Impact of Training and Education for Caregivers of Infants and Toddlers
Training and education of infant and toddler caregivers is one important factor associated with the quality of child care they provide. In response to research showing that high-quality care supports positive development in young children, policymakers have established training and education requirements for licensed providers and launched numerous initiatives to train and educate caregivers. Caregivers themselves believe training and education to be important, including relative and unregulated family child care providers, many of whom express interest in accessing training although not required by regulation to do so.
What approaches to caregiver training and education are the most likely to improve the quality of care for children under age 3 in family child care homes and centers? To help answer this question, this brief describes research findings on a small number of training initiatives targeting infant and toddler caregivers where quality was observed before and after training. While it is too soon to draw firm generalizations from this young and scattered body of research, findings from these studies raise pertinent considerations for policymakers. (See Research-to-Policy Connections No. 2, Infant and Toddler Child Care Quality, for a list of observational instruments frequently used to measure quality.)
Other research has focused on increases in provider knowledge and/or self-reported changes in caregiving practices as a result of training and education. It is not clear whether effects found using either of these measures correspond to effects on quality seen with observational measures.