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 Educational Resources Catalog (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 Educational Resources Catalog (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: Wednesday, March 28, 2018
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
  • State Median Income (added 10-Aug-2018)
    This web page contains information pertaining to the State Median Income (SMI) for current and previous fiscal years.
  • EESD Budget Year Appropriation FY 2017-18 (added 06-Jul-2018)
    EESD Budget year appropriation for fiscal year 2017-18.
  • Management Bulletin 18-03 (added 05-Jul-2018)
    Management Bulletin 18-03 Revised State Median Income for 2018–19.
  • CDMIS Update #21 (added 03-Jul-2018)
    This web page contains information pertaining to the CDMIS update #21.
  • Child Care Reporting--Active Duty in Military (added 03-Jul-2018)
    The Parent(s) currently serving on active duty (i.e. serving full-time) in the U.S. Military information indicates whether: One or more parents is currently serving active duty (i.e. serving full-time) in the United States Military.

  • Child Care Reporting--National Guard or Reserve (added 03-Jul-2018)
    The Parent(s) a current member of a National Guard or Military Reserve Unit information indicates whether: One or more parents is currently a member of a National Guard or Military Reserve Unit.
  • Child Care Reporting--Family Homeless (added 03-Jul-2018)
    For reporting purposes, a family should be reported as homeless if they were homeless for one or more days during the month.