To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.

DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET The Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) is cospon- sored by the California Department of Education and WestEd, a nonprofit organization that promotes research, evaluation, and professional development to improve education and human development. PITC supports high-quality programs by providing parents and caregivers with standards of care. Its mission is to ensure that infants and toddlers receive safe, emotionally and intellectually rich care. Like NAEYC, PITC offers recommendations covering six programs for infants and toddlers: primary care, small groups, individualized care, continuity, cultural responsiveness, and inclusion of children with special needs (PITC, accessed 2012). The PITC website is Primary Care Primary care is a best practice widely recognized in child care. It includes feeding, changing diapers, rocking, soothing, talking, and engaging the child. Each child should be assigned one primary caregiver. Primary caregivers are assigned several chil- dren to care for, based on the ratio of adults to children in their program. Although they interact with all children in the setting, primary caregivers’ main responsibility is to provide the primary, personalized care for their assigned children. Those with whom children spend considerable time but who are not the primary caregiver are termed secondary caregivers. Primary caregivers coordinate the care of- fered by these other professionals so that children are treated consistently. Primary caregivers must communicate effectively with the rest of the caregiving team so all children receive optimal care and reach their next developmental milestones. When young children reach designated milestones or specific ages, they are typi- cally promoted to the next level of care. Many centers, however, are starting to embrace the concept continuity of care, in which children remain together as a cohort. Caregiving and the Early Childhood Professional COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 11