Guidance Around the COVID-19 Pandemic


The NIDCAP Federation International (NFI) holds as a primary goal the support of parents as the optimal caregivers of their infant. Parental presence, including skin-to-skin holding and breastfeeding, and active collaboration with their hospitalized infant and the health care team, enhances the infant’s neurodevelopment.

Despite increasingly stringent rules for access to hospitalized newborns and infants due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFI recognizes that the safety and health of infants, parents and the health care team may require modification of guidelines and policies. Screening for fever and other symptoms of illness now becomes more important than ever before.

The NFI recommends that parental presence, active participation and advocacy continue to be considered a unique aspect of care that shortens the duration of hospitalization and improves other outcomes. The NFI commends the valiant efforts of health care teams around the world in their support and care to infants, their families and one another during these unprecedented times. The NFI sends support, strength and hope as we navigate this challenging pandemic crisis.

Board of Directors
NIDCAP Federation International
March 31, 2020

Endorsed by the NFI…

The NFI provides endorsement for continuing education programs for health professionals as well as for conferences, master classes, books, and certain products that meet the NFI’s philosophy and goals, and support its mission.

If you wish to apply for NFI endorsement of an activity or product please see the full NFI Endorsement Policy and the NFI Endorsement Application Form for more information.

Please send all applications and inquiries to Heidelise Als, Chair, NFI Program Committee:


Training Courses

Infant Behavioral Assessment Intervention Program (IBAIP):
Supporting the Infant and Family as they Transition from NICN to Home

The Infant Behavioral Assessment and Intervention Program (IBAIP) is a proven, comprehensive assessment and intervention model that supports the developmental and neurobehavioral integrity of infants born prematurely with low to extremely low birth weight, or with disabilities. The focus of the IBAIP is not “what to teach” but “how to teach,” a process oriented approach. By focusing on how to facilitate learning and social interaction, the IBAIP
adds a critical individualized, relationship-based, family-centered, and neurobehavioral approach to infant intervention, often lacking in traditional early intervention methodologies. The IBAIP is a training and education program for early intervention and health care professionals.

For more information please see the IBAIP website:

FINE (Family and Infant Neurodevelopmental Education) Program

FINE is a program designed to introduce the principles and practices of newborn developmental care to healthcare professionals of all educational backgrounds, who care for preterm and otherwise high-risk newborn infants and their families. The FINE Program is based on the principles of NIDCAP (Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program) and has been endorsed by the NFI (NIDCAP Federation International) as foundations in NIDCAP education. The FINE Program’s Directors are NIDCAP Trainers Inga Warren, Dip COT, MSc, Monique Oude Reimer, RN, and Nikk Conneman, MD.

FINE currently is a three-tiered program; a pre-FINE e-learning program is in development:

FINE 1 involves a two-day classroom-based orientation that includes lectures and practical workshops. 

FINE 2 consists of a four to six-month program based on a series of assignments that focus on observation, family participation and reflection. Students carry out observations in their own workplace. The goal is to change personal practice and to develop good role models of care. Written reflections are submitted for formative assessment by a FINE mentor (usually a NIDCAP Trainer or NIDCAP Professional with appropriate skills). On completion of the program, mentors typically are in a position to judge the student’s suitability for NIDCAP training and when appropriate facilitate the student’s transition to formal NIDCAP training. Mentors for FINE 2 must first complete the FINE-2 course themselves and then be supervised by an experienced FINE mentor during their own mentoring of two or more students.

FINE 3 involves a family case study that is designed to explore systems organization and a quality improvement project. Supervision by an appropriately experienced FINE mentor is provided. Students use the NIDCAP Nursery Assessment Scales to evaluate practice in their setting. The course culminates in a formal presentation or publication. Some elements of FINE 3 may be appropriate before and some after NIDCAP training. Timelines for Level 3 are flexible.

Students must complete FINE 1 before FINE 2, and FINE 2 before FINE 3.

FINE Training uses a standardized set of learning materials that are regularly updated. All FINE courses use the official FINE logo, handbooks and structure. In order to meet the requests for education in many different countries, the FINE 1 and 2 materials are designed to be easy to read and to translate into other languages.

FINE Trainers are professionals, who have obtained the approval of the FINE Directors in the form of a license that is issued by the legal department of Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam. All license holders at this time are approved NIDCAP Trainers, who take responsibility for maintaining the FINE standard of teaching and mentoring in the geographical area for which their license is granted, i.e. the country or region in which their NIDCAP Training Center is based. Before introducing FINE, potential licensees must attend training sessions conducted by or with one of the FINE Directors, who will act as mentor as potential licensees set up their own program. The NIDCAP Trainer, who is a license holder is responsible for selecting and managing the faculty for all levels of FINE training in their geographical domain.

Requests for training in countries that do not have a NIDCAP Training Center must be referred to the FINE Directors, who will negotiate training contracts as appropriate. Priority is given to training in areas that have the potential for sustainable national impact. Licensees must obtain special permission from the FINE Directors in order to train outside their contracted area.

FINE Contact:

The SOFFI MethodSM: Supporting Oral Feeding in Fragile Infants

The SOFFI MethodSM is designed to help caregivers become Co-Regulators, using evidence-based interventions designed to help infants maintain homeostasis during feedings, or regain homeostasis if the infant becomes dysregulated. Erin Sundseth Ross, Ph.D., CCC-SLP developed the SOFFI MethodSM, a 2-day conference offering that is available to hospital and community professionals.

