2022 Early Childhood Symposium

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.

View the 2022 Symposium Brochure!

Registrants are welcome to pay by credit card or check via our online registration form, which will open on Friday, January 7 at 12:00 p.m. General registration is $45 dollars. A student rate is available with proof of student I.D. for $30 dollars.

If you are a student, please email a photo of your student I.D. to Zach, our Office Administrator at zrimkus@collab4kids.org. He will respond to you with a code that you can use at registration. 

 

This year the Early Childhood Symposium will take place over four days.

To see the schedule for each day, please click on the orange tabs above.

To learn more about our keynote speaker and workshop facilitators, click here

Saturday, February 12, 2022; 8:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

7:45 a.m. Virtual Rooms Open

8:00 – 9:30 a.m. Morning Workshops:

FEB 12: AM (A) – Facilitating Attuned Interactions (FAN): A Tool for Building Family/Teacher Relationships

The Facilitating Attuned Interactions (FAN) Approach serves as an internal GPS; a roadmap for engaging and problem-solving with parents. The FAN focuses on parents’ urgent concerns and helps educators and clinicians tailor responses to match what parents seem to need most in the moment. The FAN helps educators and clinicians understand more quickly and fully parents’ concerns, and whether or not caregivers are ready to address said concerns. Participants will be able to describe the role of attunement as a mechanism for problem-solving and identify new strategies for giving parents/clients information and resources in a digestible, meaningful way.

Tori Graham – Erikson Institute

FEB 12: AM (B)Supporting Families in Understanding the Value of Play

In this workshop, educators will share and discuss ideas about the value of play as a large group and in small groups. Educators will consider the connection between their philosophy of learning and development, the materials and activities they offer, the roles that they play in their program, and approaches to curriculum. Emergent curriculum will be explored as a strong play-based approach to working with children. Educators will have the opportunity to hear about and develop strategies for communicating with families the benefits of incorporating play in their program, including using documentation of children’s play with connections to early learning standards.

Ayala Salinas, Elizabeth Tertell, Mary Quest – Erikson Institute, Town Square

FEB 12: AM (C) (Repeat of PM K) – Math with Mama: Inspiration for Child-led Learning with Infants and Toddlers

As an exhausted new parent, this former teacher and early math researcher knew that even chores such as laundry and putting away the dishes are mathematically powerful opportunities. She was also delightfully surprised to witness many early math understandings emerge during play time. And in new parent fashion, she recorded it all! Photos and video examples of her [super cute] son from 0-3 years old will provide developmentally appropriate, child-led examples of math at home to inspire families, caregivers, and teachers. Learn about research-based foundational math ideas, how they relate to big ideas of math encountered later in school settings, and what you can do to maximize these early math moments.

Lauren Solarski – Erikson Institute

FEB 12: AM (D) (Repeat of PM L) – How (and When) to Say It: Having Hard Conversations with Families

Challenging behavior, learning differences, and social upsets will have us reaching out to parents to share our concerns. These conversations can be more successful when we’ve already established good relationships with our families. This session will guide you to assess your current practices with families, identify challenges, and shift underlying biases and judgements. This webinar will explore the techniques of clear, compassionate communication so you can establish positive family partnerships from day one.

Molly Pope – Coach and Consultant

FEB 12: AM (E) (Repeat of PM P) – Dealing with Adult Burnout and Child Meltdowns: Chicken or Egg?

Burnout, or escalating work-related stress, is on the rise in COVID pandemic times. Please know that there are steps you can take to handle your stress before it engulfs you and the children in your care. The Mayo Clinic has outlined work-related stress in terms of physical and/or emotional exhaustion, reduced feelings of accomplishment, and a lack of one’s positive belief in oneself. Children pick up on adult distress and may show more meltdowns, perhaps as a consequence of adult burnout, although both adults and kids can set each other “off” because we co-regulate one another.

