Texas Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines

After two years of planning, deliberation, and good-old fashion hard work, the Texas Early Learning Council is pleased to present the new, voluntary Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines for Texas! Visit www.littletexans.org or www.tejanospequenos.org to see the public awareness campaign that was developed used the Guidelines.

We have a great new resource available for early childhood professionals - an alignment of the Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines to the Texas Pre-kindergarten Guidelines. "Texas' Early Learning Pathways" creates a birth to age 5 pathway of child development and shows how caregivers can support optimal child development in this critical period of development. The document is available below.

The Guidelines are now available in English, Spanish & Vietnamese!

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The Council is incredibly grateful for the hard work, perseverance, and dedication of our committed stakeholders, who guided the process and shared their valuable expertise with us in support of this effort.  We are also indebted to the volunteers at Children's Learning Institute that served as writers of the document.  Please see the list of writers and Stakeholders below along with key information on the development of the guidelines.

Steering Committee

The Council worked with a diverse group of 19 stakeholders from across Texas to develop the Guidelines.  The Steering Committee  divided into three small workgroups: Guidelines Development, Workforce and Professional Development, and Public Knowledge & Engagement.  Each of these workgroups tackled key tasks to support the development and implementation of the Guidelines.

Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles

The Steering Committee developed a mission, vision, and guiding principles for the development of the new Guidelines.


For all infants and toddlers to grow and thrive in their families and in their communities.


The committee will engage in a comprehensive and collaborative process to develop and implement Texas Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines.

Guiding Principles

The Guidelines must:

  • Be evidence-based.
  • Support differences in temperament and development.
  • Be sensitive to family culture and linguistic differences.
  • Be inclusive and address the needs of infants and toddlers with special needs, disabilities, and/or developmental delays.
  • Link to best practices that support optimal growth in all developmental domains for infants and toddlers.
  • Be useful to parents, the infant and toddler workforce and policymakers.

Potential Users and Characteristics

The Steering Committee developed the Guidelines for multiple users, especially parents, providers, and policymakers.  In order to be understandable and useful for multiple audiences, the Guidelines will feature these characteristics:

  • Relationship-focused
  • Infant/toddler mental health
  • Social/emotional development principles
  • Language level  to be on a 6th grade level
  • Consistency in use of terms/vocabulary
  • Breakdown of age groups
  • All developmental domains covered
  • Aligns with Texas Pre-K Standards
  • Inclusive of children with disabilities and ELL
  • Inform parents, providers, policymakers

Development Process

In October 2011, the Texas Early Learning Council released an RFP to hire a consultant to write the new Guidelines. Unfortunately, we did not receive any proposals.  The Council then decided to partner with a team of researchers at the Children's Learning Institute (CLI) to write the Guidelines, with direct input from the Subcommittee and Council Staff. The writing team at CLI began work on the Guidelines in January 2012. Throughout Spring and Summer 2012, the Steering Committee and the writing team worked to refine the document. In July 2012, the Council posted the Guidelines for public comment.

In December 2011, the Council also released an RFP for a marketing consultant to conduct research on parent perceptions of brain development and then create a marketing campaign to promote the Guidelines. In July 2012, the Council received the first marketing data from parents, conducted through phone interviews across Texas. In addition, the marketing consultant will conduct in-depth focus groups with parents in Laredo, Houston, Lubbock, and Jefferson County. This valuable information was used to design the Little Texans. Big Futures. public awareness campaign and help the Council target specific at-risk groups in Texas.


Sonya Coffey, M.Ed.

Cathy Guttentag, Ph.D.

Ursula Johnson, Ph.D

Susan Landry, Ph.D

Tricia Zucker, Ph.D

ITELG Steering Committee

Facilitators Organization
LaShonda Brown* Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office
Don Titcombe Texas Early Learning Council
Members Organization
Kathy Armenta University of Texas at Austin, School of Social Work
Marcela Clark Collaborative for Children
Deborah Cody* Mount Pleasant ISD
Kristy Cox Booz Allen Hamilton
Sarah Crockett Texas Association of Infant Mental Health
Ana De Hoyos O'Connor* San Antonio College
Kathy de la Pena Education Service Center - Region 1
Reagan Dobbs Texas Workforce Commission
Blanca Enriquez* Education Service Center - Region 19
Patricia Hillman ITSG
Kara Johnson Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition
Ursula Johnson Children's Learning Institute
Tim Kaminski
Gingerbread House of Learning
Margie Larsen
Booz Allen Hamilton
Reagan Miller*
Texas Workforce Commission
Evelyn Moore
CDC Brazoria County Head Start
Jean Origer
DARS - Early Childhood Education
Jacquie Porter
Austin ISD
Sasha Rasco
Texas DARS
Karen Turner
Education Service Center - Region 2
Linda Welsh
Austin Community College
Judy Willgren
Kim Wilson
Department of State Health Services
June Yeatman
Austin Community College

*Council Member

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