For a list of upcoming course dates please visit the Feeding Fundamentals website:

Introductory Course on Family-Centered Developmental Care for the Preterm Infant — the NIDCAP way

A new teaching and training program for staff and families at the new Heidi Center at Meyer Hospital, Kfar Saba, Israel. The first 3 day course and workshop took place 1-4 June 2017. The course is offered in Hebrew.

Advanced Course in Family-Centered Developmental Care: Infant Behaviour and the Role of Caregivers in Structuring Developmental Care According to NIDCAP

An advanced course offered under the Heidi Center at Meyer Hospital, Kfar Saba, Israel. The first 3-Day Advanced Course is scheduled to take place in February 2018. The course will be offered in Hebrew.

Neonatal Oral Motor Assessment Scale (NOMAS) Program

The NOMAS is a reliable tool for the evaluation of newborn sucking patterns in pre-term and term infants. The NOMAS provides a comprehensive description of the infant’s feeding patterns and enables the examiner to identify normal oral-motor patterns and to differentiate disorganized from dysfunctional patterns.

For more information visit:


Current Conferences

(Note: These conference schedules may be changed due to COVID-19 pandemic.)

The SOFFI Method: Supporting Oral Feeding in Fragile Infants 

Winter Park, FL
August 6-7, 2020
More information

NOMAS International Summit

Doubletree by Hilton
San Jose, California
September 26 and 27, 2020

Summit Description and Agenda

Interdisciplinary session EADCare of the European Academy
of Paediatric Societies Congress (EAPS)

International Barcelona Convention Center
Barcelona, Spain
October 19, 2020

Conference Information English version
Conference Information French version


Past Conferences

The 2020 Stockholm Conference on Ultra-Early Intervention:
EFCNI standards for Infant- & Family-Centred Developmental Care as a tool for addressing the challenge of inequality in a European and Global perspective

Karolinska University Hospital
Virtual Conference
March 19, 2020

Conference Schedule and Conference Flyer

33rd Annual Graven’s Conference on the Environment of Care for High Risk Newborns

Clearwater Beach, FL
March 4-7, 2020

More Information

8th Scientific Symposium EADCare: Interdisciplinary Session, Developmental Care

October 31, 2018
Paris, France

The 6th Annual Midwest Developmental Care Conference:

FINE: Family & Infant Neurodevelopmental Education Level 1 - Foundational Toolkit for Family Centered Care Foundational Education for the Newborn Individualized Developmental Care
and Assessment Program (NIDCAP)

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, OH
April 26 & 27, 2018

2018 Stockholm Conference on Ultra-Early Intervention:
Pleasurable feeding for premature infants: - Food for thought!

March 22, 2018
Stockholm , Sweden
Conference Recording

7th European Symposium for Developmental Care in
Neonatology and Pediatrics

September 28 & 29, 2017
Cordeliers’ Campus
Paris, France

Conference Brochure

5th Annual Midwest Developmental Care Conference -
Engaging Families in the NICU: The Heart of Developmental Care

April 27, 2017 (All Day) & April 28, 2017 (Optional Session)
Student Center West
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Conference Brochure

6th Scientific Symposium EADCare*: Multisensory processing & developmental care

October 24, 2016
European Academy of Pediatrics Societies (EAPS) (October 21-25, 2016)
Geneva, Switzerland

*European Association for Developmental Care

EADcare Program

Supporting Oral Feeding in Fragile Infants (SOFFI) Method Training Course

Lafayette, Colorado, USA
June 16-17, 2016

The Sooner NIDCAP Training Center at OU Health Sciences Center Celebrates
30 Years of NIDCAP Developmental Care

Friday, May 27, 2016
Samis Education Center
Children’s Hospital and OU Medical Services
Conference Brochure


4th Annual Midwest Developmental Care Conference: Practical Application

April 21, 2016 & April 22, 2016
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Conference Brochure


The 29th Annual Gravens Conference on the Physical and Developmental
Environment of the High Risk Infant

February 17 — 20, 2016
Clearwater, Florida, USA
Conference Details
Gravens Facebook Page


Fragile Infant Feeding Institute FIFI logo

The Fragile Infant Feeding Institute: A four and a half day intensive study of
feeding and nutrition for infants with special needs

August 24 — 28, 2015
Lakewood, Colorado, USA (greater Denver area)
Conference Brochure



5th Scientific Symposium of the European Association for Developmental Care
Early Intervention in Developmental Care

Brescia, Italy
October 1-2, 2015


The Fifth Annual NOMAS® International Symposium in Orlando:
Practical Clinics in Neonatal Feeding

Orlando, Florida, USA
October 27-30, 2015


Shanghai International Neonatology Conference

Shanghai, China
September 23-24, 2014


2nd Annual Mid-West Developmental Care Conference:
Holding the Vision, Planning the Change: Exploring Strategies to implement
developmentally supportive care in the NICU

University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, USA
March 28-29, 2014




Neurodesarrollo en Neonatología Intervención ultratemprana en la UnidadBasso Bookde Cuidados Intensivos Neonatales

Author: Graciela Basso, MD, PhD
For more information visit:






Mani per Crescere

Mani per Crescere imageThe Italian Society of Neonatology (La Società Italiana di Neonatologia) and the Neonatal Care Study Group together with Vivere Onlus produced the film Mani per crescere. The movie was filmed in the newborn intensive care units  of Modena Univeristy Hospital and Turin University Hospital. The film was produced to emphasize the importance of the role of infants and their families as active collaborators in their own care process in the NICU, and also to increase the awareness among the Italian NICUs of a neurodevelopmental individualized approach for the care of preterm infants.

For more information on the film please visit the Vivere Onlus website.

Watch the trailer in Italian here. The English version of the trailer will be available soon.


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