Twenty-two states have adopted early learning guidelines for infants and toddlers, which are basically a birth-to-age-3 version of pre-K-12 educational standards that define what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade. Here are a few examples of items that are sometimes included within a state's infant and toddler guidelines: A caregiver should be looking for signs that younger infants bounce or move up and down slowly to music or beats; that older infants point to an object to communicate that they want a caregiver to get it for them; and that toddlers talk on the phone and walk around like they’ve seen an adult do at home.
Massachusetts is one of the most recent states to begin the process of adopting infants and toddler guidelines. In August, the state released draft guidelines (for public comment) for all types of settings and positions that care for children ages birth through thirty-six months. In this podcast, we speak with Dr. Sherri Killins, the Commissioner of Early Education and Care for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, about how Massachusetts' infant and toddler guidelines were developed and how they will be used to improve the quality of infant and toddler care in Massachusetts.
You can view the draft guidelines here.