Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators™

The University of Arkansas, Early Care and Education Projects, in partnership with ZERO TO THREE, is pleased to offer ZERO TO THREE Critical Competencies for Infant‐Toddler Educators™.  Critical Competencies for Infant‐Toddler Educators is a training collectively made up of three (3) areas of professional development. This unique training provides opportunities for infant-toddler educators to explore, understand, and practice critical interactions with infants and toddlers that support and nurture their social-emotional, cognitive, language, and literacy development. Critical Competencies for Infant‐Toddler Educators is designed to help educators who work in group settings with infants and/or toddlers. It also includes considerations for supporting high-needs populations and multi-language learners.

ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Their mission is to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life and envision a society with the knowledge and will to support all infants and toddlers in reaching their full potential.


Critical Competencies for Infant‐Toddler Educators™ helps early educators:z3 logo

  • Observe, understand, and reflect on critical interactions with infants and toddlers that support and nurture their social-emotional development, cognitive development, and language and literacy development and learning
  • Discover teaching methods and practices with easily understood guidance and examples
  • Build on related professional criteria for the early childhood field

Critical Competencies for Infant‐Toddler Educators™ consists of 3 AREAS. Participants can choose to take either all or a single area.

AREA 1: Supporting Social-Emotional Development (20 hours total, up to 2.0 CEU)

  1.   Building Warm, Positive, and Nurturing Relationships  4 hours
  2.   Providing Consistent and Responsive Caregiving  3 hours
  3.   Supporting Emotional Expression and Regulation  3 hours
  4.   Promoting Socialization  3 hours
  5.   Guiding Behavior  3 hours
  6.   Promoting Children’s Sense of Identity and Belonging  4 hours

AREA 2: Supporting Cognitive Development (14 hours total, up to 1.4 CEU)

  1.   Facilitating Exploration and Concept Development  4 hours
  2.   Building Meaningful Curriculum  3 hours
  3.   Promoting Imitation, Symbolic Representation, and Play  3 hours
  4.   Supporting Reasoning and Problem Solving  4 hours

AREA 3: Supporting Language and Literacy Development (11 hours, up to 1.1 CEU)

  1.   Promoting Communication Exchange  4 hours
  2.   Expanding Expressive and Receptive Language and Vocabulary  3 hours
  3.   Promoting Early Literacy  4 hours

Critical Competencies for Infant‐Toddler Educators™ offers the following to all participants:

  • Up to 45 hours (if taking all 3 areas) of professional development credit from the Arkansas Professional Development Registry and the Arkansas Department of Education
  • Available for anyone to enroll in FREE OF CHARGE
  • FREE course materials and access to in-depth content, including a participant manual and other resources
  • Up to 4.5 (if taking all 3 areas) Continuing Education Units (CEUs), upon request
  • Certificate of Completion and Verification of Training Hours, upon request
  • Opportunity to collaborate and build community engagement with other industry experts

Visit the Arkansas Professional Development Registry to find available courses or call (800) 632-8754.


The Arkansas Department of Education approves all courses provided by Early Care and Education Projects for professional development credit. However, the awarding of professional development credit based on attendance at this workshop is solely at the discretion of the local school district. Learn more by reviewing the Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Professional Development (Feb 2016).

Contact Jenny Dura to find out more.

Jenny Dura
Jenny Dura
(RSSV)-Research & Service Units
Training Advisor
Early Care & Education Projects