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Competencies of Infant and Toddler Teachers and Caregivers: A Compendium of Measures

July 22, 2020
Topics:
Child Care, Early Head Start, Head Start
Projects:
Infant and Toddler Teacher and Caregiver Competencies, 2017 - 2021 | Learn more about this project
Types:
Reports
This is the Competencies of Infant and Toddler Teachers and Caregivers: A Compendium of Measures Cover
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  • File Size 2mb
  • Pages 122
  • Published 2020

Introduction

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. Identifying the competencies (i.e., knowledge, skills, and other attributes) essential to infant and toddler (I/T) teaching and caregiving may offer a common language and lens for assessing job performance and provide a clear structure for professional growth and development. In this compendium, we highlight measures that can be used to assess the competencies of I/T teachers and caregivers who work in group care settings (i.e., centers and family child care homes).

Research Questions

  1. 1 What measures are available to assess the competencies of I/T teachers and caregivers?

Purpose

This compendium highlights measures that can be used to assess the competencies of I/T teachers and caregivers who work in group care settings (i.e., centers and family child care homes).

Key Findings and Highlights

  • What types of competencies can be assessed with each measure? Measures assess knowledge (19), skills (35), and attributes (25), with many measures assessing more than one type of competency.
  • Was each measure designed for use with I/T teachers and caregivers? Only 16 of the measures were designed specifically for use with I/T teachers and caregivers.
  • For what purpose(s) have the measures been used? Measures have been used for credentialing (4), professional development (27), and/or research and evaluation (29). Some measures have been used for more than one purpose.
  • How are each of the measures administered? The measures use a wide range of formats: observation (with or without an interview and document review), surveys with Likert scales, multiple choice questions, true/false statements, self-assessments (with rubrics), and standardized tests.
  • Is training required to use each measure? Training is required for 18 of the measures.
  • Is there evidence of each measure’s reliability and validity with I/T teachers and caregivers? Reliability/validity information is available for a majority of measures developed for research purposes; however, information was not located for many other measures – including most measures associated with a particular competency framework.

Methods

Measures were identified from 3 sources:

  • A scan of existing competency frameworks relevant to I/T teachers and caregivers;
  • A literature review examining associations between I/T teacher or caregiver competencies and key program, teacher/caregiver, family, and child outcomes; and
  • Expert recommendations.

Additional targeted searches were conducted to supplement information gathered from the above sources and complete profiles for each measure.

Recommendations

Users can identify the measures most appropriate for the specific objectives and goals of their work.

Citation

Shah, H., Niland, K., Kharsa, M., Caronongan, P., & Moiduddin, E. (2020). Assessing the Competencies of Infant and Toddler Teachers and Caregivers: A Compendium of Measures, OPRE Report #2020-21, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Last Reviewed: July 22, 2020