Dr. Jan Johnston – Psychologist

9:45 – 11:15am Opening Keynote from Kristi Mraz — Joyful Discovery: Building Early Childhood Classrooms that Thrive

  • Welcome address: Becki Streit, Board Chair, Collaboration for Early Childhood
  • Introduction of Keynote Speaker: Amy Cardin, Co-Chair of the Collaboration for Early Childhood Professional Development Committee
  • Keynote: Joyful Discovery: Building Early Childhood Classrooms that Thrive

To read more about the Keynote address by Kristi Mraz, please click on the Keynote Tab. To learn more about Kristi and the workshop facilitators, click here.

OPENING KEYNOTE: Kristi Mraz

Joyful Discovery: Building Early Childhood Classrooms that Thrive

There is a reason that children are continually drawn to play, it is their context for deep learning. This keynote will explore the research and reasons that demonstrate play’s unparalleled power for building intellectual, social, and academic skills.

Together we will reframe play from a noun to a dynamic verb. This will set the stage for reflection and conversations on how to make play the primary component in your classroom. This keynote will embrace a “both, and” approach to playful inquiry and rigorous learning.

Learn about Kristi Mraz!

Thursday, February 17, 2022; 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

6:45 p.m. Virtual Rooms Open

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Evening Workshops:

FEB 17 PM (M) (Double Session* with FEB 23 PM Q)Authentic Assessment, Putting it Together

This double session presents the most current thinking on the assessment of young children and how assessment and observational methods are used to inform curriculum and chart children’s growth and development. Infants, toddlers, two’s and preschoolers are observed within the context of their play as well as their culture and environment. This workshop lays the framework for understanding why observations, discussions, story dictation, and interacting with children informs curriculum versus standard testing required in some programs. Working with parents is paramount to understanding the whole child and their interests.

Leah Shapiro – Early Childhood Educator

* Workshops denoted as a Double Session require the attendee to sign up for both sessions. Each session will cover different materials and practices offering attendees a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

FEB 17 PM (N) (Also FEB 26 AM G) – Adapting the Creative Curriculum for Kids with Low Incidence Disabilities

In this workshop, participants will review adaptations of the Creative Curriculum and partake in discussion around implementing various strategies to ensure students, of all abilities, can access and be successful with this curriculum framework. Objectives will be assessed through question and answers throughout, as well as by giving participants time and support to create Creative Curriculum materials for their classroom or home during the workshop.

Tempe Thomas and Kristina Passarella – Niles Township District for Special Education

FEB 17 PM (O) – Happy Baby! Breaking Down Poses through a Developmental Lens (0-4 years)

Happy baby, child’s pose; even the name of these poses indicate yoga being innate to young humans. Movement is a powerful tool at all stages of life. In John Medina’s research on “Brain Rules,” we learn that exercise boosts brain power and we are powerful + natural explorers. In this session, we will break down traditional yoga poses specifically for babies and toddlers. Participants will learn benefits, cues, possible variations, and ways to encourage engagement in the pose.

Erin Bracco – Buddha Belly Kids Yoga

To learn more about the workshops facilitators, click here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022; 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

6:45 p.m. Virtual Rooms Open

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Evening Workshops:

FEB 23 PM (P) (Also on FEB 12 AM E) – Dealing with Adult Burnout and Child Meltdowns: Chicken or Egg?

Burnout, or escalating work-related stress, is on the rise in COVID pandemic times. Please know that there are steps you can take to handle your stress before it engulfs you and the children in your care. The Mayo Clinic has outlined work-related stress in terms of physical and/or emotional exhaustion, reduced feelings of accomplishment, and a lack of one’s positive belief in oneself. Children pick up on adult distress and may show more meltdowns, perhaps as a consequence of adult burnout, although both adults and kids can set each other “off” because we co-regulate one another.

Dr. Jan Johnston – Psychologist

FEB 23 PM (Q) (Double Session* with FEB 23 PM M)Authentic Assessment, Putting it Together

This double session presents the most current thinking on the assessment of young children and how assessment and observational methods are used to inform curriculum and chart children’s growth and development. Infants, toddlers, two’s and preschoolers are observed within the context of their play as well as their culture and environment. This workshop lays the framework for understanding why observations, discussions, story dictation, and interacting with children informs curriculum versus standard testing required in some programs. Working with parents is paramount to understanding the whole child and their interests.

