High-quality early care and education is essential for children in their earliest years of life when they are first learning and exploring. Infants and toddlers need early care and education providers who have specialized knowledge of the development of infants and toddlers, provide a consistent relationship, respond to their individual needs, and nurture their growth and development. A young child’s relationship with his or her provider affects the child’s cognitive, language, social, and emotional development. Yet, high-quality infant and toddler programs are in short supply.

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