top of page
infants and toddler.jpg
Infants and Toddlers


(links to source documents are in the postings below)

1. New!  Building Strong Foundations for Infants, Children and Families - CLASP 
2. Statistical Portrait of Infants and Toddlers - Child Trends
3. Ten Characteristics of Infants and Toddlers - Urban Institute 
4. Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions - U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
5. Infant/Toddler Development, Screening, and Assessment - Zero to Three
6. Early Childhood Temperament Development - NCBI
7. Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Model
8. Working Toward a Definition of Infant/Toddler Curricula - Network of Infant Toddler Researchers
9. Developmental Foundations for School Readiness: Infants and Toddlers - Network of Infant Toddler Researchers
10. Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDI) for Infants and Toddlers - University of Kansas
11. California Infant/Toddler Social Emotional Development Domain - California DOE
12. National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers - NCIT
13. Building Strong Foundations: 13 Core Policies for Infants, Toddlers, and Families -
      Zero to Three
14. National State of Babies (2019) with New York Data - Zero to Three
15. Infant and Toddler Child Care Deserts - Center for American Progress (CAP)
16. New!  State of Babies Yearbook: 2019 - ZERO to THREE
16. Developmental Foundations of School Readiness for Infants and Toddlers:  A Research to          Practice Report - OPRE

February 12, 2019

It’s not easy to create policies that fully meet the unique needs of infants and toddlers and their families. The earliest years of life are a period of incredible growth and opportunity to shape strong, positive development. Good health, secure and stable families, and positive early learning environments foster children’s physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development during this significant period.    

Over the last two years, CLASP and ZERO TO THREE developed comprehensive infant-toddler policy resources through the Building Strong Foundations: Advancing Comprehensive Policies for Infants, Toddlers, and Families project. Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the project promotes federal and state policies that comprehensively address the well-being of infants and toddlers and their families. It’s guided by a policy framework comprised of four principles describing the needs of infants and toddlers and their families.    

These resources make the case for continued investment and better policies that meet the needs of infants and toddlers and their families.

  • New Mexico State Infant-Toddler Profile is coming soon! 

These resources can also be found at the following websites:

CLASP Update 021219.PNG
Post #1

Statistical Portrait of U.S. Infants and Toddlers

Post #2
Infant and toddler profile child trends.
For a Family of 3:
Deep Poverty annual income $10,210
Poverty Level is $20,420
Low-Income is $40,840

Hard Facts About Infants and Toddlers: 


  • Nearly half (48 percent) of America’s infants and toddlers live in low-income families (incomes less than twice the poverty line); one-quarter (25 percent) live in families below the official poverty line.

  • One in eight (13 percent) is in deep poverty (that is, their family’s income is half or less than the poverty level).

  • Economic disadvantage is concentrated in the families of black and Latino infants and toddlers; fully two-thirds (66 percent) of these young children are in low-income families.

  • Nearly one in four (24 percent) black and Latino infants and toddlers live in households that are “food-insecure” (a measure of inability to obtain sufficient healthy food).

10 Characteristics of Infants and Toddlers
Urban Institute 
Post #3
infants toddlers 10 facts the urban inst

Our interactive tool shows 10 important characteristics of children from birth to age 2. It displays the characteristics by whether their families are low income, whether their parents have education beyond high school, or whether their parents are immigrants.

Please visit 10 Characteristics of Preschool-Age Children to explore similar characteristics of 3- to 5-year-olds.

Understanding the characteristics of infants and toddlers in our states and communities is an important first step for supporting children’s development during their most critical years. Making more detailed and comprehensive information available on the young children living in different communities can help stakeholders more strategically develop and target key services such as child care, home visiting, or other services for young children. For example, knowing how many young children live in low-income families and what share have parents working full time can help states and localities tailor child care investments and services to reach those families who most need assistance.

Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for
Infants and Toddlers in Childcare Environments
Post #4
Measuring the quality of caregiver child

The Quality of Caregiver–Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers (Q-CCIIT) observation tool was developed to measure the quality of child care settings—specifically, the quality of caregiver‐child interaction for infants and toddlers in nonparental care. This tool is appropriate for use across child care settings, including center‐based care and family child care homes (FCCs), as well as single- and mixed age classrooms. 


