Keynote Speaker

Dr. Kate Gallagher is our opening keynoter. Dr. Gallagher is the Cille and Ron Williams Community Chair for Early Childhood Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the Buffett Early Childhood Institute. Her keynote address is entitled, Supporting the Whole Child and Family Intervention: What it Means and What it Takes. She will present a workshop session, Bringing ‘Serve and Return’ into Assessment, Planning, and Intervention.   Check out her TED Talks, The Healthy Child: Assembly Required and Maximizing the Power of Early Ed



Supporting the Whole Child and Family Intervention: What it Means and What it Takes
Thursday, July 20 || 8:15-10:30 am
Pulled by forces of policy and funding and trends, we in early childhood are often tempted to emphasize one aspect of children’s development over another. We emphasize cognitive, literacy or mathematics learning, social development or language. But development does not play out in isolated skills. Brain development teaches us that supporting the child means attending to composition of the whole child: physical, cognitive, social and emotional. It means understanding children as individuals, and in families, programs, schools and neighborhoods. It means understanding the centrality of relationships for healthy development. Supporting the whole child and family takes putting relationships and positive “serve and return” interactions in the forefront of our practice. It takes working together across disciplines – health and school, childcare and early intervention – to build effective systems for young children and families.

Bringing ‘Serve and Return’ into Assessment, Planning, and Intervention
Thursday, July 20 || 1:45-3:15 pm
Children thrive on interactions with adults that are focused on their individual needs and
interests. Whether working with groups of children or with families, we can intentionally target children’s individual needs, help assess, plan and set goals, teach, and support. And—we can use some of these same individualizing strategies with families – to support their interests in teaching their children. In this interactive workshop, we will use scenarios to identify how to individualize our interactions with children and families, making “serve and return” powerful interactions the center of practice.