Early learning educators

Infant/Toddler Educators: Delivering Language Nutrition Coaching in Early Learning Centers

A growing body of research points to the positive impact that high-quality early care and learning programs can have on very young children, especially on children from low-income families and dual language learners. More than half of all mothers with children under the age of 3 are in the labor force, leading a growing number of families to turn to home- and center-based care for their young children. The caregivers who serve these families are a strategic workforce to target for language nutrition training.

  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 16 percent of infants under the age of one in the U.S. are enrolled in child care centers with that number increasing to 26 percent for one-year old children.
  • While most infants are cared for in home-based settings, infants whose parents are receiving child care subsidies are more likely to be in center-based care.
  • 29% of children receiving child care subsidies funded by CCDBG (Child Care and Development Block Grant) are infants and toddlers.

TWMB has developed a number of tools to build the capacity of infant and toddler educators to become conversational partners with the children in their care and to model the delivery of language nutrition to the children’s parents during drop-off and pick-up.

Talk With Me Baby Early Learning Educator Training Tools

Building the capacity of infant and toddler educators to become conversational partners

The following professional development courses and tools are available to build the capacity of infant and toddler teachers to become conversational partners with the children in their care and to coach families on practicing Language Nutrition with their children:  

  • Read Right from The Start on Cox Campus

    Read Right from the Start on Cox Campus synthesizes the work of the nation’s leading literacy experts and provides free, online access to research-based professional development for teachers of children from birth to eight years of age. This interactive, video-based coursework is focused on practical strategies teachers can use to promote young children’s language and literacy. All coursework is accredited by Bright from the Start, Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning. Currently, the Cox Campus offers courses on Infant /Toddler and Preschool/Pre-K Tracks.  An additional K-3rd grade track is planned for 2017. 

    The following courses are available on the Infant Toddler Track: 

    • Talk with Me Baby for Infant and Toddlers Teachers – building on the trusting relationships teachers have with families, this course is designed to empower teachers to transfer their own Language Nutrition skills to families, so they can be their child’s conversational partner. Teachers learn how to turn everyday interactions with families into powerful coaching moments on Language Nutrition. Embedded in this course and developed in partnership with Harvard’s Center for the Developing Child are two lessons on the science of brain development, offering insight into how early experiences shape brain architecture. (Bright from the Start - 3.5 credits). View Course

    • Power of Language - focuses on how teachers can engage in responsive interactions with infants and toddlers, using five elements: tuning in, facial expressions, gestures, touch, and child-directed speech. (Bright from the Start – 2 credits). View Course

    • TALK with Me – centers on how to have meaningful conversations with infants and toddlers using the TALK© Strategy. TALK encourages adults to: Tune-in by observing what the child is doing; Ask open-ended questions; Lift language; and Keep conversations going. This strategy is designed to increase a child’s vocabulary and lay the groundwork for reading comprehension. This course includes two lessons on having meaningful conversations with dual language learners. (Bright from the Start: 2 credits). View Course

    • READ with Me, Parts 1 and Part 2 - using the TIPS strategy (Tune in, Introduce the book, Promote language, and Summarize the book), this course supports teachers in transforming reading books with infants and toddlers into powerful opportunities to have great conversations to promote children’s language development and critical thinking. (Bright from the Start credits – 2.5 and 1.5, respectively). View Course 1  View Course 2


  • Read Right from the Start on Cox Campus, Preschool/Pre-K Track: 

    • The Cox Campus offers 18 additional research-based credit hours of preschool and pre-k courses, designed to enhance early learning instructional experiences for preschool children through the use of strategies that promote language and literacy development.


  • Social Emotional Engagement – Knowledge and Skills (SEE-KS) – a free professional development framework for educators and service providers built around neuroscience-based instructional strategies that increase social engagement during the first years of life.


An evaluation of Read Right from the Start-Cox Campus, entitled Read Right E-Learning Evaluation Study Project and conducted by the Urban Child Study Center in the College of Education at Georgia State University and the Rollins Center for Language and Literacy at the Atlanta Speech School, explores the impact of the Cox Campus on preschool teacher practices in four underserved areas of Geogia. The study found that teachers who utilized the online professional development program increased the quality of their classroom instruction during the intervention period as measured by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) compared to teachers who did not participate in the professional development program.


Talk With Me Baby is made possible by a grant from the United Way of Atlanta and is a collaborative effort among organizations.