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. 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 Education’s Early Learning & Care Division and WestEd. Opportunities for Institutes domestically and abroad are offered via partnerships with local entities.

Learn more about the October 2021 PITC Trainer Institute in China.

The 2021-2022 Virtual Trainer Institute!

Due to continued uncertainty of the pandemic, PITC will offer a fully virtual PITC Trainer Institute for the 2021-2022 year.

The Trainer Institute features a blend of engaging interactive virtual sessions with faculty and online learning experiences with a community of peers. 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 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 the programs in which they work.


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 Institute and all certification requirements, participants receive a certificate of completion from WestEd and the California Department of Education that recognizes them as trainers for Modules 1-4. PITC Trainer Certification:

  • Builds your capacity to improve 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 Institutes can be 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 Trainer Institutes are designed for trainers of early childhood practitioners, in particular infant/toddler care teachers. Participants can include:

  • Early childhood program directors, resource teachers, and site supervisors or educational coordinators;
  • Staff from child care resource and referral agencies who train family child care providers or infant/toddler care teachers in center-based programs
  • Community college, university, or college instructors who teach infant/toddler courses;
  • Coaches and independent trainers for infant/toddler care teachers or family child care providers
  • Specialists and trainers who work in high school vocational and parent and teen education
  • Consultants in early intervention, mental health, and inclusion serving infant/toddler programs


Given the extraordinary circumstances making it impossible to schedule in-person trainings with certainty, we are only offering online Trainer Institutes. The California PITC Trainer Institute is offered annually and is open to non-California residents. We offer opportunities for Trainer Institutes across the U.S. and abroad via partnerships with local entities. 

2021-2022 Virtual Trainer Institute

The Virtual PITC Trainer Institute begins with a five-day synchronous launch, followed by 24 weeks of online learning experiences that require about three hours of time commitment per week, and ends with a two-day closing event. All participants earn professional growth hours.

5 Day Launch - Virtual Sessions with Faculty and Asynchronous Study

October 4-8, 2021

Online Learning with Facilitators in Cohorts

October 2021-May 2022
24 Weeks (About 3 hours/week)

2 Day Close - Virtual Sessions with Faculty

May 24-25, 2022

To Apply

Click here to review PITC Trainer Institute application information and apply online anytime throughout the year. Applications are accepted until the program is full.

For more information about the Trainer Institutes including how to bring a Trainer Institute to your area please see contacts listed below.