On June 2, Town Square and NAFCC hosted the Learn, Share, and Thrive Leadership Summit at Erikson Institute. With local, state, and national level representatives who are family child care provider leaders and other early childhood leaders across the field of early childhood, there were exciting presentations and discussions about supporting the important work of family child care.
Bill Hudson, Executive Director and CEO of NAFCC started the morning with a keynote address.
Angela Fowler, Director of Town Square at Erikson Institute, discussed the impact of Town Square since it launched in January of 2016. You can view her powerpoint slides here.
The morning speaker panel topic was “Taking Charge of Quality and Change”. The panel featured Kate Ritter, Licensing and QRIS Integration Policy Director in the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development; Erma Jackson, family child care provider and NAFCC accreditation specialist; Melody Robinson, family child care provider leader; and Dr. Juliet Bromer, research scientist at Erikson Institute.
- Kate Ritter shared comments about next steps for Illinois after Race to the Top funding ends. Some resources related to her talk can be found on the OECD website.
- Erma Jackson and Melody Robinson talked about taking initiative with change and quality through NAFCC accreditation and other avenues of professional development as a family child care provider including Nature Explore outdoor classroom licensing.
- Dr. Juliet Bromer discussed recent work involving the development of a model for family child care support. You can view her powerpoint slides here. Below is the link to the full brief that her talk was based on.
Building a Coordinated System of Support for Family Child Care
Participants broke out into working groups over lunch to discuss and set goals in the areas of:
- Embracing Quality through Curriculum, Content, and Standards
- Organizational Support Systems
- National Recognition and Advocacy
Groups plan to follow up over the next year to set specific goals and put plans into action for achieving the goals.
The afternoon panel topic was “The Changing Landscape of Early Childhood” and included Katherine Kempe, Senior Director of Professional Recognition and Advancement at NAEYC; Dante Gonzalez, family child care provider leader; Mary Quest, content coordinator for Town Square at Erikson Institute; and Bill Hudson, Executive Director and CEO of NAFCC, (standing in for Mary Beth Testa, Federal Policy Consultant for NAFCC, who was unable to be at the summit).
- Kat Kempe shared NAEYC’s Power to the Profession initiative and how family child care fits into the early childhood profession. You can access her presentation here.
- Dante Gonzalez spoke about his experiences with professionalization through training offered at the NAFCC conference and accreditation.
- Mary Quest discussed Town Square as a means of supporting professionalization and quality in family child care while also being an avenue for providers to share their voice and contribute to the knowledge base of the field by creating content to share on Town Square with other providers. Her presentation can be viewed here.
- Bill Hudson spoke about advocacy efforts at many levels.
The final speaker of the day was Rachel Schumaker, Director of the Pritzker Children’s Initiative.
The day was filled with energy and excitement around the important work of family child care and our hope is that this excitement carries through the year as we encounter opportunities to advocate for and promote family child care as an integral part of the early childhood workforce.