FEBRUARY 14, 2023
[Download the Press Release as a PDF]

Contact: Sophie Grimes, Communications Coordinator
Organization: Collaboration for Early Childhood
Phone: 708-613-6122
Email: communications@collab4kids.org
Web: www.collab4kids.org/symposium-2023


For the first time in two years, the Early Childhood Symposium will held in person at Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park and includes a fantastic line-up of workshops and keynote address that will explore different aspects of this year’s theme: Creativity, Curiosity, Caring. All who care for young children are welcome to attend on February 25, 2023.

OAK PARK, ILLINOIS, FEBRUARY 14, 2023 – The Early Childhood Symposium is an annual gathering that provides an opportunity for anyone who works with young children – educators, caregivers, and parents – to gain knowledge, perspective, practical skills and tools for supporting all young children. The event will be held in person this year at Percy Julian Middle School, 416 S. Ridgeland Ave, Oak Park, Illinois. It will take place on Saturday, February 25, 2023 from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Each year the Symposium has a different theme. This year’s focus is Creativity, Curiosity, Caring. “Workshops and presenters will focus on strengthening the 3 C’s in children and within ourselves. We will consider the environments, activities and perspectives that foster lifelong learning, creative problem solving and resilience. We know these characteristics will help children navigate the complex future that awaits them,” says Amy Cardin, Co-Chair of the Collaboration for Early Childhood’s Professional Development Committee.

Richard Cohen, Early Childhood Professional, Consultant, Coach and Motivational Speaker, will give the keynote presentation titled, Cultivating Creative Learners and Curious Minds. He will also facilitate a sold-out morning session titled, Room to Grow: Early Environments that Inspire and Engage, and an afternoon session titled, The Heart and the Mind 101: An Introduction to Relational Neuroscience.

“We are thrilled by the breadth of expertise areas that are represented in this year’s Symposium workshops,” says Laura Crawford, Interim Executive Director. “From the ways that proper hair care impacts a healthy identity in Black culture to restorative language, and from mindfulness to the power of outdoor play; there will be a wealth of learning and connection taking place at this year’s Symposium.”

Discounts are available to students and many workshops provide early intervention credit. Participants can earn up to five and half hours of approved training. The Symposium is approved by Gateways to Opportunity, the statewide professional development support system.

In addition to a full day of workshops and a keynote address, the Symposium will also serve breakfast and lunch and participants will have the opportunity to explore Play Stations and Resource Tables for additional inspiration. Those who are interested in attending this year’s Symposium can register and learn more at the Collaboration for Early Childhood’s website: www.collab4kids.org/symposium-2023. Registration will remain open until Monday, February 20 at 5:00 p.m. 

About the Collaboration for Early Childhood

The Collaboration for Early Childhood is a community-driven organization that cultivates the development of the whole child, birth to age five, by engaging families, local organizations, early childhood educators, caregivers, and health providers to create equitable, nurturing, and interconnected systems of support. The Early Childhood Symposium is a cornerstone of the Collaboration’s work.

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