Keys to Caregiving Program

The Keys to Caregiving Program (Keys) is an on-line course that provides information about infant behavior, how it impacts caregiving, and how it can help professionals translate this knowledge for use by parents. Keys: 1) builds confidence and competence in parents/caregivers' care of the infant 2) increases caregiver’s knowledge of the infant's amazing capabilities 3) helps identify strengths and challenges in parenting/caregiving abilities. The Keys program was developed by the NCAST Programs at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.

The online program consists of six classes. For each class there is a study guide chapter to read, a video segment to view and a parent handout to read. There will be three quizzes to take after Classes 3, 4 and 5. When all six classes and three quizzes are completed, a certificate for six (6) contact hours will be available to download and print.

Additional information about Keys:

  • Keys must be completed before taking the in-person NCAST Parent Child Interaction (PCI) training
  • Keys participants do not have to take NCAST PCI training to take Keys
  • Keys is not intended to replace the in-person NCAST PCI training
  • Participants may take Keys if they fit the intended audience criteria below

Additional information about NCAST PCI can be found at: MDH Family Home Visiting training page.


If you have questions, please contact

Intended Audience

Professionals who may benefit are: RNs, PHNs, licensed social workers, and licensed psychologists. This training is designed for:

  • Professional level practitioners who work directly with families in a Minnesota home visiting setting
  • Supervisors of professional level practitioners who work directly with families in a Minnesota home visiting setting
  • Professional level practitioners and supervisors who serve families through local public health, contracts with local public health or through tribal governments


At the completion of Keys to Caregiving Program the learner will be able to:

  • Describe the six infant states
  • Identify engagement and disengagement cues
  • Describe infant state modulation techniques
  • Identify the caregiver and infant roles, responsibilities, and behaviors in the feeding interaction
  • Use the five parent handouts with parents


The course is estimated to take 6 hours. Once registration is confirmed, participants are able to stop and start as needed within the date range of the course. At the end of the course, participants may print a certificate for 6 contact hours.


There are no pre-requisites for the Keys to Caregiving Program.

Contact hours

A certificate for 6 hours of training (not CEU or credits) is available for participants to print at the end of the on-line course.


Each course is open for approximately 6 months and will expire on the course end date. You must have a promotion code to register for this course. It is helpful to also have the Keys to Caregiving Study Guide when taking the course. To obtain a promotion code, study guide and registration instructions, send an e-mail to with the subject line “Keys”. In the email, please include:

*Full name
*Agency name
*Address (The study guide will be mailed to this address)
Date that you would like to start taking Keys

Participants will then receive log-in information by e-mail for the online self-study program: "Keys to Caregiving".

  • Use this information to log-in and register for the course. The log-in information will expire so please complete registration as soon as possible.
  • If you need technical help accessing Keys, please e-mail:
  • Within approximately one week of registering, you will receive a confirmation that you have access to the course and will be mailed a copy of the Keys to Caregiving Study Guide. When these are received, you may start the course.
  • Your access to the course will expire within the date range listed under Schedule in the E-learning system


To cancel your registration please send an email with the subject line “Keys” to: Family Home Visiting at


No fees