Leah Shapiro – Early Childhood Educator

* Workshops denoted as a Double Session require the attendee to sign up for both sessions. Each session will cover different materials and practices offering attendees a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

FEB 23 PM (R)Supporting Self-Regulation through Music & Movement                                                                  

With the needs of teachers and children changing after a tumultuous few school years, we realize now more than ever how important a social emotional approach to learning is. Attendees will learn techniques and strategies to effectively integrate social/emotional learning into their daily curriculum through FUNctional music and movement activities!

Alyssa Stone – Dynamic Lynks

FEB 23 PM (S)Culturally Responsive Pedagogy for Young Children

This session is for early childhood teachers who are familiar with Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) and the Illinois standards (www.isbe.net). We will focus on the first three standards: self- awareness and relationships with others, systems of oppression, and students as individuals. The session will start with an exercise in reflecting on identity formation and implicit bias in both small groups and as a larger group.

Participants will then watch an interview of a child development specialist on their thoughts about the systems of oppression that have been built in the past and are reinforced today. Finally, attendees will collaborate with each other to develop tools and exercises they can bring back to their classrooms that will focus on getting to know students as individuals as well as their families and larger community.

Meghan Hickey – Erikson Insitute

FEB 23 PM (T) (Also on FEB 26 AM H) – Risk and Resilience in the Pandemic

The mental health of children has been influenced in several ways during the global pandemic. This unprecedented situation has changed the way young children typically grow, learn, play, behave, interact, and manage emotions. Children with pre-existing psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and behavior disorders could be adversely impacted during this stressful situation. This presentation will focus on the social and emotional effects of the pandemic on young children, as well as teaching tools to become more resilient.

Samina Hadi-Tabassum – Erikson Institute

To learn more about the workshops facilitators, click here.

Saturday, February 26, 2022; 8:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

7:45 a.m. Virtual Rooms Open

8:00 – 9:30 a.m. Morning Workshops:

FEB 26 AM (F)A Guide to Being Your Own Best Ally: The Key to Thriving in Work and in Life

Come on a trip with Sheryl Stoller as your guide. You’ll learn a practice that equips you to thrive through your own challenges and those presented by children and other situations at work. You already have a Sage-Ally inside of you. That part of you just needs some customized tools and skills for intercepting the inner thoughts and feelings that sabotage you; for using your body to clear the way for your Sage-Ally-Self to take charge; and for consciously meeting the moments with empathetic concerned compassion for yourSelf as the starting point, curious exploration, creative innovation, and clarity of big-picture. These all combine to create wise actions. Come learn this practice that powerfully enables you – and the children you care for – to thrive.

Sheryl Stoller – Parent Coach

FEB 26 AM (H) (Also on FEB 23 PM T) – Risk and Resilience in the Pandemic

The mental health of children has been influenced in several ways during the global pandemic. This unprecedented situation has changed the way young children typically grow, learn, play, behave, interact, and manage emotions. Children with pre-existing psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and behavior disorders could be adversely impacted during this stressful situation. This presentation will focus on the social and emotional effects of the pandemic on young children, as well as teaching tools to become more resilient.

Samina Hadi-Tabassum – Erikson Institute

FEB 26 AM (I) – Turning Early Childhood Inside OUT: Children Thrive in the Open Air

In this interactive workshop, led jointly by a preschool teacher and a professional development specialist, participants will explore how spending time outdoors helps children to thrive in all areas of development. Physically, more exercise and fewer germs allow children to become stronger and stay healthier. Socially and emotionally, more space and diluted pressure of people allow children to refine their regulation skills and develop relationships with each other. Cognitively, the changing-yet-constant wonders of the natural world allow children to expand their curiosity and become better observers and analyzers. We will look at these, and other, benefits of taking children out of the indoor classroom through research, illustrative anecdotes, and children’s literature. We will also share practical tips for living and learning with young children outside.

