The Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) Trainer Institute provides a supportive community of practice model approach to learning PITC content and training skills for educators, program managers, and other professionals responsible for supervising and training infant/toddler care teachers, providers, and home visitors.

Certification requirements include reading and activities to develop deep understanding of the PITC policies, content, and interactive training plans. Participants develop a training outline for each of the 16 PITC topics, an  expanded training plan for one topic for each module, reflective journaling related to the topics, and participate in the interactive virtual sessions in October and May.

Upon completion of the PITC Trainer Institute and all certification requirements, participants receive a certificate of completion from WestEd and the California Department of Social Services, Child Care and Development Division (CDSS-CCDD) that recognizes them as trainers for PITC Modules 1-4.

Previous PITC Trainer Institute participants who are already certified in two or more modules may enroll for the PITC Completion Option by emailing


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. Learn more about the Worldwide Trainer Institutes.

The 2024-2025 PITC Virtual Trainer Institute!

PITC will offer a fully virtual PITC Trainer Institute for the 2024-2025 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.

2024-2025 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 nine 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 Online Learning

October 7-11, 2024

Online Learning with Facilitators in Cohorts

October 2024-May 2025
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 20-21, 2025

Online Application

Please follow these three steps to apply for the Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) Trainer Institute.

  1. Review the PITC Trainer Institute Application Information sections listed below to see if the PITC Trainer Institute is a match for your professional goals and if you meet eligibility requirements. 
  2. Click “Submit your online application now” below to create an online application or to edit your existing application.
  3. Fill out the application completely and click SUBMIT.

Submit your online application now to be considered for the 2024-2025 Virtual PITC Trainer Institute. Applications close August 8, 2024.

Application Information

Click on the following sections below to find out more information.

Each module includes:

  • Engaging online tools including readings, videos, and activities
  • Development of one Learning Experience Outline (LEO)
  • Weekly journaling for each topic
  • Expanding the LEO of your choice to a full Learning Experience Plan (LEP)

The modules open sequentially in Canvas and are available to you a week prior to the dates listed below:

  • Module 1: Social-Emotional Growth and Socialization, October 7-November 24
  • Module 2: Group Care, December 2-February 2
  • Module 3: Learning and Development, February 3-March 23
  • Module 4: Culture, Family, and Providers, March 24-May 11

Please note that participation in both the Launch Week (October) and Wrap-Up (May) events are among the requirements for certification.

  • Trainers
  • Coaches
  • Mentor/Lead Teachers
  • Program Leaders
  • Early Head Start Staff
  • Higher Education Faculty
  • Child Care Resource Specialists
  • Early Interventionists
  • Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants
  • Family Child Care Providers who serve as trainers or leaders in their communities
  • Prior PITC Trainer Institute participants who need to complete certification (refer to “PITC Completion Option” below)

The tuition fee for the PITC Trainer Institute is $6,100. For those who are enrolled in the PITC Completion Option, the tuition fee is $3,400. This fee covers:

  • PITC resources and supplementary reading materials
  • Brief pre-enrollment orientations (multiple dates and times)
  • PITC Launch: 5-days of virtual sessions with faculty and online learning
  • One facilitated 2-hour Learning Experience Plan session in late October (multiple dates and times)
  • Online Learning: 24-weeks with facilitators and peers with embedded certification
  • Modules: four facilitated opening sessions (90 minutes each) to highlight resources, climate of care, and training strategies for each module
  • PITC Wrap-Up: 2 consecutive days of virtual sessions in late May with peers and faculty

A very limited number of fellowships are available to applicants living in California. Refer to “Review Criteria” section below for guidance. Fellowships are only available to those who are attending the PITC Trainer Institute for their first time.

PITC also works jointly with Quality Counts California hub leads and county representatives to identify funding opportunities. PITC will notify applicants regarding fellowships and funding decisions from hubs or counties.

The Completion Option is available to those who attended a previous PITC Trainer Institute, are certified in two or more modules, and want to return for full PITC certification.

For those who hold certification in one module, we invite you to join the PITC Trainer Institute for Modules 1-4. While much of PITC content remains relevant, some of our topics have evolved due to new learning from the research. Also, our new approach embeds certification in the learning community of peers and a facilitator.

To begin the PITC Completion Option application process, please email

First consideration will be given to applications received by the due date. Applications received after the due date will be considered if space allows.

If you are coordinating submission of applications for a group of more than five people, please email Each person in the group must complete an individual application by the application due date to be considered.

The application consists of five sections:

  • Contact Information
  • Organization Information
  • Education and Employment
  • Training Experience (inclusive of previous training, coaching, and/or teaching experiences)
  • Statement of Interest to Participate (include details about how your participation will positively impact your program and/or community)
  • All sections must be complete with sufficient detail to evaluate your related experience and interest in attending the Institute. Refer to “Review Criteria” section below for guidance.
  • Once all sections are completed, make sure to select the Submit button.
  • Be sure to check your email (including junk/spam folder) for confirmation that your application was submitted.

WestEd will review and consider each completed application based on specific criteria (refer to “Review Criteria” section below) and space availability.

WestEd does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

  • Applicant’s Title and Position: Description of your current position and role in coaching, leadership, and/or training activities in the field of child development, specifically infant and toddler development and care. Priority is given to those currently providing professional development to programs and communities serving infants and toddlers, as well as to applicants nominated by their local quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) administrator. Please note significant volunteerism or participation in local initiatives to improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers are considered as well.
  • Education/Professional Certification: Your educational background, including credit hours in early childhood education and child development, CDA, ECE training, and other ECE or child development-related certificates and degrees.
  • Past Professional Experience: Professional experiences in child development, with a focus on infant and toddler coaching and/or training activities you have planned and conducted.
  • Interest and Intent to Provide Training: The purpose of participating; what you hope to learn; how you plan to utilize the training experience in your work in the infant/toddler community; and the types of coaching and training experiences you intend to conduct. Consideration of geographic, linguistic, and program type diversity is part of the review process for California applicants.

An orientation meeting is a step in the application process. The orientation is a short conversation to support each applicant and their supervisor (when applicable) to learn about and plan for the nine-month PITC Trainer Institute journey. Knowing what to expect during the synchronous events and for the 24 weeks of online learning and certification activities that occur between October and May provides a path to success in certification.

The orientation meeting will be scheduled individually or for multiple participants within one agency to allow PITC to address your questions fully. For those who do not have a supervisor, please invite a colleague who works closely with you. The PITC Trainer Institute experience is most successful when you have support from your personal or professional community and your PITC learning community of faculty, peers, and your facilitator.

  • Application Confirmation: Once you submit your application (due date August 8, 2024), you will automatically receive an email confirmation.
  • Application Status: You will be notified of your status within a week of completing both the application process and attending a pre-enrollment orientation session (refer to “Pre-Enrollment Orientation Sessions” section above).
  • Invitation to Enroll: Accepted applicants will receive an email notification to complete the enrollment process and submit payment by August 26.
  • Waitlist: Qualified applicants who are waitlisted will be invited to update their application for participation in a future PITC Trainer Institute.
  • Fellowship Announcements: Fellowships funded by CDSS-CCDD for California residents are based upon a review of your application. Fellowships will be announced in late August.
  • Once enrolled, the full fee for your participation will be charged for cancellations less than 30 days prior to the start of the event.
  • WestEd will make every effort to enroll a replacement participant when a cancellation occurs more than 30 days in advance. However, an administrative fee of $100 will be charged.
  • All cancellations must be submitted in writing to
  • For any questions, please email
  • Visit for updates regarding the PITC Trainer Institute and other training opportunities and resources.