Professional Resource

ZERO TO THREE Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators™

The ZERO TO THREE Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators™ suite of professional development products and services helps educators build the essential knowledge and skills they need, in flexible and user-friendly formats.

Infant-toddler educators have one of the most important jobs in the world, but they often lack the practical resources to support them. The ZERO TO THREE Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators™ competency model defines the specific knowledge and practices required for infant-toddler educators to be successful now, to support the future of our children.

ZERO TO THREE’S Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators™ Courses are now available online.

The Critical Competencies:

  • Describe the recommended teaching methods and practices with easily understood guidance and examples
  • Feature considerations for working with high-needs populations and multi-language learners
  • Support educators who work in group settings (center-based and family child care homes) with infants, toddlers, or both
  • Build on professional criteria for the early childhood field

Competency Model

The Critical Competencies address three essential learning and development areas, depicted in the graphic below.

Suite of Products and Services

The ZERO TO THREE Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators™ suite of products and services builds essential knowledge and skills educators need to be effective. Available for purchase individually or as a package, the suite includes:

  • Critical Competencies Model eBook: The eBook defines the professional criteria and explains how educators can make the most of teacher-child interactions to support infants’ and toddlers’ social-emotional, cognitive, and language and literacy development. Download now.

  • Professional Development: Explore all our Critical Competencies Professional Development options through the Learning Center, with a variety of options for group contracts, individual educators, professional development providers, higher education faculty, and more.

  • Online Courses

  • Virtual Training

  • Customized Training

    • Create a training plan customized for your team. Ask about the special 20% discount for your own cohort(s) contracted now through the end of 2021 for BUILD Conference attendees. Contact us
    • Training-of-Trainers course: customized training-of-trainers builds your capacity to support infant-toddler educators, with an option to become a ZERO TO THREE Certified Trainer: Critical Competencies.
  • NEW! Micro Training-of-Trainers (Micro-ToTs): Build your organization’s capacity to support infant and toddler educators. ZERO TO THREE faculty will guide a cohort of up to 15 trainers through an intensive five-part virtual training for each Critical Competency Area. Trainers can choose to complete one or all three Critical Competencies areas. Register

  • Faculty Institutes: Significantly build knowledge of and capacity to integrate the Critical Competencies into early childhood education coursework and programs of study. Our experts provide onsite, customized training that meets your goals and the needs of your faculty/staff. Contact us for information.

  • Coaching Program: This program supports and enriches coaches’ knowledge of and capacity to integrate the Critical Competencies into their direct practice with early childhood educators and program leaders. Expert Faculty will guide a cohort of coaches through a five-part program that equips them to reflect on, practice, and advance the Critical Competencies. Register

  • Reflection Tool: This online tool uses the Critical Competencies to help infant-toddler educators examine areas of strength and opportunities for improving their daily interactions with children. Customized, aggregate reporting and consultation help organizations make data-driven professional development decisions. Tell us how we can help.

  • Technical Assistance: ZERO TO THREE’s experts use the Critical Competencies as a framework to help organizations and agencies meet their infant-toddler workforce goals. A range of services is available, including presentations; analysis and recommendations; and support for leadership, coaching, and training skills. Find out more.

Continuing Education Units are available for all ZERO TO THREE training programs.

Browse the Learning Center

Explore the wide range of professional development options we offer to the early childhood community.

Connect to Learn