  • Supporting social-emotional development

  • Supporting cognitive development

  • Supporting language and literacy development

  • Areas of concern in caregiving

  • Additional information about the environment

Post #5
Infant/Toddler Development, Screening, and Assessment 
zero to three Infant Toddler Development
This document is designed to help child care consultants on the following: 
• Describe factors that affect infant/toddler development and identify resources for reference on developmental milestones
 • Discuss how the integrated nature of infant/toddler development affects overall growth and development.
• Describe their state’s professional development system supports for infant/ toddler caregivers and how they can be accessed.
• Define the difference between observation, screening, and ongoing assessment and the key components of each process.
• Discuss the importance of coordinating referrals with the
family and other care providers, such as medical and dental homes, therapists, and additional child care providers.
• Identify key aspects of the state Part C/Early Intervention system for infants and toddlers with disabilities.
• Discuss the importance of involving families in the process of observation, screening, and assessment
Early Childhood Temperament Development
Post #6
Temperment Development Early Profiles.PN

Child temperament, defined as constitutionally-based individual differences in reactivity and regulation that are present early in life and show evidence of both stability and change over time has proven to be a particularly robust predictor of outcomes in a number of domains of interest to psychologists. With evidence mounting that temperament may be an important mechanism in the development of adaptive and maladaptive functioning in domains like school adjustment and psychopathology understanding the development of child temperament itself is of great importance.


Results indicated that four profiles of temperament best fit the data at all three points of assessment. The characterization of profiles was stable over time while membership in profiles changed across age. 

The four temperament profiles, Positive Reactive, Negative Reactive, Fearful, and Active Reactive may reflect individual differences in how children transition from more biologically based, reactivity profiles at age 9 months to behavioral tendencies related to the development of the behavioral approach and behavioral inhibition systems that are evident at age 18 and 27 months.

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
Consultation Model
Post #7
Infant Toddler Mental Health Consultatio

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) is a strategy to used to promote healthy social and emotional development in all children, build adults’ capacity to address challenging behavior and home settings, and reduce the rate of preschool expulsion.  Success depends on intentionally creating an approach to IECMHC that is equitable, culturally responsive, and supported by research.

This planning guide can be used by individuals or teams to guide the process of building or strengthening an approach to delivering IECMHC services.


The guide shares the core components or “ingredients” to successful models know to work.  While it does not use or advocate any specific model currently in use, it does provide guidance from research and successful national models to assist teams in navigating their own planning and development. 

Post #8

Working Toward a Definition of Infant/Toddler Curricula 

National Network of Infant Toddler Researchers - OPRE

Working toward a Definition of Infant To

While there are important continuities in development across the early childhood years, there is growing recognition that the first three years are a distinct developmental period characterized by rapid brain development, reliance on relationships with adults, extreme responsiveness to environmental variation, and great opportunity for long-term impact on future outcomes across a range of developmental domains


Further, most states have defined early Infant/Toddler Curricula learning guidelines (ELG) specifically for infants and toddlers—45 states reported having these in 2013, up from 31 in 2010—and 28 states have specific certifications for infant/toddler care providers (Mayoral, 2013).

Post #9
Developmental Foundations for School Readiness 
Infants and Toddlers
Development Foundations for School Readi

The research reviewed leads to the following conclusions:

  • Infancy/toddlerhood is the time when foundations of school readiness begin—adults who interact with infants and toddlers must be aware of the opportunities that exist to support these early developing skills and abilities in young children.

  • Cross-systems collaboration is required for early care and education to meet its true potential to support the development of infants and toddlers.

  • Program design and implementation should be informed by current research on infant and toddler development.

  • Professional development for early childhood educators and caregivers examining the specific skills needed to support infant and toddler development must be a priority.

  • Supporting school readiness requires attention to all developmental domains.

  • Infant and toddler development is individual and embedded in family, culture, and other societal influences. Programs and policies should acknowledge, respect, and respond to these multiple influences on infants’ and toddlers’ development.

  • Families, the general public, and policy makers must be made aware of the unique opportunities to lay the foundation for later school success during the first years of life.

Post #10

Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDI) for

Infants and Toddlers 

IDGI - Individual Growth and Development

IGDI is useful for broadly flagging children’s risk status, says a new study in the Journal of Learning Disabilities.  The tool was not “particularly good” at specifying the skills where the child was demonstrating a lack of progress, the researchers write. 

The 3 emergent literacy skills that are most predictive of reading ability are phonological awareness, print knowledge and oral language, according to the study.

“Overall, these findings indicate that it is possible to effectively screen preschool children with less-well-developed emergent literacy skills, who are at higher risk of later reading problems than children with more-well-developed emergent literacy skills,” the researchers write.

Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDIs) for Infants and Toddlers are tools that provide helpful information about children’s growth toward socially valued outcomes that can guide intervention decisions.

IGDIs are performance measures especially designed for use by childcare practitioners to reflect individual children’s progress toward general outcomes:

  • They may be repeated as often as weekly compared to most standardized measures requiring 6-months or more before they may be repeated

  • They take less time to administer, for example 6 to 10 minutes, versus 20 to 60 minutes


  • They are designed for use by practitioners in home and childcare settings compared to assessments designed for specialists (OT or PT) and requiring clinical or specialized settings for administration.

  • They are directly relevant to decision making about interventions whereas others are not.

  • They directly reflect growth over time, concepts that are important to practitioners, parents, and others working with young children.

  • They are comparatively less costly to learn and to use than many traditional forms of measurement.

