Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Foundations


The California Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Foundations | California Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Foundations (PDF; 2MB) was published by the California Department of Education Press (CDE Press) in February 2009.

A Message from the [Former] State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Available Translations of the Message from the [Former] State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Introduction to the California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations
Available Translations of the Introduction to the California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations

Appendix: Summary of the Infant/Toddler Foundations
Available Translations of the Appendix: Summary of the Infant/Toddler Foundations

The purpose of the California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations is to describe research and evidence-based expectations for the way most infants and toddlers make progress in the major domains of social-emotional, language, cognitive, and perceptual and motor development. By creating a common language to facilitate communication among families, infant care professionals, community members, and policymakers, the foundations build an understanding about the importance of the early years in children’s learning and development.

This publication presents 28 foundations in four domains that describe the competencies that infants and toddlers typically attain in the first three years of life. The descriptions of competencies are enriched with examples of typical behaviors at each age level in each of the four domains as well as behaviors leading up to attainment of those competencies. This publication is a counterpart to the preschool learning foundations and is a companion to the Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Program Guidelines.

  • The California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations can be purchased from CDE Press by calling the toll-free number at 1-800-995-4099, or by ordering through the CDE Press Catalog Listings of Publications (Item Number 001693). The price of the publication is $19.75.
  • A companion set of DVDs for the California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations provides visual illustrations for each of the 28 infant/toddler foundations with examples of behavior of young children at 8, 18, and 36 months, as described in the foundations publication. This DVD set can be ordered from CDE Press by calling the toll-free number at 1-800-995-4099, or by ordering through the CDE Press Catalog Listings of Publications (Item Number 001700). The price of the set of DVDs is $32.95.
Questions:   Early Education and Support Division | itfoundations@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Monday, November 21, 2016
Related Content
  • Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework
    This publication provides early childhood professionals with a structure they can use to make informed decisions about curriculum practices.
Recently Posted in Child Development
  • Reimbursement Fact Sheet Fiscal Year 2016-17 (added 23-Feb-2017)
    Reimbursement Fact Sheet for Fiscal Year 2016-17.
  • Minimum Wage Brochure (PDF) (added 21-Feb-2017)
    A summarization of the findings and recommendations from the Minimum Wage Task Force regarding the minimum wage increase's effects on child care and development programs and families.
  • Management Bulletin 17-03 (added 14-Feb-2017)
    Management Bulletin 17-03 informs child care contractors and providers that a digital signature is considered a type of electronic signature.
  • Management Bulletin 17-04 (added 14-Feb-2017)
    Management Bulletin 17-04 informs child care contractors they are authorized to use digital signatures.
  • Plumas County LPC Priorities (XLS) (added 09-Feb-2017)
    Plumas County Local Planning Council Priorities Submission Form.

  • Electronic Submission of LPC Priorities (added 09-Feb-2017)
    Local Planning Councils (LPCs) are required to identify local priority areas for child care services by submitting priorities electronically.
  • Certification of LPC Priority E-Submission (PDF) (added 09-Feb-2017)
    Local Planning Councils (LPCs) are required to certify the accuracy of electronically submitted priorities for child care services with this document.
  • State Plan FFY 2016-18 CAP Approval Letter (PDF) (added 19-Jan-2017)
    A letter received on December 18, 2016 from the Administration of Children and Families that approves the California Department of Education's plan for corrective action.
  • CCDF State Plan FFY 2016-18 Corrective Action Plan (PDF) (added 19-Jan-2017)
    California's Corrective Action Plan for the Child Care and Development Fund Fiscal Year 2016-18 State Plan submitted by the California Department of Education on September 8, 2016.
  • CA-QRIS Certification Grant Webinar (added 18-Jan-2017)
    December 13, 2016, Guidance Webinar on the CA-QRIS 2016-17 Certification Grant.