Credentials Needed To Be An Infant and Toddler Teacher In California

Teachers credentials for infant and toddlers

To work as an infant and toddler teacher in California, you must meet the necessary credentials to work with young minds. Infants and toddlers are referred to as pupils from the age of 0 to 3. 

According to an article from the Urban Institute, around 684,800 infant and toddler teachers work in non-governmental settings. An infant or toddler teacher is an individual who specializes in caring for and educating children and plays a crucial role in early child development.

The state of California enforces stringent regulations and standards for professionals working with infants and toddlers. To obtain a license in California under Title 22 and Title V, you will need to complete a certification course in Infant and Toddler Care of Child Development and Educational Studies.

To be a teacher for infants and toddlers, you will need to acquire a California Child Development Permit (CCDP). These permits are issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) 

1.0 What does an Infant/Toddler teacher do?

What does an Infant

As an infant or child teacher, your primary responsibility is to create a safe and nurturing environment. These educators play a pivotal role in shaping basic skills, social behaviors, and the foundation of child learning. 

A 3-month-to-3-year teacher is also responsible for observing and assessing the children’s development. These teachers need to keep detailed records of their progress and behavior and adjust educational strategies.

By devising specialized education and stimulation activities, these child educators promote cognitive development through games, storytelling, and other activities that stimulate growth and learning. 

These childcare specialists need to prepare fun recipes for infants and toddlers with proper instructions from parents and follow dietary guidelines. This early educator is also responsible for changing diapers, assisting in potty training for older toddlers, and maintaining a clean and hygienic environment.

2.0 Basic Requirements to be an Infant/Toddler Teacher in California

The state of California mandates various qualifications, from educational degrees to specialized training and certifications. These qualifications and specialized training help ensure that teachers are well-prepared to nurture and educate young children. 

Working with infants and toddlers is a fulfilling job, and the job requirements vary from state to state. To work with infants and toddlers as a teacher’s aide, you must be at least 21 years old or possess at least a high school diploma or equivalent degree. 

To work as a full-time teacher in California, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a relevant field. Additionally, you will need to complete at least 16 units of general education in specific areas, such as:

  • English – to improve communication skills
  • Science or Maths – understanding the foundational concepts 
  • social science –  explore social and human behavior
  • Humanities or fine arts – understanding cultural diversity and creativity

According to Fullerton College of the North Orange County College District, you will also need to complete additional courses after the completion of your post-secondary certification:

  • Child Development
  • Infant and Toddler Development and Observation
  • Principles of Infant and Toddler Care and Education
  • Child in the Home and Community
  • Working with Families of Children with Special Needs
  • Anti-Bias Perspective and Diversity Seminar
  • Health, Safety, Food, and Nutrition for Children

3.0 Specialized Training and Certifications Required to be a Toddler Teacher in California

Specialized training and certification are essential to working with infants and toddlers to build a solid foundation in the state of California. This training is essential for all childcare providers, and this certification ensures that teachers can help develop young minds and respond to health emergencies. 

After meeting the basic requirements, you’ll need to gain additional experience by working with children at a specialized infant and toddler center to obtain the necessary permits. Here are the key steps:

3.1 Supervised Experience:

Within four years, you must complete a supervised working experience of at least 175 days, with 3 hours per day. This practical experience ensures that you understand the unique needs of infants and toddlers.

3.2 Health and Safety Training:

To acquire a license permit in California, toddler and infant teachers are required to gain extensive training in preventive health practices. This health and safety training includes nutritional guidelines, recognition of illness, and the management of infectious diseases.

3.3 CPR and First Aid Training:

Attend training and workshops on CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and first aid skills specifically tailored for childcare is a must for gaining proper credentials for infant and toddler teachers. These skills are crucial for ensuring the safety and well-being of young children.

3.4 Child Abuse and Neglect Training:

Infant and toddler teachers are also required to participate in training sessions and receive proper certification for addressing child abuse and neglect. This knowledge is essential for maintaining a safe and protective environment for infants and toddlers.

4.0 Background Checks and Clearances

When pursuing a career as an infant and toddler teacher in California, undergoing background checks and obtaining clearances is crucial. These steps are essential for gaining the necessary credentials. Here’s what you need to know:

4.1 Background Checks:

As part of the process, applicants undergo thorough background checks. These checks aim to identify any prior criminal convictions or outstanding warrants.

The purpose is to ensure the safety and well-being of young children under your care.

4.2 Child Abuse and Neglect History:

Understanding child abuse and neglect is crucial for infant and toddler teachers. Thus, the state of California mandates clearances to involve checking for any reported history of child abuse or neglect. This clearance is critical to maintaining a safer and more protective environment for infants and toddlers.

4.3 Granting Agencies:

Different agencies are involved in checking the background and clearing. Typically, these clearances are granted by both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the California Department of Justice.

4.4 Medical Requirements

Although this requirement is not absolutely mandatory, many childcare facilities require negative TB or tuberculosis test results to ensure the child’s health and safety. 

This teacher may also need to adhere to other vetting processes from individual childcare service providers or daycare centers. 

5.0 Continuing Professional Development

The field of early childhood education is dynamic and constantly evolving with new research and best practices. Most permits and certifications require renewal every few years, which may include additional continuing education and professional development hours.

To maintain certification and stay updated on the best practices of early childhood education, ongoing professional development, and continuing education in early childhood education are required. 

California provides a diverse range of continuing professional opportunities for infant and toddler teachers. These opportunities include:

  • Participate in workshops and courses
  • Attend conferences or events
  • Mentorship Programs
  • Online Learning Platforms

Final Thoughts

To work as an infant teacher in California, you must meet basic requirements, including certification and specialized training. Gaining a teaching permit to work with infants and toddlers involves supervised experience in child abuse and neglect training. 

Furthermore, you will need further medical training in CPR and first aid certification. California mandates rigorous background checks to ensure the safety and well-being of young minds.

We know that taking proper care of infants and toddlers is stressful and requires extensive expertise. For this, you can always consider consulting and seeking guidance from experts. To choose the right childcare for your infants and toddlers, consider reaching out to Meaningful Beginnings.    

 Their extensive experience and knowledge in early education give them an edge for the healthy development of your young star. Meaningful Beginning’s 11+ years of experience in providing premium childcare services are staffed by certified and licensed infant and toddler teachers in California.


Subscribe To Our Blog

Never miss another post! Sign up here to get our blog posts delivered directly to your inbox each month.

Emily Pham

Infant Teacher

My name is Emily and I am an infant teacher. My aim with this position is to learn how children develop as unique individuals and learn how to support their holistic growth. I am currently a student at San Francisco
State University majoring in Child and Adolescent Development. With this experience, I am hoping to get a sense on whether I want to continue to work in the classroom or if I want to learn the administrative side of education. The experience of working directly with children is gratifying and I wish to create a safe space for children to explore with all of their senses as they develop their own personalities. I hope to be able to help build a strong foundation so that the children can have the confidence and ability to express themselves.