Child Care

Education and Training

Infant/Toddler Training

The Infant/Toddler Training Program provides training to increase the quality of infant and toddler care. Training and on-site technical assistance is available on an ongoing basis for child care providers.

Responsive Parenting classes are also held across the state for parents who want to learn more about the unique needs of children birth to age three.

Why is Infant/Toddler training needed?

  • South Dakota has the highest percentage of working mothers in the nation.
  • Children are entering child care settings at an earlier age.
  • Infant/Toddler group settings have unique challenges.
  • The first three years of life have a dramatic impact on brain development.

What is being done to address this issue?

  • The Infant/Toddler Training Program is an effort by the Division of Child Care Services and local Early Childhood Enrichment Programs to promote ongoing training to improve the quality and availability of infant and toddler care in South Dakota. Funding for this project is provided by the Bush Foundation.

Who does the training?

  • Selected volunteers complete a two-week long train-the-trainer session conducted by WestEd of California. These people conduct infant/toddler training in their communities for child care providers, parents and others interested in the care of young children. Several infant/toddler training opportunities have developed due to this initiative. For more detail on the training available, please view the Regional Training Calendar.

What is WestEd of California?

  • The program for Infant/Toddler Caregivers began at Far West Laboratories. The program was prompted by concerns at the California Department of Education's Child Development Division, for the quality of infant and toddler care. WestEd was formed and created a series of train-the-trainer intensives. The program's training system is that of providing quality care that meets infants' needs for warm, supportive relationships in an intimate setting. A video series and training manuals are based on the latest child development theory, research and practice. Four modules were created to assist providers in understanding and carrying out the day-to-day care of infants and toddlers:
    1. Social-Emotional Growth and Socialization
    2. Group Care
    3. Learning and Development
    4. Culture, Family and Providers