The Division of Child Development and Early Education announced five new projects focused on infants and toddlers. The projects are part of the North Carolina’s first phase to meet new federal requirements that states spend at least 3 percent of their Child Care Development Fund block grant on activities designed to improve the quality of infant and toddler care.
Healthy Starts for Infants & Toddlers: Shape NC. The North Carolina Partnership for Children will issue an RFP, prioritizing Shape NC Phase II Expansion Centers (2013-2016), to provide intensive training and technical assistance for environments where infants and toddlers spend time each day. Topics include enhancing outdoor learning environments with shade trees, shrubs, gardens, and loose parts, specifically designed for children birth to three, promoting breastfeeding friendly practices, addressing family food insecurity, and engaging children, families and providers in physical activity and healthy nutrition.
Infant Toddler Child Care Heath Consultation Services for Economically Distressed Counties. The NC Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center will lead a project to provide three regional Registered Nurse Child Care Health Consultants (CCHCs) to work with early childhood educators, programs, and families to ensure optimal health for infants and toddlers and to reduce children’s risk of illness and accident. These nurses will work with licensed child care centers that do not currently have access to a CCHC, serving over 8,000 infants and toddlers.
Infant Toddler Educator AWARD$. Teachers caring for North Carolina’s infants and toddlers typically have lower compensation than their preschool counterparts. Child Care Services Association will administer education-based salary supplements to help address this compensation gap and give infant-toddler teachers incentive to stay in the field and grow their own skills and knowledge. Salary supplements will be awarded to over 900 eligible full-time infant and toddler educators, with at least an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education or its equivalent, statewide.
Intensive Infant & Toddler Technical Assistance Delivery Model Pilot. Technical assistance (TA) practitioners work to improve environmental and instructional quality in classrooms across North Carolina; however, their impact on quality is mixed. An RFP will be issued through Child Care Services Association, on behalf of the Resource and Referral Council, to three regions to participate in a pilot designed to shift the technical assistance model to advanced coaching around teacher interactions and outcomes for young children, rather that the traditional focus on preparing teachers for assessment.
Trauma-Informed Infant & Toddler Care . Early childhood has high risks for traumatic experiences and toxic stress. Child care providers can play an important role in promoting resilience and positive social-emotional development and identifying families’ needs. The Duke Center for Child & Family Policy will build a team of experts to collaborate to create a trauma-informed professional development framework for infant-toddler teachers, program administrators, and technical assistance specialists.
For specific information about individual projects contact Theresa Roedersheimer, DCDEE Infant-Toddler Policy Consultant, at Theresa.Roedersheimer@dhhs.nc.gov or 919-527-6681.
Adapted from an announcement from the Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services.