Check Out the 2018 Conference Program by visiting the address below! 
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Pre-Conference Sessions

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Let's Get Started with Loose Parts! with Marcy White

Milk caps...craft sticks...river rocks...a button box... what makes everyday “bits and pieces so amazing?


As children work with loose parts they explore, invent, construct, and create in open-ended ways. In this session, we’ll learn about loose part theory, explore a treasure trove of loose parts, and consider ways to incorporate these materials in your indoor and outdoor learning environment in mainly meaningful ways. Join us for a highly “hands-on” session that is perfect for toddler, preschool, and school-age providers.

Children and Families in Crisis: How do we Respond? with Nicola Edge


Teachers report that the families they served are facing more challenges than ever. This session will highlight ways to support our highest risk children.

I’m Growing As Fast As I Can with Renee Philpot

Participants should expect an overview of Autism in preschool children and to receive ideas and strategies that will enhance personal/social skills and language development.

Powerful Interactions with Nichole Parks

In early childhood settings, children and teachers interact all day long. The benefits to everyone-teachers and children-will be huge if just some of those “everyday” interactions can become intentional and purposeful Powerful Interactions!

1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Deeper Learning with Loose Parts: An Advances Workshop with Marcy White


This interactive, engaging session will highlight ways that loose parts foster creativity, critics thinking, communication, and more - and ways that adults can intentionally support and extend children’s thinking. To attend this session, participants must attend the morning session or have extensive, real life experience using Loose Parts with young children.

Little Solutions to Big Problems with Renee Philpot


Methods and materials that have proven to assist children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or behavior challenges learn personal/social skills that are necessary in preschool classrooms will be presented.

Active Play! with Dr. Diane Craft


Dr. Craft teaches fun, practical physical activities that are ready for children to enjoy immediately. Learn how healthy physical activity can be enjoyed by children and adults in large or small spaces, indoors or outdoors, and using very inexpensive equipment.

Train the Trainer with Tim Waxenfelter

PPT as Your Co-Facilitator
We are taught as trainers to either rely on PowerPoint or to hate it. Whether the PowerPoint is your own and you can redesign it or you have been handed a locked-down set of slides, there are steps you can take as a facilitator or course designer to convert PowerPoint from a tool that competes with you for your audience's attention into a tool that's more like a trusted colleague.  

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Family Map Inventories

The Family Map Inventories are used to assess the risk and protective factors of a family and home environment associated with healthy child development. Become trained so that you can help identify and document services needed. 

Self-Transported Tours

Ferncliff Nature School Tour


Take a tour to see the Ferncliff Nature School. The program is “child lead” with teachers acting as facilitators for learning. Come dressed appropriately for the weather to experience nature walks, farm animals, and gardens.


Good Earth Learning Center Tour


Take a tour to see the Good Earth Learning Center. The Center serves families who desire to introduce their children to a practical and fun way to learn through hands-on nature-based experiences. Following the seed-to-table concept, children have a blast as they plant, grown, and taste berries and veggies.