Save-the-Date: National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute

May 5-7, 2020 in Chapel Hill, NC.

The National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute is one of the premier educational opportunities for anyone involved in the care and education of young children with special needs in inclusive settings. Dozens of world-class experts, dozens of groundbreaking sessions, free courses for CEUs—and an enduring impact. For over 15 years, the Inclusion Institute has drawn people from across the country and around the globe to Chapel Hill to learn about the latest research findings, models, and resources to guide inclusive policy, professional development and practice; to develop collaborative relationships and cross-agency systems to support early childhood inclusion; and to have the opportunity to meet, learn from and problem solve with peers.

From the 2018 Institute:

2019 Keynote Address with Mary Beth Moore 

Sometimes life isn’t what you expected it would be.  And sometimes the most beautiful views are seen when you walk the less traveled path. The 2019 keynote speaker, Mary Beth Moore, the mom of a child with a disability, shared her journey an a collection of lessons learned from embracing the unexpected.  You will hear moving stories of triumph, defeat and the power of hope in navigating a world that greatly challenges people with disabilities and their families.  Be inspired to see beauty in the unexpected journey and to meet those along the way with courage, empathy and grace. Go to Past Institutes thear her story.



2019 Plenary with Freebird McKinney and Julie Pittman: The Story of Building Bridges and Resiliency: Becoming the Village Teacher and Moving from "That Kid" to "That Teacher" 

Freebird McKinneyJulie PittmanNCs Teacher of the Year and the Western Region Teacher of Year shared their personal stories of resiliency and using their stories to build bridges. Freebird's story to "choose happiness" and discover his purpose, has allowed him to be the Village Teacher, and engage his students at Maslow's highest level, leading to his self-actualization, and realization for his school, his community, and his students. Julie shares how reclaiming the narrative of "THAT KID" moved to becoming "THAT Teacher" by understanding how trauma can be addressed by building critical relationships and experiences through passionate public educators. 


2019 Federal Plenary Session

The intention for this interactive session is to listen, learn, and share perspectives about inclusion with an interagency panel of policy leaders: Amanda Bryans, Director Research Analysis and Communication, Office of Early Childhood Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Georgina Peacock, Director for the Division of Human Development and Disability in the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Laurie VanderPloeg, Director for the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Each panelist will provide a brief update on early childhood priorities and inclusion initiatives within their agencies.  The audience will be able to share their challenges and valued resources in implementing high quality inclusion using a live polling feature on their mobile devices, followed by individual questions and comments.


Sessions on Trauma and Resilience 

The Inclusion Institute is featured a series of sessions on trauma and resilience, exploring how trauma affects children and families, as well as protective factors that promote resilience. Sessions include:

2019 Pre-Institute Workshops

Presenters: Karen Bluth and Laura Prochnow Phillips

Presenters: Pat Snyder and Mary Louise Hemmeter

Presenters: Megan Vinh, Sheresa Blanchard, and Jen Newton

View highlights of the 2018 Inclusion Institute