The Arkansas Early Childhood Association is pleased to announce our 2023 Annual Conference.The 61st Annual AECA Conference will be held October 12-14, 2023 at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock. (Preconference sessions will once again be offered on Wednesday, October 11.) The theme of this year’s conference is Learn to Play, Play to Learn. This year’s gathering will focus on the importance of play to early childhood development. We all know that play-based activities are the appropriate way for young children to learn. With the guidance of Arkansas’ early learning standards (CDELS – EnglishSpanish), programs can provide high-quality opportunities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers to learn, explore and discover with play.

To highlight our focus on play, we are excited to offer Lisa Murphy as one of our keynote speakers this year.
If anyone defines play, it is Lisa. As an outspoken advocate, Lisa is known for her commitment to creating child-centered, play-based early childhood environments and her fierce protection of childhood. Over 30 years, she has written five books, produced numerous trainings and serves on many early childhood boards. We had the honor of hosting Lisa several years ago and she always delivers an effective message of letting children be little!

AECA invites you to submit a proposal to present at this year’s conference. While the primary focus will be play and developmental domains, proposals may be on any topic related to early care and education. We want a broad range of appropriate topics that relate to infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children. As always, we welcome sessions that are relevant to all our roles in early childhood—teachers, directors, trainers, and family child care.

To submit a proposal, click on this link and complete the online form with the requested information. Keep in mind that Saturday may be the only day that many of our teachers and directors can attend so we encourage you to please consider giving of your Saturday to offer a session to these participants. Selected lead presenters will receive 50% off on conference registration. (Conference registration should be available sometime later this month. We will also be sharing information on hotel reservations.) Our conference team will review and send out confirmations once sessions are scheduled.If you have any questions or need assistance, please email Paul Lazenby at We look forward to receiving your proposals. And look forward to a fantastic gathering this October!

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