Infant Toddler Specialist Network

Child Care Professionals > Infant Toddler Specialist Network

Did you know? Across New Jersey

The Infant Toddler Specialist Network

The NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development (DFD) funds the Infant Toddler Specialist Network through Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies serving every county.

Infant Toddler Specialists work with child care professionals (registered family child care providers and child care center staff) to:

  • Strengthen the quality of infant and toddler care - to offer a setting that best promotes the healthy development of New Jersey's youngest children.
  • Support age-appropriate activities and approaches to learning and child development
  • Offer suggestions and strategies to meet common challenges
  • Expand the availability of infant and toddler care in every community

Support through the Infant Toddler Specialist Network (ITSN) is FREE!

Working with infants and toddlers can be challenging. However, Infant Toddler Specialists can help. Family child care providers and child care centers can work with a specialist in one of two ways:

  • The first option is that programs can enroll in the ITSN to see what the state has defined as quality and work to embed those factors in daily work. Supports would be given through trainings, mentoring, resources, and classroom observations. Participants who complete the ITSN initiative earn an Infant and Toddler Certificate.
  • The second option is referred to as Targeted Technical Assistance. With this route, the goal is to address concerns that the program has and would like to resolve. This approach is focused on specific supports to address challenges. The Infant Toddler Specialists meet your needs in whatever way works best for you.

Infant Toddler Specialist Network Services:

Professional Development. On-site in-person or virtual (through Zoom) topics are delivered by specialized trainers to present best practice standards in infant and toddler brain development. For those interested, you can earn an Infant and Toddler Certificate for completion of the ITSN initiative. You can also work on obtaining your Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. You may be eligible for scholarships through NJCCIS so that you can get your CDA for free! What's a CDA? Contact your local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency Infant Toddler Specialist to find out more!

Technical Assistance & Consultation. The Infant Toddler Specialists will serve as mentors to new and experienced early educators. How does your program incorporate New Jersey's Birth to Three Early Learning Standards? Infant Toddler Specialists can help because they know what works! Some of the services they offer include: Zoom, telephone and on-site support, site observations, and collaboration with you to develop a plan that works best for you and the children in your care. Infant Toddler Specialists are experts about best practices based on current research.

Grow New Jersey Kids (GNJK). Is your program part of Grow New Jersey Kids, the state child care quality and improvement system? If not, Infant Toddler Specialists and Quality Improvement Specialists within local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency can help you get ready to start the process. Did you know that child care centers and family child care homes that participate in GNJK receive higher subsidy payments based on their quality level? Quality care supports the healthy development of children and pays higher subsidy rates.

Resources & Materials. Your local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency has a resource library where early care providers can access education in the form of DVDs, videos, books, equipment and other resources.

Through the Infant Toddler Specialist Network, you will have access to:

  • Training, coaching and mentoring
  • Learning space arrangement support
  • Strategies for handling challenging behavior
  • Infant & Toddler resources
  • Quality development grants!
  • Pre and post classroom/family child care home observations
  • Support to meet your needs!

It takes a village! We're all in this together to support children & families.

Infant Toddler Specialist Network Infant Toddler Specialist Network

Do you have the tools you need to offer the best early learning opportunities for infants and toddlers?
Contact your local CCR&R agency today!

Infant Toddler Specialist Network

New Jersey Birth to Three Early Learning Standards

  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Approaches To Learning
  • Language Development and Communication
  • Cognitive Development
  • Physical and Motor Development

Grow New Jersey Kids Grow NJ Kids!

Grow NJ Kids is New Jersey's voluntary quality rating and improvement system. It's a pathway to support high-quality child care for children. Work with Child Care Resource & Referral Agency Specialists to prepare your program (child care center or family child care home) to participate and become rated in GNJK today!

Download the Infant Toddler Specialist Network (ITSN) brochure.