New Infant and Toddler Early Learning Guidelines coming to Texas!

What should Infants and Toddlers know and be able to do?  The question itself is difficult to comprehend, although 33 states have asked and answered it already, and Texas is currently on its way!  The Texas Early Learning Council is working with the National Infant and Toddler Child Care Initiative at ZERO-TO-THREE and a broad group of Texas-based stakeholders to develop new Infant and Toddler Early Learning Guidelines (ITELG) for the state of Texas.

The new Texas ITELG will improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers inside and outside the home by supporting and guiding more appropriate practices for early care and education professionals who work with our youngest children.  With clearly defined statements on what infants and toddlers should developmentally know and be able to do, the ITELG will support the healthy development of infants and toddlers because they will positively influence the design of professional development strategies, parent engagements, administrative planning, key materials, and curricula.

The Council will also support the alignment of the ITELG with other existing standards and guidelines, like the Texas Pre-K Guidelines and Texas K-12 standards.  The alignment process will be completed after the ITELG are finalized to ensure that all Texas guidelines flow upward, building on the developmental milestones children reach throughout their growth. This type of vertical alignment is important because it helps professionals and other caregivers recognize that development is an ongoing process, that skills build on skills, and that there is a sequenced rationality to optimal learning and development for young children.

The Council called together a steering group, comprised of 25 stakeholders, to guide and influence the creation and development of ITELG in our state.  The stakeholders come from all across the state, and from a diverse collection of professions involved with the health, development, and well being of infants and toddlers.  The steering group already conducted a webinar and a live meeting to begin its process of developing the ITELG. The steering committee will organize its efforts into three working groups:

  • Guidelines Development
  • Public Outreach and Engagement
  • Professional Development

The development of Texas ITELG will take place over the next year.  The Council hopes to have draft guidelines completed by the summer of 2012.  As part of the Council's efforts to conduct critical outreach with underrepresented and special populations, intentional efforts will be made to produce ITELG materials and documents that are relevant for all populations in Texas.  These materials will be disseminated in thoughtful ways, aimed at reaching the parents and providers of all infants and toddlers in Texas.

Interested in learning more about the new Infant and Toddler Early Learning Guidelines?  Click here to view the Council's webpage on the new ITELG and see additional resources.

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