Lisa Ginet & Anne E. Olcott – Erikson Institute

FEB 26 AM (J) – How to Encourage Your Child(ren) to Feel Confident within Themselves

The purpose of this workshop is to give parents the tools they need to raise an independent and confident child. Due to the ongoing pandemic, some families still sheltering in place daily or weekly and coping as well as they can, the children social emotional and mental wellbeing has lessened upon returning outside. In this “new modified” world, children need to hear encouragement and praise from their caregivers and caregivers can learn how to give both successfully.

Dailela Williams – Future Leaders Learning Center & Lenita Edgeworth – Easterseals Partnering with Parents Program

FEB 26 AM (G) (Also on FEB 17 PM N) – Adapting the Creative Curriculum for Kids with Low Incidence Disabilities

In this workshop, participants will review adaptations of the Creative Curriculum and partake in discussion around implementing various strategies to ensure students, of all abilities, can access and be successful with this curriculum framework. Objectives will be assessed through question and answers throughout, as well as by giving participants time and support to create Creative Curriculum materials for their classroom or home during the workshop.

Tempe Thomas & Kristina Passarella – Niles Township District for Special Education

To learn more about the workshops facilitators, click here.

9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Closing Remarks

  • John Borrero, Executive Director, Collaboration for Early Childhood
About The 2022 Symposium Theme

This year our early childhood community of educators, providers, parents, and health care professionals all adapted and shifted to continue to care for our children. Our early learning community navigated ever-changing guidance, masked up, sanitized and worried non-stop, and ensured that they did everything they could to support the healthy development of our children.

We recognize how difficult this year has been, and commend your dedication to children, and your resilience through it all. This year we are going from surviving to thriving!

Information About Credits

Please note that we are finalizing the workshop credit details for this year’s symposium with our credit-granting partners and will share when they are complete!

Educators who attend the Early Childhood Symposium are eligible to receive three types of credits listed below. Participants who are looking to receive professional learning hours, or CPDUs, can only receive hours/credits once and should not be awarded from multiple sources for only one event.
  • Gateways Credits — Symposium participants can earn 1.5 hours of credit per workshop and 1 hour per keynote speaker. Gateways Credentials are symbols of professional achievement that validate knowledge, skills and experience. They are awarded and recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Bureau of Child Care and Development. They are required for some Circles of Quality in ExceleRate Illinois and can be used to help with employment decisions in early learning programs. Learn more about Gateways credentials.
  • Early Intervention Credits — A selection of the day’s sessions quality for Early Intervention (EI) Credits. The Core Content Areas (types of Early Intervention Credits) and their abbreviations are:
    • ASSMT = Assessment
    • ATYP = Atypical Child Development
    • CD = Child Development
    • INT = Intervention
    • WWF = Working with Families
  • PD Clock Hours/CPDUs — CPDU stands for Continuing Professional Development Unit. This professional development is a credit that educators, teachers, and school support services personnel must complete to maintain their certification. The Collaboration for Early Childhood’s Early Childhood Symposium is an approved professional development event. Participants will need to provide their IEIN (Illinois Educator Identification Number) to receive this credit.
What's New This Year?

As a change to the usual format of a one-day event, the 2022 Symposium will take place on four days in February. We responded to the feedback you shared last year about how difficult it is to remain on Zoom for a whole day. To keep everyone safe, the event will be virtual again this year. But we have broken the schedule out over four days to reduce Zoom fatigue. 

Our Sponsors:

Take a walk down memory lane and explore themes and speakers from past Symposia below!

Slide 1
Image is not available
Slide 2
Image is not available
Slide 3
Image is not available
Slide 4
Image is not available
Slide 5
Image is not available
Slide 6
Image is not available
Slide 7
Image is not available
Slide 8
Image is not available
Slide 9
Image is not available
Slide 10
Image is not available
Slide 11
Image is not available
Slide 12
Image is not available
Slide 13
Image is not available
Slide 14
Image is not available
Slide 15
Image is not available
Slide 16
Image is not available
Slide 16
Image is not available
previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow

Looking for More Information?

Head to our Contact Us page and fill out our contact form and someone from our team will get back to you. We look forward to hearing from you!