The early years of every children's life are a crucial starting point. Child care professionals build a foundation of learning for infants and toddlers when they are intentional about teaching and planning developmentally appropriate lessons and routines; however, many infant and toddler caregivers are hesitant to label themselves as "teachers" due to the perception that teachers lead more structured days and activities that infants and toddlers may not be ready for.
But why is infant and toddler education so important? Much of the research on the benefits of early childhood education is centered around the preschool age (years 3 to 5), but studies conducted by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) have indicated the numerous benefits of infant and toddler education. Not only do infants and toddlers learn important routines and appropriate interactions with peers and adults, but they are also at what is known as a sensitive period, a phase in their life in which optimal learning occurs. According to Zero to Three (https://www.zerotothree.org/), as many as seven hundred neurons are formed every second before the age of three. Infancy and toddlerhood are the times in which mental activity is most active.
Caregivers and child care providers can help support the infants and toddlers under their care by feeling confident in their knowledge of developmental milestones and developmentally appropriate skills children will need to succeed in school. H&H Child Care Training provides relevant, high-quality online child care courses specifically targeted in the Infant/Toddler group to help child care professionals be qualified to teach, such as:
All online child care courses at H&H Child Care Training offer clock hours and/or IACET CEUs. Visit our website to learn more!