Date of Award

Fall 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Disorders & Special Education


Early Childhood Education

Committee Director

Angela Eckhoff

Committee Member

Pete Baker

Committee Member

Shana Pribesh


This qualitative, multiple case study was an exploration of the professional development (PD) experience of consultation as it occurred within infant and toddler child care settings. Consultation is dependent upon the establishment of a relationship between the consultant and the consultee and offers opportunities for professional growth and enhanced quality child care. This researcher followed four infant and toddler child care consultants working with child care centers through a quality enhancement PD program in a Mid-Atlantic state. Within each of the four participating centers, a member of the administration and one infant and/or toddler caregiver along with their consultant contributed their consultation experience to the larger study. Families of the infant and toddlers in care were also invited to contribute their expectations of infant and toddler child care.

Through the use of interviews, observations, and collection of program artifacts, key themes emerged as: Opportunities for relationship building and professional growth, and enhanced environmental qualities. This study contributes to the infant and toddler child care literature focusing on the PD experience from the various perspectives of the stakeholders. Findings suggest that infant and toddler PD program participation should be voluntary with clearly explained roles for participants, allow time for collaboration between all participants, and invite family members to contribute to PD and program enhancement efforts.