California Department of Education
Infant/Toddler Social Emotional Development Domain
Post #11
California SE Development Infants Toddle
Post #12
National Collaborative for Infants and T
NCIT Framework.PNG
NCIT Partners.PNG
Building Strong Foundations: 13 Core Policies for
Infants, Toddlers, and Families
Post #13
Infants and toddlers 13 policies.JPG

ZERO TO THREE and CLASP's "Building Strong Foundations: Advancing Comprehensive Policies for Infants, Toddlers, and Families" project seeks to promote federal and state policies that comprehensively address the wellbeing of infants, toddlers, and families. In the first phase of Building Strong Foundations, ZERO TO THREE and CLASP identified 13 policies core to advancing infant-toddler wellbeing, recognizing that all babies need…

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, and Healthy Parents

  • Low-income infants, toddlers, parents, and pregnant women should have quality, affordable, publicly financed health insurance.

  • Infants, toddlers, parents, and pregnant women should receive appropriate health screenings, preventive primary care, and medically necessary treatment services.

  • Infants, toddlers, and parents should receive appropriate screening, diagnosis, and treatment services to meet their mental health needs.

  • Low-income families with infants and toddlers and pregnant women should have access to nutrition support programs.

Economically Stable Families

  • Low-income parents of infants and toddlers should have access to affordable education and training to improve their employment opportunities.

  • Families in poverty with infants and toddlers should get cash assistance and refundable tax credits to supplement their earnings.

  • Parents with infants and toddlers should have paid sick leavefrom work when they are ill, when their child or a family member is ill, or to obtain preventive care for themselves or their families. Parents should have paid family and medical leave when a child is born, adopted, or newly fostered.

  • Low-income families with infants and toddlers should have affordable, safe, and stable housing.

Strong Parents

  • Families of infants and toddlers should have access to a continuum of parent support services and resources to support their child’s development.

  • Infants and toddlers in the child welfare system should receive developmentally appropriate supports responsive to the needs of the child and family.

High-Quality Child Care and Early Education Opportunities

  • Low-income families with infants and toddlers should get child care assistance to afford safe, stable, high-quality child care that promotes children’s development and parents’ education, training, and work.

  • Vulnerable infants, toddlers, pregnant women, and families should have access to comprehensive early childhood services through Early Head Start.

  • Infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities should be identified and receive early intervention services in a timely manner.

The National State of Babies 2019 - New York State
Zero to Three
Post #14
State of Babies 2019.JPG
New York has one of the lowest rates for developmental screenings
STate of Babies NY Positive Experiences.
New York State Infant and Toddler Demographics 
State of Babies Demographics.JPG
Child Care Deserts Infants and Toddlers.

Infant and Toddler Child Care Deserts

Center for American Progress (CAP)

This report, Understanding Infant and Toddler Child Care Deserts,  provides new analysis of 9 states: IN, MD, MS, MT, NC, OH, OR, VT, WV, and DC and finds that young families are the most affected by child care shortages; there are more than 5 babies for each spot of licensed infant and toddler child care. These shortages are especially pronounced in rural areas and counties with lower median family incomes. The results suggest that policies promoting greater public investment to reflect the higher cost of caring for infants and toddlers would help more families find and afford care.

Key findings include:

  • There are only enough licensed child care spots to serve less than 1 in 5 infants and toddlers.

  • The shortage of infant and toddler care affects rural and lower-income communities the most

  • More than 95 percent of the counties in this study have three or more infants and toddlers per licensed child care slot.

CAP also has provided sample social media for you to use:

  • In rural areas, there are 9 infants and toddlers for each slot of licensed child care #ChildCareDeserts #childcare4all

  • You’ve probably heard about #ChildCareDeserts- but did you know that they’re worst for the youngest children? #childcare4all

  • There’s only enough licensed child care to serve 19% of infants and toddlers. #ChildCareDeserts #childcare4all

  • Finding child care for your baby shouldn’t depend on your zip code or income level. #ChildCareDeserts #childcare4all

Post #15
Post #16
State of Babies Yearbook: 2019
State of Babies Yearbook 2019.JPG

February 25, 2019


ZERO TO THREE’s policy framework, grounded in the science of early childhood development, promotes supports for infants and toddlers’ healthy development in three domains: Good Health, Strong Families, and Positive Early Learning Experiences. These domains form the basis for the indicators in the State of Babies Yearbook: 2019.

Good Health

  • Health Care Access/Affordability

  • Food Security Nutrition

  • Maternal Health Child Health Infant and

  • Early Childhood Mental Health

Strong Families

  • Basic Needs

  • Support Child Welfare Home Visiting

  • Supportive Policies/Paid Leave

Positive Early Learning Experiences

  • Early Care and Education Opportunities

  • Early Intervention and Prevention Services

State Ranking State of Babies Yearbook 2
bottom of page