Infant-Toddler Specialist Network: KCCTO-KITS Partnership
This project is a partnership between Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Inc. (KCCTO) and the Kansas Inservice Training System (KITS). The project is designed to support training to support quality and availability of infant-toddler child care for families across the state of Kansas. KCCTO has a strong history of providing online professional development and working collaboratively to serve all child care settings in the early care and education community while KITS expertise is reflected in onsite professional development and the provision of highly focused technical assistance.
Professional development opportunities for child care providers serving infants-toddlers are offered through the KCCTO workforce development initiative and other statewide entities focused on the needs of infant-toddler early care programs and individual providers. To meet the needs of entry level early care providers, a Child Development Associate (CDA) infant-toddler online training track will be offered to individuals interested in obtaining the credential as part of their career pathway. To expand the capacity and support quality of existing infant-toddler child care, participation in existing professional development opportunities at the state and national level will be promoted in addition to expansion of the current online course offerings for child care providers and administrators. Mentoring opportunities will also be supported through the project.
To support continuous quality improvement, and to improve the supply and support quality of child care programs and services for infants and toddlers, programs that have an intensive KITS TA plan will be eligible for quality improvement funds. Specifically, these funds are made available for early care professionals to obtain the needed professional development to obtain core knowledge and competencies related to infants and toddlers or may be used to purchase necessary infant and toddler equipment for program enhancement.
Through this partnership, KITS supports professional development and provides technical assistance (TA) for home child care providers and center based programs in the effort to increase the knowledge, skills, educational level, and competencies of caregivers, teachers, and directors serving infants and toddlers. Activities will also focus on increasing awareness and dissemination of materials that support healthy, safe, and nurturing environments, instruction, and fosters connections to national, state and community resources. The growth of a comprehensive statewide training system, addressing the professional development needs of infant-toddler caregivers, teachers, and directors, is essential to assure quality services.
Professional development and technical assistance is provided to infant-toddler child care providers through a model based on intensity of service. These levels of intensity reflect principles of both adult learning and results based staff development and are addressed at the levels of: Level 1-proactive/general issues of staff development and TA, Level 2-focused staff development and TA, and Level 3-intensive staff development and TA. These levels of intensity are grounded in the four components of: a) collaboration/linkages, b) information services, c) technical assistance, and d) training. Each of these components has a variety of activities through which skill development is achieved and will be accomplished through research-validated strategies and based in principles of adult learning through advising, consultation, mentoring, and coaching. The level of intensity of contact will be accomplished through activities such as Level 1 and 2 results-based training, dissemination of information via the KCCTO and KITS websites, utilization of listservs, provision of intensive technical assistance (Level 3), and development of content specific technical assistance packets for practitioners in the field based on evidenced based and recommended practices and resources.
Additionally, the project offers learning opportunities through such avenues as instructor directed web based training and self-study materials and facilitated communities of practice. Further, the program will continue to build the statewide professional development resource center. This center houses material for professionals and families to access in support of services, program, or individual needs as well as support through internet based information resources. These include online access to state and national resources, training/TA materials, and guidance documents. These materials are accessible 24/7 which facilitates the interaction of resource materials with the needs of the state, specific programs, and individuals. Finally, this network will continue to support and utilize existing structures and opportunities for staff development occurring throughout the state through collaborative linkages with other agencies, programs, organizations, and projects in the field of early care and education.
Subcontract from: Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities (KCCTO), Grant from the Kansas Department for Children and Families
Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities (KCCTO)