We have planned an exciting conference this year for all of our early childhood friends. While the conference will offer sessions for all early childhood audiences, AECA is focusing this year on the topic of Building Resilience. As early childhood professionals, we have all worked with children who have been exposed to toxic environments and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). We hope the sessions at this year’s conference will help our state professionals gain more knowledge and confidence in working to have a positive impact on these children. We invite you and all early childhood colleagues to join us in North Little Rock for this exciting event.
You can find the full conference program here.
MEMBERSHIP: If you are not already a member, we invite you to become a part of your state’s association. It’s so easy! Just complete the membership information on the conference registration form. For just $39 ($25 for students), you will receive a year’s membership in AECA, as well as the Southern Early Childhood Association. If your membership has expired, you will not be able to complete this form as a member. You will have to choose the non-member option, unless you update your membership first.
DIRECTORS & ADMINISTRATORS ONLY: Our friends at Lakeshore and A-State Childhood Services have graciously asked to sponsor Director’s Luncheons on Thursday and Friday. Both luncheons are included with registration, but you must make reservations so we can plan. Seating is limited to the first 35 directors who make reservations. Please mark in the form if you'd like to attend.
For those who can join us, we are offering the opportunity to attend exclusive pre-conference sessions on Wednesday, October 23. These sessions, led by state early childhood experts, will offer participants the latest in early childhood trends, knowledge and skills. Each session is $40.
Extra Pre-Conference Sessions:
Using our Powerful Interactions Stance to Support, Sustain, and Strengthen Challenging Coaching Relationships - Jill Gunderman & Nichole Parks
Coaching comes with challenges. This session explores how our Powerful Interactions stance shapes our coaching relationships and supports us through coaching challenges. In this interactive session, participants are invited to reflect on how their coaching approach and perspective influences their interactions with the professionals they coach. Participants will examine potential coaching obstacles and identify strategies to utilize.
The Magic Lens of Early Childhood - Janice Carter & Sue Remfrey
Sharing the world and work of early childhood can be challenging. Have you ever found yourself at a loss for words when a parent, school administrator, policy-maker or friend asks you why your children just play or questions whether what you do gets children ready for school? As Early Childhood Practitioners,we know that the magic in an early childhood program happens when adults successfully blend their knowledge of educational theory and child development to create an environment where children learn through exploring, moving, talking, and experimenting. We know when we are in one of these magical places, but how do we describe and explain the magic to others? During this pre-conference session, we will share our stories and explore ways to frame these important conversations. It is our professional and ethical responsibility as early learning practitioners to not only make the magic happen we must be able to share our stories with others. Please join us to have these important conversations.
Storytelling: It’s Not Just for Circle Time, Bed Time and Children - Diana Courson & Geania Dickey
Storytelling engages the brain in ways no other form of communication does and is at the core of families and cultures throughout the world. Scientific research supports the theory that there is a universal story structure. As professionals in ECE we can extend the learning of children AND broaden the understanding of our work and the importance of the first five years by telling stories. Join us as we hone our skills to “illustrate and illuminate” and become more effective storytellers. We will discuss the construction of a good story, how to support children's learning through storytelling, and how to use our stories as professionals to share the message of early development and learning.
Using Responsive Teaching and Caregiving to Support Language Development in Infants, Toddlers, and Twos - Donna Fowler
Daily routines and experiences such as diapering or playing with toys offer opportunities to build positive relationships with young children that foster trust and security while promoting rich language development. In this session, participants will explore strategies that they can use every day to create a language-rich environment, which helps children build language and literacy skills such as developing vocabulary, hearing the different sounds and rhythms of language, enjoying stories and books, and exploring writing.
Coaching Strategies for Teachers, Administrators,...Everyone! - Diana Courson & Jill Gunderman
“I’m not a coach,” you say, but if you work with children or adults in any role, you can use coaching principles and strategies to enhance your communication and strengthen your relationships. This session is for teaching staff and administrative staff, support staff and central office staff. Explore brain-based strategies often used by coaches that will shape your perspective and help all of us become more effective in supporting each other.
What Directors Should Know About T.E.A.C.H. - Jeff Dyer
T.E.A.C.H. is a national initiative that gives the early childhood workforce access to higher education degree programs in early childhood. The state of Arkansas will be implementing this scholarship program for those in our workforce who wish to earn an Associate's Degree but cannot afford tuition or have other barriers. Because directors will have a key role in the T.E.A.C.H. program, we are inviting directors to come and learn about this program...how it will work, who is eligible and what the requirements are for child care programs to participate. THIS SESSION IS FREE OF CHARGE TO THOSE WHO WISH TO ATTEND BUT PLEASE INDICATE YOU WANT TO COME.