Sessions are still being added to the 2020 Institute. Please check this page frequently for updates.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we did not have strong enough systems in place to take care of the adults who take care of children. We hold high expectations for teachers without adequate compensation or investment. Now, we are faced with uncertainty, fear and serious threats to our health and our economy and it is crucial that we apply a trauma informed approach to promoting resilience in the early childhood workforce. We must ensure that teachers of young children feel “held and heard” by the communities they serve. We will focus on how teachers and directors can prioritize resilience and relationships and how systems can support these priorities as we rebuild, recover and repair.
StorySlams [events where tellers perform live 5 minute stories on a theme, using no notes] are enjoying huge popularity. When we share and listen to stories, we are engaged and able to imagine different perspectives, creating an empathetic and, at times, transformative experience. Using stories in our advocacy as parents, family, teachers, and service providers can paint pictures for medical professionals, legislators, and decision makers that help shift perspectives, leading to important conversations and great strides.
Join Moth storyteller and host Bethany Van Delft Moffi for a session where we will discuss slam story format, use simple writing prompts to mine participants’ unique experiences for rich details and generate compelling stories. We’ll also get tips for live performance and discuss ways to use in our advocacy. Participants will have the opportunity to share their stories in front of the group.
Federal Panel on Early Childhood Policies and Initiatives and Implications for Enhancing the Quality of Inclusive Services
The intention for this interactive session is to listen, learn, and share perspectives about support for inclusion during the pandemic with an interagency panel of policy leaders representing the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Administration for Children and Families, Offices of Head Start and Child Care. Each panelist will provide a brief update on current early childhood priorities and inclusion initiatives within their agencies, and their vision for moving forward.
The audience will have the opportunity to share their questions for panelists (challenges and successes? Lessons learned they want to take forward?) two weeks before the panel takes place. Questions will be compiled and shared with presenters and presented by the facilitator during the plenary. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to share their challenges and lessons learned in implementing high quality inclusion during the pandemic using a live polling feature.
Before this crisis, millions of hungry kids relied on school and early education programs for so much, including food. For many, it was the only food they might get on a given day. With classrooms closed and schools facing many more weeks or months of remote teaching and learning, schools and nonprofits are struggling to reach kids with the meals they need. And with many parents out of work, more children in the United States may be facing hunger than ever before. Prior to March 2020, 1 in 7 children faced food insecurity. Now, that number could be as many as 1 in 4 kids. Across our nation, school nutrition, transportation, and education professionals are making sure that kids are fed throughout these unprecedented times. It is so important now more than ever that we focus on feeding all of our children: body, mind, and soul. Hear challenges and successes in how people are working together to reach all children and families who need nourishment, love, and support.
What do you do when you enter your children’s homes through a device? This session will focus on the partnership between families and classroom teachers (child care providers, Head Start teachers, preschool teachers) . Where do you begin? We will not be addressing how to teach children virtually, but rather how families and early intervention/preschool special education teachers can work together in individual calls via technology. We will discuss assessing child and family needs, developing a list of goals, supporting families with strategies to address those needs, addressing parenting basics, and providing emotional support. We hope for an exchange of ideas among participants.
Breathe-just breathe. Years of immeasurable tears, passion, research, and advocacy efforts at the local, regional, and even federal levels must call, command, and even demand an answer to this critical question: Are we there yet? This interactive plenary session will dive deeply into this critical question and refrain while lifting essential voices and experiences with an imperative cry: No Inclusion: No Equity!!!
Are you a parent or caregiver of a young children with a disability? Have you been facing unique challenges as a result of COVID-19? Do you have strategies that might be helpful to share with other families? Join us for an informal lunchtime conversation with other families to share stories and strategies for coping during this difficult time.
By focusing on 3C’s – care, connection, and content – we can raise our awareness of the learning potential within ordinary and necessary caregiving events. This takes hardly more time that the caregiving alone. The fact that there is so much repetition in the routines of care (such as washing hands and face, getting dressed, eating, napping) is what gives Enriched Caregiving its power to promote child learning. Especially in the time of Covid-19, seeing all these repetitions as educational openings rather than as simple, repetitive jobs, enables us to turn the commonplace parts of the child’s day into rich learning opportunities. We are more likely to achieve our education goals if we link many of them to caregiving.
This session is designed to create a paradigm shift in how we educate all young children. Participants will learn about the basics of equity, including what it is and structural barriers within early childhood programs that perpetuate disparate outcomes for Black children and children with disabilities. Information also will be provided about the effect of COVID-19 on the existing inequities within the early educational system. Attendees will be provided with many opportunities to participate, including polling, Q&A and break-out discussions.
Resources and Strategies for Child Care and Head Start Programs to Support Children with Disabilities and their Families During COVID-19
Join us for a session that will explore strategies for supporting young children with identified disabilities or suspected delays and their families during these challenging times. Consider how to develop a plan that will ensure a review of each child’s Individual Educational Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) in partnership with special education and early intervention partners in order to maintain high quality service delivery from a distance. Learn about how to support families as they navigate through the referral, evaluation and service delivery systems in their communities. Time for questions will be provided.
- Discuss how to engage and support children with identified disabilities, or suspected delays and their families during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic
- Consider strategies for providing services from a distance with special education (Part B) and early intervention (Part C) partners
- Explore considerations specific to children with disabilities or suspected delays as programs reopen in the fall and as some children prepare to transition to kindergarten