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 and Care Division and WestEd’s Center for Child & Family Studies. Opportunities for Institutes domestically and abroad are offered via partnerships with local entities.

The New Hybrid Institute!

A hybrid approach to the PITC Institutes that blends in-person and online learning experiences with a community of peers is now available. Trainer certification is integrated into the institute modules with real-world application opportunities to enhance practice.

This model upholds PITC’s goal to help infant/toddler care teachers 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 help participants learn how to enhance the professional development of infant and toddler care teachers and family child care providers.


Intensive onsite and online sessions help participants deepen their understanding of, and acquire skills in, four institute modules:

  • Module 1: Social-Emotional Growth & Socialization
  • Module 2: Group Care
  • Module 3: Learning & Development
  • Module 4: Culture, Family, & Providers


Upon completion of Institute and the certification requirements, participants receive a certificate of completion from WestEd and the California Department of Education that recognizes them as trainers for the specific module(s) in which they received training. 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;
  • Independent trainers for infant/toddler care teachers or family child care providers
  • Trainers who work in high school vocational, parent and teen education, early intervention, and special needs programs


The California PITC Trainer Institute is offered annually, with in-person sessions alternating between Northern and Southern California. We offer opportunities for Trainer Institutes across the U.S. and abroad via partnerships with local entities. 

2020 New! Hybrid Trainer Institute

The Hybrid PITC Trainer Institute begins with a four-day in-person launch, followed by 22 weeks of online learning experiences that require about three hours of time commitment per week, and wraps up with a two-day in-person event. ECE units and CEUs are not available for the 2020 PITC Trainer Institute.

4 Day In-Person Launch

Online Learning

January through June 2020
22 Weeks (3 hours a week)

In-Person Wrap-Up

To Apply

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

Non-California residents who want to become PITC Fully Certified Trainers and are not eligible for a fellowship can apply to attend one of our California Trainer Institutes on a for-fee basis. To apply, please review the application information and submit a Non-Fellowship Application online.

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