Professional Development

Infant and Toddler Online Associate Degree Curriculum Overview

See PDF version: Infant and Toddler Online Associate Degree Curriculum Overview

Supporting Infant and Toddler Workforce Professional Development
Early Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, Head Start Collaboration Offices, and other infant and toddler advocates can work with institutions of higher education to:

  • Communicate the professional development needs of infant and toddler staff
  • Encourage them to include college-level early childhood courses with an emphasis on infants and toddlers
  • Inform them of the free associate degree-level infant and toddler courses developed through the Office of Head Start (OHS)

About the Courses
OHS funded an Innovation and Improvement Grant with the University of Cincinnati and its partners to develop infant and toddler associate degree distance learning courses. They offer a way to increase professional development options and qualifications for staff working with infants and toddlers.

The courses are:

  • Free for educational institutions that grant associate or higher academic degrees
  • Designed to be easily incorporated into an existing college course or kept together to comprise an infant/toddler major within an associate degree program
  • Packaged into 15 modules available in both English and Spanish

Each module:

  • Focuses completely on infant and toddler care and development
  • Contains videos of effective practice, interviews with child development experts, reflection exercises, and relevant readings
  • Includes an Instructor's Guide of Effective Practices that relates to the Head Start Program Performance Standards and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Program Quality Standards
  • Incorporates the latest research and expertise in online learning, but also can be used in traditional college classroom settings

Access the Materials
Colleges and universities may access the materials by:

Course Description
Child Development Explores prenatal and early growth and development through age 6
Orientation to Professional Practice Provides an introduction to the field of early childhood
Health, Safety, and Nutrition Explores practices vital to creating safe and healthy infant/toddler environments
Building Family and Community Partnerships Explores the role of family and community in infant/toddler development and care
Introduction to Infants/Toddlers Introduction to the characteristics of infant and toddler development and care
Introduction to Inclusion Practices Introduction to teaching practices and services for children with developmental delays, birth to 5
Infant/Toddler Planning: Using Observation and Assessment Explores techniques for observing, recording, and assessing the growth and development of young children
Infant/Toddler Physical and Cognitive Development Explores the domains of physical and cognitive development, including language and pre-literacy skills of infants and toddlers
Dual Language Learners Explores the role of the early care professional in supporting dual language acquisition
Infant/Toddler Social Emotional Development and Guidance Explores the domains of social and emotional development of infants and toddlers and provides guidance strategies
Infant/Toddler Learning Environments Explores the role of the environment in infant and toddler care settings
Responsive Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers Encompasses the planning, development, and implementation of a comprehensive curriculum that is emergent and responsive to the needs of infants and toddlers
Becoming an Infant and Toddler Professional Provides an overview of the roles and responsibilities required of infant and toddler professionals
Leadership and Management for Infant/Toddler Professionals Introduction to program management
Infant Internship Supervised student teaching in a developmentally appropriate infant setting working directly with infants for 20 hours per week
Toddler Internship Supervised student teaching in a developmentally appropriate toddler setting working directly with toddlers for 20 hours per week


For more information, go to Infant and Toddler Online Associate Degree Courses