- About the Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler Initiative
The Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler (EQ) Initiative works with the Early Childhood Councils, Infant and Toddler Specialists and Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler Care (EQIT) trainers to work toward its primary goal of increasing the quality and availability of responsive care for infants and toddlers throughout Colorado by:
- Strengthening the skills and knowledge base of Early Childhood professionals working with infants and toddlers
- Building capacity and promoting systemic change to foster increased quality and availability of care and services
- Supporting leadership and collaboration at the community level
- Facilitating professional development for infant toddler professionals, particularly those who are teaching or coaching infant toddler teachers
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- EQIT Course
The Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler Care (EQIT) 48-hour course of training is designed for individuals like you who currently work with or plan to work with infants and toddlers and are interested in improving your knowledge and skills. It is particularly appropriate for child care providers who are looking for an in-depth, hands-on course focused on work with infants and toddlers in group care and who may not have taken many early education college courses.
Once you enroll in the course, you are encouraged to take advantage of on-site coaching to deepen your understanding and skills. Please speak with your EQIT course instructor for more information.
Successful completion of the EQIT 48-hour course of training meets the infant toddler training requirements specific to early childhood teachers, center directors, and the specialized family child care licenses.
Cost and Registration
The EQIT course is offered at very low cost in communities across Colorado by EQIT instructors who have completed an intensive EQIT Training of Trainers course. EQIT coaches complete additional professional development in the use of the EQ RELATE coaching tool.
View the list of EQIT courses beginning July 2023- Dec 2023. All course registrations must be completed in PDIS. To identify the local EQIT Contact for your area please use the contact list here or email us at email@example.com for more information.
Participants in the EQIT Course learn about the importance of brain development in the first 3 years of life, social/emotional, cognitive, and physical development, and working with families as well as effective strategies for curriculum and discipline through 16 3-hour modules. These modules include:
The Wonder of the First Three Years Early Learning Care of the Spirit Nurturing Language Responsive Caregiving for Healthy Relationships Discovering Literacy Our Partners, The Families Babies in Motion Safe, Healthy, and Responsive Care Embracing Culture Responsiveness and Resilience All Babies Belong The Power of Places and Spaces Cheers for Peers Day to Day the Relationship Way Celebrating Our Profession
In addition to the 48 hours of direct class time, each participant is also offered coaching through the EQ RELATE Model of Coaching. Following similar relationship-based principles covered in the EQIT Course, EQ RELATE Coaching supports providers in reflecting on and applying new understandings to their own practice.
EQ Instructors must participate in a 70 hour Training of Trainers, continue with ongoing professional development, and collaborate with their local Early Childhood Council to implement the EQIT Course.
There are about 120 EQ instructors in the State of Colorado that serve as Infant Toddler Specialists and are offered further professional development opportunities through the EQ Initiative. These opportunities include trainings with national presenters from organizations such as Pacific Oaks College and Zero to Three.
Courses are offered throughout the year in local communities across the state. In collaboration with a variety of community colleges, many communities also offer participants the opportunity to receive college credit for participation in EQIT.
- Infant Toddler Specialist Network
An Infant Toddler Specialist is defined as an individual whose role is to provide support to professionals and caregivers who provide early care and education to infants and toddlers.
Funded in large part by the Infant/Toddler Earmark within the Child Care Development Block Grant, many states have developed an Infant/Toddler Specialist Network by funding these specialists to work with local programs in communities throughout the state.
In Colorado, the EQ Initiative has built a network of Infant Toddler Specialists with over 120 active EQ Instructors throughout the state. With extensive professional development opportunities provided by the EQ Initiative and a variety of experiences in working with infants, toddlers, providers, and families, EQ Instructors are well positioned to support the needs of infants and toddlers throughout their community. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to become an Infant Toddler Specialist in your local community.
Resources for Infant/Toddler Specialists:
- Supporting Primary Caregiving and Continuity of Care: from the National Center on Child Care Professional Development Systems and Workforce Initiatives
- Zero to Three: resources for Infant/Toddler Specialists
- Mentoring, Coaching, and Reflective Practice: An Annotated Resource List: from the National Infant & Toddler Care Initiative
- Early Care and Education Systems that Support Quality for Babies and Toddlers – Key Elements: from the National Infant & Toddler Care Initiative
- EQIT Coaching Study 2014: from the Early Education and Development Journal
- Assessment for Infants and Toddlers
One important aspect of quality care for infants and toddlers is the ongoing assessment of a baby’s development and a plan with individualized responsive curriculum to ensure that any necessary interventions are implemented as early as possible.
Resources are also available for infant and toddler development, screening and assessment from Zero to Three and Head Start.
- Early Head Start National Resource Center: Observation: The Heart of Individualizing Responsive Care
- Zero to Three: Infant and Toddler Development Screening, and Assessment module for child care consultants
- Zero to Three: Developmental Screening, Assessment, and Evaluation: Key Elements for Individualizing Curricula in Early Head Start Programs
- Touchpoints Approach to Infant Toddler Care
As part of the EQ Initiative, EQ Instructors and Early Childhood Council Coordinators are encouraged to attend a Touchpoints Individual Level Training (ILT) to strengthen their skills in establishing healthy positive relationships with parents and providers in their communities.
Based on the work of renowned pediatrician, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, the Brazelton Touchpoints Approach is a cross-disciplinary approach focused on supporting the development of children through relationships with those who care for them.
In many communities Touchpoints teams offer the Individual Level Trainings to local community partners. Contact your early childhood council or Lisa Matter at email@example.com to find a touchpoints training near you.
There currently are 9 active Touchpoints teams across Colorado. This includes the EQ Specialty Team, which provides training to EQ Instructors, Early Childhood Council Coordinators, and other statewide groups.
The Colorado Touchpoints Network provides networking, technical assistance and support to the Touchpoints teams across the state.