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The first three years of a child’s life are a distinct developmental period, characterized by rapid brain development, reliance on relationships with adults, and extreme responsiveness to environmental variation. Yet little information is available about the specific knowledge, skills, and other attributes (that is, competencies) that are essential to the practice of teaching and caring for infants and toddlers (I/T) and are needed to support optimal development..

In 2017, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families funded Mathematica to conduct the Infant and Toddler Teacher and Caregiver Competencies (ITTCC) project. The project aims to examine existing efforts across states, institutions of higher education, professional organizations, and early care and education programs related to competencies for infant and toddler (I/T) teachers and caregivers who work in group settings and build a conceptual…