Inside: Welcome, Self-Care, NITTO, NCFELD, Spotlight on Training and more!
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April 2022 Issue

The NC Infant Toddler Quality Enhancement Project (ITQEP) is pleased to share our second quarterly newsletter to provide relevant information to infant and toddler teachers and administrators committed to high-quality care and education. We will highlight project updates and offerings, offer tips and scenarios based on NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development and Zero to Three Critical Competencies, and include profiles of our Infant Toddler Specialists who are ready to support you.
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What's in this Edition:

  • Self-Care Focus on Breathing
  • NCFELD - Emotional & Social Development
  • ZERO TO THREE Critical Competencies - Social Emotional (SE)-1
  • Spotlight on Infant Toddler Specialists
  • Spotlight on Training: Temperaments of Infants and Toddlers
  • ITS Contact/Map and Regional Training Calendars


Breathing is the topic of our self-care this quarter. We all breathe, but in the context of self-care, the focus is on the physical act of breathing. Being mindful of our breathing has many benefits. Focused breathing can “help calm our regulatory system” and “help you recover and manage small or large stresses” (Nicholson et al., 2019, p. 213) as well as reduce anxiety, pain, depression, and negative thoughts (Telloian, 2021 & Laderer, 2020). Being mindful of our breathing also increases our awareness of our surroundings and allows us to be more present so that we don’t think about past or future worries. Practicing focused breathing helps to calm our brains. You can share and model these breathing moments with others, including the infants and toddlers you work with each day!
Here are a few different ways you can pause and focus on your breathing. We hope these exercises inspire you to make self-care a priority!
Laderer, A. (2020, April 15).
How to Practice Mindful Breathing and the Proven Benefits That It Offers. Insider.
Nicholson, J., Perez, L., & Kurtz, J. (2019). Trauma-Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators. Routledge. 
Telloian, C. (2021, October 4).
All About Mindful Breathing. Psychcentral.

Updates on and Successes with NITTO

The New Infant Toddler Teacher Orientation: What is NITTO?

The FREE, fully online, self-paced course is offered through DCDEE’s Moodle platform and is designed to support new teachers working with children ages birth to three in their understanding of child development, the importance of relationships, and age-appropriate behavior guidance. Participants receive 14 contact credit hours upon completion! The course is written to be completed by participants over six weeks as they dive into content related to NC child care resources, brain development, routine care, classroom environments, behavior guidance and self-care.
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North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development (NCFELD)

Young children become aware of their own identities and how they differ from others. They also begin to learn how to control their emotions and create positive interactions with others, which is crucial for their overall development. Supporting children's emotional and social development helps them establish a foundation that will allow them to participate in various social interactions with the adults and peers in their lives as they grow older.  Teachers and caregivers should keep the goals and developmental indicators identified in the Emotional and Social Development domain (ESD) in mind when planning to support children's development, allowing them to reap the benefits and develop into healthy individuals. 
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Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators

Nurturing relationships with infant and toddler teachers increases children’s engagement in classroom activities and in interactions, subsequently boosting key social skill development that will provide lasting benefits (Hamre & Pianta, 2001). ZERO TO THREE’s Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators Social Emotional Area 1 addresses skills that are needed to have these nurturing relationships. 
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Meet Some of Our Infant Toddler Specialists

Deanna Bledsoe
Melinda McCullen
Learn More
Alicia Shell

Spotlight on Training

ITQEP offers a variety of 2 hour DCDEE credit training and .5 CEU training opportunities. Here is one example of a 2 hour DCDEE credit training.

Temperaments of Infants and Toddlers

Understanding individual temperament is an essential tool for infant and toddler teachers. Children have temperament-related characteristics that influence how they experience the environment, interact with others and how adults perceive and respond to each child. This training explores the different temperaments of infants and toddlers and how teachers can respond effectively to meet the needs of the children in their care. Teachers will discuss how their temperament and a child might influence the relationships in group care. Participants will also explore the meaning of “goodness of fit” between the child’s temperament and the style of care provided by the caregiver.

This training will be offered virtually on the following dates. Click the link to the individual regions’ training information to register.  

May 19, 2022 @ 4:30-6:30 pm      Region 4 CCR&R-LPuzzles
May 19, 2022 @ 6:00-8:00 pm      Moore County Partnership for Children
June 7, 2022  @ 6:30-8:30 pm      Child Care Resources, Inc.

Find Your Local Infant Toddler Specialist(s) and Training Information

Click to view the image larger.
Find Your Local Infant Toddler Specialist(s) or Regional Training Calendar
The North Carolina Infant Toddler Quality Enhancement Project (NC ITQEP) is a program established through the NC CCR&R Council operated by Child Care Services Association (CCSA).
Learn more about the Council here and CCSA here.
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