The Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) is a comprehensive training program that employs evidence-based training materials and strategies for the early education field. PITC is the most widely used training system for infant and toddler teachers in the United States. Over 7,500 trainers, college faculty, and program directors from all 50 states have attended one or more PITC training modules for trainers since 1990. In 2002 the National Center for Children in Poverty selected PITC as a model initiative to support infants, toddlers, and their families. PITC was also selected as the only example of quality infant/toddler childcare practices for inclusion in the latest edition of "Approaches to Early Childhood Education" (Roopnarine & Johnson, 2009).
The PITC PARS was originally developed to assess the extent to which infant and toddler care programs reflect the philosophy of the Program for Infant Toddler Care (PITC) of responsive, relationship-based nurturance that supports young children’s social-emotional, cognitive, language, and physical development (Bornstein & Bornstein, 1995; Lally & Mangione, 2006; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). In 1998, the lack of an assessment instrument that emphasized interactions and relationships with a holistic view of infant and toddler care quality prompted the development of the PITC PARS as a tool for self-study. As the definition of infant and toddler care quality has been refined since that time, the PITC PARS continues to reflect the research literature’s current conceptualization of quality and, we believe, can be used in broader quality improvement contexts.
WestEd is a preeminent education research, development, and service organization with more than 650 employees and over 15 offices nationwide. WestEd has been a leader in moving research into practice. The agency’s mission is to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. In developing and applying the best available resources toward these goals, WestEd has built solid working relationships with education and community organizations at all levels, playing key roles in facilitating the efforts of others and in initiating important new improvement ventures.
The WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies (CCFS) has been deeply involved in service to children from birth to eight years of age since 1985, with extensive experience supporting the development of early childhood systems throughout California and providing training and technical assistance in 19 other states. CCFS is dedicated to helping America’s children get a healthy start in life by promoting research-based, high-quality early care and education services, with special attention to children living in poverty, dual language learners, and those with disabilities or other special needs.
The WestEd CCFS Assessment and Research Team provides the following services: development and training for the PITC PARS; development of formative assessments of children’s developmental progress; assessment of the quality of early learning environments and teacher-child relationships; and evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of services, practices, and policies designed to promote quality care in early childhood settings.