child, I probably have to put them in childcare and knowing these things now makes me feel a little better knowing a little background on the policies of the childcare programs.
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Brianne|
|Reply from carissa posted on February 14th 2014|
|Awesome! I believe that all 6 programs are wonderful. I know based on my experience that the build of a great bond with each child and having the ability to progress within each student. It seems great to have. i believe structure like this at a young age can really amplify the opportunities of younins. |
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from carissa|
|Reply from Itza Gonzalez posted on May 20th 2013|
|Wow! These programs seem really great. I don't think many people know how important it is and how crucial the first years of life are for learning. With these programs offering an incredibly low infant/toddler to teacher ratio it definitely helps build great relationships. I couldn't really decide on which program is the best. It almost feels that even combining some of them would be even better. I really like the Continuity program where the teacher stays with their group for 3 years. This helps the child and the teacher to know each other and not have significant changes in the way they are cared for. |
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Itza|
|Reply from Hanna Adams posted on May 20th 2013|
|Being raised by my aunt in her at home day care, and now working in a private day care center in the infant-toddler program.
I have different feelings about the experience.
I do believe that this age group is great when it comes to the low ratio, the problem rises that in California the ratio for 1 year olds to 2 year old jumps from 1:4 to 1:12. Making the transition difficult experience for the former toddler.
The primary care giver, is an important asset to the infants and toddler becoming another important part of the child's life. I love the curriculum that PITC uses and was a large focus in my infant toddler course that I had taken at my previous College.
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Hanna |
|Reply from Rebekah Mamola posted on May 20th 2013|
|I think that the program policies of the PITC are essential in proving quality child care. The policies are beneficial for both the child and child care provider. Implementing the policies within a child care program will help the teachers be more responsive to the children and allow them to better meet their developmental needs. I really like that teachers are provided opportunities to learn the policies and are given training in the philosophies of the PITC. I also really like that continuity is a core theme among their policies. Early in a child’s development it is important for them to form secure attachments and they need to be provided opportunities to do so. The PITC is an amazing resource for early child care providers. |
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Rebekah|
|Reply from Jose Lopez posted on May 19th 2013|
|I remember that the quality of infant and toddler care was an issue in the past when I was a child. People seemed to put together make-shift day care centers in their houses and the quality of the facility along with the qualifications of the owners seemed to vary. It’s great that the Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) was created to uphold and require standards for daycare centers. It’s also great that they reach out to people and provide an opportunity for individuals to educated on ways to improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers. |
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Jose |
|Reply from Sarah Wortman posted on May 19th 2013|
|Wow! All six of these programs seem amazing. I can't imagine what would happen if these became available to everyone. My favorite part was their philosophy. It is very difficult to find a unique way to portray a program as well as to run a program without it becoming either a school environment or a day care. Many care giving facilities fall into one of the categories unfortunately. It is our jobs as educators to make sure this does not happen. Therefore it is promising to see that there are programs and people out there who are fighting to make sure that these unique developmental programs for infants and toddlers remain in existence.|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Sarah|
|Reply from tina tran posted on May 16th 2013|
|All 6 programs seem great. I know based on my experience is that the program at my college is doing the continuity method. The teachers would follow and teach the infants until preschool. They build a great bond with each other and they can see progress within each student. It seems great to have.|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from tina|
|Reply from Lauren Pettipiece posted on May 16th 2013|
|I do not have experience caring for infants and toddlers in a professional setting, but I do know how different it can be from caring for and teaching preschoolers. I think that the mission of the PITC is very clear. The program policies are very interesting to me and I think that understanding the policies and practices of this program could be very beneficial to someone like me. It is interesting that the program practices continuity. I do not have experience at a childcare center that practices that, but I have seen videos of childcare centers in other countries that have the primary care teacher stay with their group of children for multiple years. It appears to have many benefits and creates a different dynamic within the group that could be very beneficial at such a young age. I think that having a low ratio would be very valuable for young children that have more needs than preschool age children, and I think it is great that PITC expresses the importance of understanding an infant or toddler’s unique style and needs. I know from infants that I am familiar with that what works for one, definitely may not work for another. It is so important to know a child well enough to have other ways to understand them when they cannot express themselves and articulate their needs clearly. I had no idea that there was training offered for the practices of PITC and that this was something one could become certified in. I am very impressed that there are on site coaches for childcare programs. I think that is very valuable and is something that should be implemented for all programs.|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Lauren|
