Preparing Teachers for Infant Care and Education
New knowledge about the powerful and long-lasting impact of responsive care giving on early brain development has created a compelling need for early childhood practice and policy to develop deeper understandings of how infants learn and how to best support their learning (National Scientiﬁ c Council on the Developing Child, 2007; Schore, 2005). The signiﬁ cance of the ﬁ rst years of life as foundational to all later learning brings a moral imperative to the ﬁ eld of early childhood education to ﬁ nd better ways to prepare teachers and leaders to work effectively with infants and families (Lally, 2013). Promoting high-quality infant care and education has become a national policy focus in the U.S. (Obama-Biden “Zero-to-Five Plan” [White House, n.d.]), where more than half of the 12 million infants and toddlers regularly spend their time in a child care program (Hyson & Tomlinson, 2014; Horm, Hyson, & Winton, 2013). Evidence from other countries also reﬂ ects a heightened focus on early care and education (Dalli, White, Rockel, & Duhn, 2011; Mathers, Eisenstadt, Sylva, Soukakou, & Ereky-Stevens, 2014) which has led to changes in policy and practice.