Infant & Toddler Caregivers

The foundations for school readiness begin in pregnancy and continue to develop during the first three years of life.

For infants and toddlers, school readiness refers to their developing capacity to self-regulate, demonstrate curiosity, communicate effectively, and develop close, secure relationships. Good health and proper nutrition support this developing capacity. This happens within the context of nurturing, culturally responsive relationships with parents, caregivers, extended family, and community.

The resources on this page supports caregivers their work laying the foundations of school readiness for infants and toddlers.

Steps for School Readiness

  1. Establish Goals for Improving School Readiness Across Domains

  2. Create and Implement an Action Plan for Achieving Established School Readiness Goals

    • Use curriculum, program strategies, and care practices that:
      • Reflect the varying developmental needs of infants and toddlers
      • Support children's progress toward goals
      • Foster family engagement, healthy parent-child relationships, and parents' efforts to support their child's ongoing growth and learning

    Find more information in Observation: The Heart of Individualizing Responsive Care [PDF, 1.0MB]

  3. Assess Child Progress on an Ongoing Basis and Aggregate and Analyze Data Throughout the Year

  4. Examine Data for Patterns of Progress for Groups of Children to Revise, Develop, and Implement Plans for Program Improvement

Additional Resources

Stories from the Field

Last Reviewed: December 2016

Last Updated: December 9, 2016