Department of Health/Early Steps ITDS certification and coursework)

Program Overview for Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist

The state of Florida has identified the ITDS certificate as a qualifying credential for individuals to work with infants and toddlers in early intervention programs. The certificate program is administered in partnership with several state universities (including FAU) and Department of Health (DOH). The Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist (ITDS) certificate program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is offered completely online over the course of one year.

Individuals earning the ITDS certificate are eligible to provide services as an Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist; the ITDS focuses on infant/toddler development and ways to promote development and learning, including designing learning environments and activities to promote development across all domains. The ITDS, in consultation with other early intervention providers on the child and family's team, assists the family in understanding the special needs of the child and enhancing the child's development. The ITDS is one of many providers who provide Early Intervention Services (EI Services) and is eligible to enroll as an EI provider in Florida Medicaid.

There are several routes to earning an ITDS certificate depending on your background and current level of educational preparation.

Admissions Requirements for Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist

You must already have a Bachelor’s degree in order to take these courses. They can be taken as a non-degree seeking student (you will need to apply to FAU as a “non-degree seeking student”) or they may be integrated into a Master’s Degree program in the Department of Special Education (you will need to apply to FAU as a “degree seeking student / graduate student”). Information about applying as a degree or non-degree seeking student can be found at  Information regarding tuition and fees can be found at

Course Requirements for Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist

EEX 5015 Survey and Assessment in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education (Spring)
Historical, legal, educational, and theoretical rationales for the observation and assessment of young children (birth to age 8). Included will be intellectual, psychosocial, physical, emotional, and educational assessment instruments, procedures, and research implications.
EEX 5017 Atypical Development in Early Childhood ESE (Summer)
This course will provide students with knowledge of theories of typical and typical child development, with emphasis on stages and sequences of skill acquisition and the impact of disabilities and biomedical risk factors on learning from birth to age 8.
EEX 5755 Families and Community Resources in Early Childhood ESE (Spring; Summer)
Course will focus on family collaboration and support, with emphasis on family systems theory and interaction, community resources, case management and transition for infants, toddlers, and young children with special needs.
EEX 6707 Early Intervention Services (Fall)
Prerequisite: EEX 5015, 5017, or permission of instructor
Course provides knowledge and skills to facilitate family centered early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities or at risk of developing disabilities. These services promote collaboration with families and intervention in natural environments.

Accreditation Standards for Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist

  • Florida Prekindergarten/Primary Education (Age 3) Through Grade Three (3) Specialization Competencies (PK/P)
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • CEC-Division for Early Childhood (DEC)
  • Educator Accomplished Practices: Florida Education Standards Commission (EAP)
  • NCATE Recommendations for Technology in Teacher Education (NCATE-tech)
  • Subject Matter Content Standards for Florida ’s Teachers: ESOL = (ESOL)
  • Florida's Early Intervention Professional Competencies (ITDS Appendix A)

Furthering Your Education

  • Students who already hold initial teacher certification in the state of Florida can also become eligible to apply for the State of Florida Pre-Kindergarten Disabilities Teaching Certificate Endorsement (Pre-K –grade 3) by completing three courses from the list above (EEX 5015, EEX 5017, EEX 5755) and one additional course (EEX 5245).
  • Students completing this ITDS certification area and who wish to further their education could integrate these courses into a Master’s Degree Program in the Department of Special Education. These courses could count toward the ESE Master’s Concentration in Early Childhood.