We were excited to have more than 350 attendees join us for this year’s biennial Child Care Aware® of America 2016 Symposium on April 4-6 in Washington, D.C. Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies and early care professionals from various disciplines and settings joined us from across the nation to celebrate milestones, collaborate for results, and advocate for a high quality, affordable child care system.
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria discusses child health and science. (Photo by Steve Barrett.)
The comprehensive program featured a number of noteworthy speakers, interactive panel sessions, opportunities to network with thought leaders, and a concluding “Day on the Hill,” which resulted in more than 400 meetings on Capitol Hill to promote the message that child care works!
Here are just a few highlights from this year’s event:
- A keynote address from Dr. Allison Metz, Director of the National Implementation Research Network and Senior Scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, addressing implementation science as a method for improving child care practices.
- Concurrent sessions, too many to name, on topics ranging from examining family child care, including research and strategies for creating and sustaining high-quality programs; supporting the infant/toddler workforce; emergency response and recovery; and the state of family engagement in QRIS efforts.
- A special “behind the scenes” look at an upcoming documentary film called No Small Matter, which will focus on child care issues at large.
- A keynote address from Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, discussed the fundamentals of early brain and childhood development and how this science informs programs and policies that affect people.
- A plenary panel providing an international perspective on child care and early childhood education to improve policies, early childhood systems, and innovative strategies in the United States.
- A Family Advocacy Summit of more than 20 parents convening to learn more about advocacy and raise their voices in support of quality child care.
- A provider appreciation breakfast honoring child care providers and early childhood educators, and a tribute to child care advocate and pioneer Patty Siegel.
- A keynote address from Dr. Walter Gilliam, Director of The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development, on preschool expulsions, the implications, and policy solutions.
- An overview from the Administration for Children and Families covering work at the federal level on child care and early learning systems and training and technical assistance.
- A panel session covering the Parents and the High Cost of Care Report and the implications for quality, data, and policy.
- A morning kick-off session featuring Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, followed by our Day on the Hill event, where attendees met with their Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill.
As you can see, this year’s event was full of exceptional and diverse content that resulted in much thought-provoking discussion around the issues of child care. Visit our website to view the full event program, or explore the #CCAoA16 and #ChildCareWorks hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to experience the event on social media. For those who were unable to join us for 2016 Symposium, video recordings and presentation materials will be available soon.