A signature event of the Collaboration, each February our annual Symposium provides an arena for more than 300 educators, caregivers, parents, and anyone who works with young children to gain knowledge, perspective and practical skills in promoting positive learning experiences. Designed to be interactive and to promote networking amongst attendees, the Symposium includes a keynote address by a noted authority on the Symposium's theme and offers a wide range of workshops. Participants will walk away with many hands-on activities and ideas to use immediately with the children in your classes and homes.
Symposium 2020
17th Annual Symposium
February 29, 2020
This year’s theme is "Embrace the Mess! The Complexities of Early Childhood." The 2020 Symposium is focused on the many sticky situations we find ourselves in when working with young children, their families and our colleagues.
Symposium 2019
16th Annual Symposium
February 23, 2019
Pediatrician, author, educator and health communicator Laura Jana, MD, FAAP, strives to translate big ideas into far-reaching, real world applications and make meaningful connections across a wide range of disciplines. Join us for her keynote and fill your day with STEAM workshops!
Symposium 2018

Growing Together

15th Annual Symposium
February 24, 2018

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View Angela Searcy's keynote speech on growth mindset for educators.
With more than 30 workshops, an energizing and inspiring keynote from Angela Searcy, and ample time to spend exploring "play stations" and resource tables, our 15th annual Symposium was top-notch!
Symposium 2017

Here and Now: Respecting Childhood

14th Annual Symposium
Workshops, schedule and more are here.

7:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Julian Middle School
416 S. Ridgeland Ave., Oak Park
The Collaboration for Early Childhood is delighted to present its 14th annual Symposium, an annual conference for parents, educators, caregivers, and anyone who works with young children to gain knowledge, perspective, practical skills, and tools.

The keynote speaker is Luis Hernandez, an Early Childhood Education Specialist with Western Kentucky University.

Tell us why YOU are saving the date!
#respect4kids #collab4kids

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities: Navigating the Tough Stuff

13th Annual Symposium
February 27, 2016

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View materials.

View Holly Elissa Bruno's inspiring keynote speech.
The Collaboration for Early Childhood is delighted to present its 13th annual Symposium. This gathering provides an opportunity for parents, educators, caregivers and anyone who works with young children to gain knowledge, perspective, practical skills and tools for supporting all young children.

The Dance of Diversity: Meeting the Unique Needs of Every Child

12th Annual Symposium
February 21, 2015

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Read Wednesday Journal article.
Diversity is much more than a discussion of race and ethnicity. It includes everything from special needs, learning styles, family structures and so much more.

PLAY is FUNdamental: Empowering Young Children Through Active Exploration

11th Annual Symposium
February 22, 2014

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Realizing that play is not always about the end product, activities focused on the process of play and on getting all involved in play: parents, teachers, caregivers, providers and children.

Community: Building Relationships in Early Childhood

10th Annual Symposium
February 23, 2013

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Nurturing all types of relationships (among staff, among children, among families and more) is an important step in building a foundation for success of young children and their families.

Wild About Wellness: Growing Healthy Children in Mind, Body and Spirit

9th Annual Symposium
February 25, 2012

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This theme underscores the importance of building our children's capacity to learn how to live and grow mentally, physically, and emotionally as they incorporate a spirit of wellness by making wise choices with food, physical and mental fitness, and lifestyles.

We Can Work It Out: Promoting Social-Emotional Competence in Young Children

8th Annual Symposium
February 26, 2011

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The ability to develop positive relationships with others, identify, express and manage emotions, and develop a positive self-concept, enables children to learn and experience success in school and in life.