ITTI Care Project

The Infant-Toddler Trauma-Informed Care (ITTI Care) Project leverages the existing early childhood education workforce support system to expand and strengthen trauma-informed knowledge and practice within the communities they serve. Its goal is to build a professional development framework for the infant/toddler child care workforce across the state of North Carolina to promote trauma-informed child care. Project staff will train and support classroom coaches to become experts in trauma-informed child care. These ITTI Care-trained coaches will train and coach infant/toddler teachers and child care administrators to: 1) Promote understanding of the impacts of stress and trauma on infants and toddlers, 2) Develop infant/toddler teacher skills to form supportive, resilience-building relationships and environments, and 3) Identify strategies to support child care provider health and well-being.  

Fast Facts

Relevant Actions
State or Local? Local
Counties Anson, Durham, Guilford, Haywood, Henderson, Mecklenburg, Nash, Orange, Stanly, Union, Wilkes
Lead Agency Duke Center for Child & Family Policy
Type of Lead Agency


Racial Equity Lens
  • Disaggregates data by race for child care staff and children to guide strategy and assess impact.
  • Centers cultural responsiveness and intersectionality of ACEs, racism, and trauma.
  • Promotes cultural humility and confronts implicit bias by actively engaging participants in self-reflection, self-awareness around cultural responsiveness and promoting relationship-based practice across differences.
Community Voice
  • Centers the voices and wellness of infant-toddler teachers and directors as foundational to providing trauma informed child care
  • At every level of the project, from project staff and project planning committee to program participants, people of color and those most directly engaged with the child care community are leading in initiative.
  • Defines trauma-informed practice using six principles adapted from SAMHSA and Trauma-Informed Principles through a Culturally Specific Lens.
  • Sixteen early childhood professionals who provide coaching to infant and toddler classrooms across multiple regions and focusing on 11 counties completed the training phase of the ITTI Care learning collaborative. Five of the 16 received coaching support for 10 months after the training phase ended, and 10 began the coaching phase in February 2021.
  • Twenty child care centers including 60 infant, toddler and two’s classrooms received project support (Feb-Dec 2020) or are receiving project support (Feb-Aug 2021). The project provides consultation to early childhood education support systems organizations to support them in reaching their goals of becoming a more trauma-informed organization.
  • Developed and provided six-month learning experience called “Cultivating NC Early Childhood Equity Champions” for 23 early childhood professionals who support the child care community.
Next Steps
  • Begin consultation support for seven agencies employing the 10 coaches in the Expansion Pilot.
  • Offer the “Cultivating NC Early Childhood Equity Champions” learning opportunity again in the summer of 2021.
  • Promote the use of the film “No Small Matter” as tool to raise awareness of the stress experienced by families with young children and the child care community, and the importance of investing in the first 2000 days of life, specifically with high-quality child care.
Primary Partners
  • NC DHHS, Division of Child Development and Early Education
  • Local Smart Start/Partnerships for Children (Anson, Cumberland, Wilkes)
  • Stanly Community College
  • NC Child care Resource & Referral System (Child Care Resources Inc., Southwestern Child Development Commission, Child Care Services Association, Guilford Child Development, ITQEP Project)
  • UNC’s NC Child Care Health & Safety Resource Center



Primary Funders
  • NC DHHS, Division of Child Development and Early Education 
Contact Ennis Baker

Active Counties