|Reply from Karina Cervantes posted on May 16th 2013|
|While reading this blog I was a directly taken back to the daycares/home care for infants and toddlers back in my hometown. Most of the daycares and home care for infants and toddlers in my hometown are lacking in many aspects of proper infant/toddler care. I had never heard of PITC until now and I think it is an excellent program. Many times caregivers are not aware that meaningful and productive interactions can help children become more responsive.|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Karina|
|Reply from Lexe Valdivia posted on May 13th 2013|
|I am so glad to know that programs like PITC exists. I was worry to send my infant/toddler to a daycare or home care where I will be worry if my child will have right care and training. Now more than ever, after hearing so many crazy and tragic news about infants on young kids being sexually molested, I will be concern with who or whom I am living my child. Plus, I will not like to hear my child coming home with weird habits or inappropriate words that children pick up from school; I hate she this happen. I understand that we can't keep up children lock in a perfect bubble, yet I will like to know that teachers at least will be instructing our young children how to behave appropriately. I strongly believe infant/ toddler is a crucial age where they must have the most appropriate attention and care to met their needs. In essence, it absolute agree with this kind of program. |
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Lexe|
|Reply from Erica Jones posted on May 8th 2013|
|What a wonderful program! A program like this really meets the needs of all the children involved. It is definately different from most current programs.Most impressive are the 6 essential policies. Great Blog Dr. Biddle!|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Erica|
|Reply from Maria Hernandez posted on May 7th 2013|
|The Program for Infant/toddler care seems to perfectly meet the needs of those children who are not ready for preschool material yet, but are hungry to learn and explore. It is important to note that the PITC program emphasizes the importance of high quality infant/toddler care because it is actually the base or “foundation” of the child’s development. By having one teacher being responsible for three to four toddlers for a continuity of some time, this helps the children build a strong and secure attachment with the caregivers and also it helps them to create a school environment foundation. Another thing that the PITC program is interestingly doing is providing care for all children, which is also very important because toddlers at an early age are learning how to accept, be sensitive, and work side-by-side with people who may be different from them because of any kind of disability. I have heard that usually children with any kind of disability are placed in special education, which in a way it may benefit them, but also make them feel somewhat inferior to the rest of the children in the long run. I believe the PITC program is great because now infant/toddler caregivers can provide their students with more appropriate and interesting level of teaching. |
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Maria|
|Reply from selena v. posted on May 7th 2013|
|This blog for me was an interesting one. I had never read before about the PITC training, but now that I have I amazed by its objectives and policies. The three mission goals of the program are great because each one covers essential things that a child should be taught of like how to interact with others. The policies that the PITC program follows are well constructed. I believe if all trainers follow it they will not have problems in covering mostly all-important needs for children to have a good development. Having specific types of relationship approaches between the caregiver and child is great because there are times when more than one student needs the one on one attention. Moreover, I am highly astonished by the great approach the program developed to take in consideration the children with special needs. Personally I do not know of a public place where children with special needs are taken care of jointly with those who do no need special care. Having training to know how to have a good relationship with children with special needs I believe can be beneficial to those teachers who do not work with this kinds of children. Many times I believe teachers are not able to take care of children with disabilities because they are not taught how to have a relationship with them.
Having the PITC program take in consideration the trainings of the different types of relationships is great. Not only do the children benefit from the attention provided to them, but also the teachers who interact with them because they will get to know better each individual. Because many times centers have only two teachers taking care of 20 children, and there is not enough time to provide the different types of relationship, like one on one, attention to the children.
The great outcomes of this training should be taken in consideration by day care programs. I believe those working for the day cares would be interested in receiving the training to improve their methods for teaching and interacting with kids.
