Teaching Pyramid Infant-Toddler Observation Scale (TPITOS)

What is TPITOS?

The TPITOS focuses on the implementation of classroom practices related to developing responsive, nurturing relationships and promoting young children’s social – emotional development. The TPITOS is made up of three types of items:

  • Observational Items – items, or categories of teacher behaviors, that represent practices that support and promote social-emotional development
  • Interview Items – items that are scored based on the teacher’s response to interview questions
  • Red Flags – practices that are not consistent with Pyramid Model practices and that identify specific concerns that may compromise children’s social-emotional development

Which program(s) could use TPITOS?

TPITOS can be used to provide information to center based early childhood programs that serve children from birth to 3 years of age.

The TPITOS Assessment Process

External TPITOS assessments will be conducted by a reliable assessor from the Program Quality Assessment (PQA) team.

Internal TPITOS assessments are conducted by the program’s internal assessment team. Programs partner with the Quality Coach and PQA team when planning for and conducting internal assessment, and when analyzing the information collected during the internal assessment process.

TPITOS assessments include a 2-hour observation of child initiated and teacher directed activities and the transitions between activities. The observation is followed by a 15-20-minute teacher interview. A scoring summary profile is used to provide a summary of strengths, emerging skills and professional development needs.

How does the TPITOS support Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)?

Use of the TPITOS provides teachers with strategies to manage challenging behavior and promote social-emotional competence in children. The instrument helps to identify strengths and areas where teacher support or professional development is needed. The information gathered can also be used to help create the program’s continuous quality improvement plan.

Additional Information/Training

Additional Information on the TPITOS, including downloadable documents and resources, may be found at:

Information on the Pyramid Model may be found at:

Are you interested in using the TPITOS for internal assessment?

How to Conduct an Internal Assessment Using the TPITOS (PDF) is a good place to start. It provides an at-a-glance of the assessment details, a list of materials to support internal assessments, links to professional learning resources, and step-by-step guidance for conducting the internal assessment.



Return to the Program Observation Instrument page.