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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 4, Lesson 1

Holistic Curricula that Individualize for all Infants and Toddlers

Bergen, D. , Reid, R., Torelli, L. (2001). Educating and caring for very young children. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Infants and toddlers need a dynamic, responsive curriculum that provides education along with nurturing. Recognizing play as the core of this curriculum, the authors show how infant/toddler "educarers" can combine theory and practice to provide physical and social environments in which children thrive. Case descriptions illustrate how to accommodate children with different developmental levels, backgrounds, personalities, and needs.

Gonzalez-Mena, J. & Eyer, D.W. (2004). Gonzalez-Mena, J. & Eyer, D.W. (2004). Infants, toddlers, and caregivers: A curriculum of respectful, responsive care and education. New York: McGraw-Hill.

This curriculum guide combines a child-centered philosophy with problem-solving strategies, and provides a thorough discussion of gender role stereotyping, children with special needs, and multicultural issues in childcare. The philosophy of caregiving that underlies this book comes from Magda Gerber and Tom Forrest, M.D., as well as the earlier work of Emmi Pikler. These pioneers of the field stressed the need to integrate (1) knowledge of play as curriculum, (2) concepts of child development with caregiving, (3) the physical and social environment, and (4) adult relations.

Lally, J.R. WestEd, Center for Child and Family Studies, et. al. Program for infant/toddler caregivers (PITC) at A Relationship-Based Curriculum

Mother throwing child in the airThe goal of PITC is to help caregivers recognize the crucial importance of giving tender, loving care and assisting in the infants' intellectual development through an attentive reading of each child's cues. The PITC's videos, guides, and manuals are designed to help child care managers and caregivers become sensitive to infants' cues, connect with their family and culture, and develop responsive, relationship-based care. The training materials provide the foundation for a style of care in which caregivers study the infants in their care, reflect on and record information about the children's interests and skills, and search for ways to set the stage for the child's next learning encounters.

Six program policies anchor this curriculum: primary care; small groups; continuity; individualized care; cultural responsiveness; and, inclusion of children with special needs. These policies create a climate for care that reinforces our responsive, relationship based approach. They allow relationships to develop and deepen over time between caregivers and the children as well as between caregivers and the children's families.

As your time permits (30 minutes), view and listen to Dr. Lally's ideas about play in action with infants/toddlers with appropriate adult support for play. You can go to the Dialogue with the Experts: Hearts and Minds - The State of America's Babies and Toddlers as explained below. There is a streamed video which includes Dr. Lally's urging for policy decisions in support of quality care for all infants/toddlers and film footage of the video, The Next Step. The video illustrates some important adult guidance strategies used to support infants' functional outcomes through play.

  1. Requirements: To play the video clip you must install or already have Java runtime which can be downloaded for free from the internet.
  2. Go to Zero to Three Dialogue.
  3. Then scroll to Presentation 4 - Babies and Public Policy Hearts and Minds: The State of Babies and Toddlers
    J. Ronald Lally, EdD/Harriet Meyer, MA
    10/17/2003 - 30 minutes and click on the "Play" button

Note: There are directions on the screen for forwarding, etc. You can pause too, if you want to get up and stretch, take a break, or get a snack.


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