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from selena|
|Reply from Alina Frei posted on December 10th 2012|
|This was very informative and really glad to see PITC being used. PITC sounds very beneficial and needed. This sounds like a great thing to have and implement.|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Alina |
|Reply from amanda dragon posted on December 2nd 2012|
|As a parent, I have seen PITC in action in Early Head Start. I think that it is a highly effective program both as a parent and student.PITC conforms to many of the same ideas that Magda Gerber uses and I have learned about in my Infant and Toddler Development courses. I like that it is responsive and relationship based as so much of a child's understanding of the world comes from these early years. Erik Erikson described this time as trust vs. mistrust and children need to know they are valued and their needs will be met. In addition continuity of care has proven benefits. I think it would be interesting to take this training and possibly become a PITC trainer some day.|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from amanda|
|Reply from Chelsea C posted on November 26th 2012|
|It is important for caregivers to understand the differences in needs and wants between infants and toddlers. The Program for Infant/Toddler Care is a great program that recognizes these differences & is designed to assist those children accordingly. What struck out the most to me was the 6 essential program policies. There are different care models & practices that suit different needs, and these policies encourage the children to reach their highest potential. The PITC is a great program for caregivers (and also future caregivers) that build strong relationships with the children of our future.|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Chelsea|
|Reply from Erika Rodriguez posted on November 19th 2012|
|Great blog! Lots of useful information that we all could use for the future, especially for those wanting to work with infants/toddlers|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Erika|
|Reply from Elona Teriouchkov posted on October 24th 2012|
|I found this blog interesting to me personally because it presented a realistic opportunity for people to join PITC or to at leat learn from it. I never thought I would go into child development before, until last semester. It also happens that the place where I work will be opening a child-care center and we are all working together on this project. I think I will tell my administrators about this program because it seems so useful.This program seems to take on a modern approach for child care. I like that it includes children with special needs because this way this program prepares people who will be able to provide care for different children.
Toddlers and infants need very special attention and a loving environment where they can develop. Young children who have not been held enough or carressed enough when they were babies often show developmental delays in comparison with those who have been brought up in loving environments.
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Elona|
|Reply from Kimberly Gordon Biddle posted on October 24th 2012|
|Thank you for an informative and interesting post!|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Kimberly|
|Reply from Marisa posted on October 15th 2012|
|I really enjoyed reading this blog. It gave a lot of good information. I learned the 6 essential program policies of PITC that strengthen its responsive relationship based approach. I think those will be very helpful in the future or even to use now.|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Marisa|
|Reply from Elizabeth Mathews posted on October 15th 2012|
|I am going to school to be a teacher and whenasked what my major is and I say child development people always joke, what are you going to be a baby sitter. This post was very helpful and interesting for me!! I want to show those people who joke around it to them. Pre-school is so much more than "baby sitting" thanks Dr. Biddle. Good Job!|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Elizabeth|
|Reply from Sadia Qamar posted on October 15th 2012|
|This blog was extremly helpful. I plan on becoming 2nd grade teacher so it gave me an overview of the expectations. I belive this blog was helpful for future teachers as well as future mothers, as it provided me with information on primary care, which is related to teachers as well as mothers who are providing for more than one child. Thanks Dr. Biddle!
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Sadia|
|Reply from Arlysha posted on October 14th 2012|
|Dr. Biddle , thankyou for giving the class insight on this wonderful program. It was very interesting reading about the six essential program policies that were listed. I find the Inclusion of children with Special Needs most interesting. |
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Arlysha|
|Reply from Jazmin Barnes posted on October 14th 2012|
|I enjoyed reading this blog because as a student wanting to work with children really caught my attention. Great blog Dr.Biddle!|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Jazmin|
|Reply from elissa crandall posted on October 10th 2012|
|It is interesting to me to see that there is a huge difference between baby-sitting and taking care of preschoolers. I think that the most important program policy is the continuity. Too many kids float through many different care givers which can be good for their exposure to new things and developing multiple relationships but it also may be difficult to form a good bond with one person in particular. I would like to learn more about this program! It sounds very beneficial.|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from elissa|
|Reply from Kimberly Gordon Biddle posted on October 10th 2012|
Thanks for the very thoughtful and excellent post!
