The Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) Trainer Institutes provide training for educators, program managers, and other professionals responsible for supervising and training infant/toddler care teachers, Family Child Care (FCC), and Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FNN) providers. PITC Trainer Institutes deliver a comprehensive study of the PITC philosophy and recommended practices that support high-quality infant and toddler care.

The PITC Trainer Institute is jointly conducted by the California Department of Social Services, Child Care and Development Division (CDSS-CCDD) and WestEd. Opportunities for Institutes domestically and abroad are offered via partnerships with local entities.

The 2023-2024 Virtual Trainer Institute!

PITC will offer a fully virtual PITC Trainer Institute for the 2023-2024 year.

The PITC Trainer Institute features a blend of engaging interactive virtual sessions with faculty and online learning experiences in a community of peers with the support of a facilitator. Trainer certification is integrated into the Institute modules with real-world application opportunities to enhance practice.

This model upholds PITC’s goal to support infant/toddler care teachers and providers to recognize and implement crucially important relationship-based practices and design care environments that are responsive to infants, toddlers, and their families.

Program Description

PITC Trainer Institutes provide participants with learning opportunities to enhance the professional development of infant and toddler care teachers, family child care providers, and programs.


Intensive synchronous and asynchronous online sessions help participants deepen their understanding of, and acquire skills in, four Institute modules and an optional coaching series:

  • Social-Emotional Growth & Socialization
  • Group Care
  • Learning & Development
  • Culture, Family, & Providers
  • Coaching Option


Upon completion of the PITC Trainer Institute and all certification requirements, participants receive a certificate of completion from WestEd and CDSS-CCDD that recognizes them as trainers for Modules 1-4.

PITC Trainer Certification:

  • Builds your capacity to support the quality of infant and toddler care in your local programs, communities, and state.
  • Deepens your understanding of how to enhance the professional development of infant and toddler care teachers and family child care providers.
  • Connects you to a community of learners and network with peers.

Head Start Implementation

The information presented at the PITC Trainer Institute is directly linked to the Head Start Program Performance Standards for easy application by Early Head Start staff in lesson planning and program implementation:

Recommended Participants

The PITC Trainer Institutes are designed for trainers of early childhood practitioners, in particular those serving infants and toddlers. Participants can include:

  • Early childhood program directors, family child care providers who serve as trainers or leaders in their community, mentor and resource teachers, and site supervisors or educational coordinators;
  • Coaches and staff from child care resource and referral agencies who provide support to FCC and FFN providers or infant/toddler care teachers in center-based programs;
  • FCC home education network coaches and coordinators;
  • Community college, university, or college instructors who teach infant/toddler courses;
  • Coaches and independent trainers for infant/toddler care teachers or FCC and FFN providers;
  • Specialists and trainers who work in high school vocational programs with an early childhood component;
  • Consultants in early intervention, mental health, and inclusion serving infant/toddler programs; and
  • Prior PITC Trainer Institute participants who have completed certification in two or more modules (Please contact for this option).


The annual CDSS-CCDD/PITC Trainer Institutes have transitioned to a fully virtual model, with a blend of interactive synchronous learning and asynchronous learning in a community of learners. The California PITC Trainer Institute is offered annually and is open to non-California residents. We also offer opportunities for PITC Trainer Institutes across the U.S. and abroad via partnerships with local entities. 

2023-2024 Virtual PITC Trainer Institute

The Virtual PITC Trainer Institute begins with a five-day synchronous launch, followed by 24 weeks of online learning experiences, over eight months, that require about 3-4 hours of time commitment per week, and ends with a synchronous two-day wrap-up. All participants earn professional growth hours. Additionally, virtual synchronous sessions of 1.5-2 hours are offered to support certification at the start of each module with multiple sessions to ensure access to accommodate the diverse schedules of the participants.

5 Day Launch - Virtual Sessions with Faculty and Asynchronous Study

October 2-6, 2023

Online Learning with Facilitators in Cohorts

October 2023-May 2024
24 Weeks (About 3-4 hours/week)

Engage with your facilitator through responsive feedback. This responsive relationship begins with each submission uploaded to Canvas. Please note this is an interactive process and there are no grades in PITC. Revisions are part of the learning process as your facilitator supports your growth on PITC content, climate of care, and adult-learning design principles.

2 Day Wrap-Up - Interactive Virtual Sessions with Peers and Faculty

May 21-22, 2024

To Apply

Review the PITC Trainer Institute application information section and apply online. Applications are accepted until the program is full.

The PITC Completion Option is for those who are certified in two or more modules and are seeking PITC certification in the remaining module(s). Please do not submit a new application. The PITC Completion Option application process begins with an email request to