At the heart of the Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) is a commitment to care for infants and toddlers that respects the diverse cultures, lifestyles, preferences, abilities, learning styles, and needs of the children and families served. PITC is responsive to what the infants, toddlers, and their families bring to care and emphasizes relationship-based implementation strategies. The positions advocated by PITC are based on sound child development and family research, which leads to the following working assumptions:

Families need to be partners in care. Programs should seek out families’ beliefs, values, practices, and child rearing strategies and include them in the program’s caregiving practices whenever possible.

Young children are unique individuals with varying temperaments, rates of development, and interests. These individual differences should be identified and strategies appropriate to each child’s unique needs incorporated in child care practice.

Young children are curious motivated learners and also dependent upon adults for nurturance, support, and guidance. They need to be both respected as learners and protected in their vulnerability. Planning for a child’s care in the program is a shared experience that includes families and program staff. The care should be individualized for children by:

  • welcoming family and cultural practices, including home language, as a part of the child care experience;
  • providing infants close and responsive relationships with caregivers in intimate settings;
  • designing safe, interesting, and developmentally appropriate environments;
  • giving infants uninterrupted time to explore; and
  • interacting with infants during caregiving routines and throughout the day in ways that emotionally, socially, intellectually, and physically support their initiations in discovery and learning.