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Kimberly|
|Reply from alma avalos posted on October 8th 2012|
|This post reminded me of the placement I am in and that is in the ASI child center. I am working with 2 year olds and the care they provide and that i am luckily a volunteer for is absolutely amazing. i think this program would be a great add on and much of is already there in my opinion of what i obserd. This is a great blog post Dr. Biddle.|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from alma|
|Reply from Angelica Palomares posted on October 7th 2012|
|I enjoyed reading this blog and the more I read it the more interesting it became. PITC is very beneficial and the 6 essential program policies is what my work goes by each day. Our ratio is the same so that each child receives enough attention from the caregiver. The PITC philosophy is encouraging and specific. Great blog Dr. Biddle. I hope to remember this as I begin teaching preschoolers in the future. |
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Angelica |
|Reply from Shannon posted on October 3rd 2012|
|I am so thankful to see a program like PITC being implemented in our infant/toddler classroom's! This is long overdue. I feel that it will be very successful in addressing infant/toddler specific needs, as well as supporting the teacher's responsible for this age group. This age group can be very challenging, and the teacher's can easily become exhausted and frustrated. PITC suggests new techniques and guidelines that give teacher's the tools to better respond and bond with their young students. I am most excited about how the infants/toddlers will benefit! I am interested in the PITC Train-the-Trainer course, and will look more into this exciting opportunity!
Thanks for sharing this Dr.Biddle!|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Shannon|
|Reply from Chris Biddle posted on October 3rd 2012|
|This is a great post Dr. Biddle!|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Chris|
|Reply from mary duncan posted on October 7th 2012|
|Eventhough the child bearing days are long gone for me. It is was good thing to have site. This would have been very helpful back in the day; however, times and methods change for the better.
Thank you Dr. Biddle,
signed by: Mary Ann|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from mary|
|Reply from amy anderson posted on November 4th 2012|
|I am just completing my bachelor's degree in child development. I realize that there is so much more for me to learn and understand about very young children. I do not remember clearly when I was two years old, but I know that during these years, children need to be engaged and encouraged to express themselves. Children need to feel secure before they feel confident to explore and discover their immediate environment and beyond. |
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from amy|
|Reply from Arlysha posted on November 5th 2012|
|Dr.Biddle , thank you for giving insight on this topic of Program for Infant /Toddlers, it was very informative. I would like to know more about the ideas that this program has to offer. PITC would be a great program for me because of the career path I desire. |
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Arlysha|
|Reply from Tanya posted on November 10th 2012|
Thank you very much for posting this blog and sharing this information with everyone. The PITC is an amazing program and in my opinion impliments policies that are not only beneficial for the children in care, but also the parents and teachers. It is my opinion that all early childhood programs should impliment these same policies. I'm almost sure that children will have a much easier time in their childcare environments and will benefit everyone in the long run.|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Tanya|
|Reply from amy anderson posted on November 14th 2012|
|Children need to be in environments that are stable as well as engaging. I have observed from my many assignments that there are some excellent preschools and some that need improvement in their organization of lessons and providing children basic reading and writing supplies. Supplies for preschools are neglected because they are not considered as important as supplying elementary school classes.
There is also the issue of staff retention. Staff turnover is a challenge for many preschools because so many teachers and assistants leave their positions when there is no appreciable financial advantage for them to remain. Preschools could offer financial and/or educational enrichment incentives and bonuses to outstanding and dedicated teachers. |
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from amy|
|Reply from michele richardson posted on November 23rd 2012|
|I too believe that caring for and teaching infants and toddlers is not the same as caring for and teaching preschoolers. Infants do require special care and their own unique methods for teaching and interacting. I am very interested with e program and plan on suggesting it to my supervisor. I like how they believe inkeeping the same teacher for three years and increase the availability and quality of child care for all children under age three;
Good infant care is neither baby-sitting nor preschool. It is a special kind of care that resembles no other. that comment i believe, to often i hear we are just baby sitting.
I think it is to benficial once you finish the course you will certified to train others.Partners for Quality’s intensive training allows the Infant/Toddler Specialist to build up trusting relationships with the early childhood staff, create reflective action plans, and offer support. i look forward to the point they make which they claim that the parents realized that their children enjoyed going to the center more and the teachers enjoyed their job better. Looking forward to this www.pitc.org
thank you for the post and information|
|Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from michele|