VTAEYC is committed to the ongoing professional development of its members and of all early childhood education professionals. To achieve this, VTAEYC hosts, co-sponsors and supports several professional development events each year, including the annual fall Early Childhood Conference, and the Spring Speaker Series.

Part 1: October 28 & 29

featuring Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is the pediatrician who first researched and revealed the lead in the blood of Flint, Michigan’s children. Named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and USA Today’s “Women of the Century,” she continues to work to mitigate the impact of the water crisis on Flint’s children. In her powerful book, What the Eyes Don’t See, and her personal and inspiring speeches, she motivates audiences to speak out against injustice. Learn more about Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha here.

October 28 speakers and panelists include:

Phil Scott, Governor of Vermont

Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids

Rhian Evans Allvin, CEO of NAEYC

Sean Brown, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Children and Families

Steven Berbeco, Deputy Commissioner, Child Development Division

Melissa Riegel-Garrett, Policy Director, Child Development Division

Breena Holmes, MD, Pediatric MD, Vermont Department of Health

Paul Behrman, Director, Champlain Valley Head Start; Chair, Vermont Head Start Association


October 29 workshop description:

Rethinking Resilience: The science of child development reveals that early adversity and trauma have the potential to leave life-long scars ranging from developmental delays to chronic disease to decreased life expectancy. However, early identification and mitigation of toxic stress through individual child-focused resilience building has the potential to minimize long term sequalae. In this workshop, participants will rethink the concept of resilience from one child to a larger population of children. Rather than demanding resilience from children already burdened with adversity, the focus will shift to building resilient communities that prevent the need for individual child resilience.

Click here to register for Part 1.

Part 2: November 2 & 5

featuring Ijumaa Jordan

Ijumaa Jordan is a fat, Black, cis-gendered woman (she, her, hers) daily engaging in the beautiful struggle of life, doing the internal and external work to abolish systems of oppression such as racism, sexism, transphobia, classism, etc.

Ijumaa shows up for this work with intensity and passion, being joyful, thinking critcially, and holding a learning space with care and grace. She loves afternoon naps and snacks, and you can usually find her online looking serious and laughing loudly. Learn more about Ijumaa Jordan here.

November 2 speakers and panelists include:

Tabatha Rosproy,  2020 National Teacher of the Year (and first Early Educator NTOY)

Xusana Davis, Vermont Director of Racial Equity

Ann McClain Terrell, Board President of NAEYC

Wanda Heading-Grant, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, UVM

Maria Mercedes Avila, PhD., Assistant Professor in Deptartment of Pediatrics, Robert Larner MD. College of Medicine at UVM; Cultural and Linguistic Competency trainer


November 5 workshop description:

Ollie Ollie Oxenfree; Play for all! This workshop examines how systemic classism and racism privileges play for some children, while devaluing it for others.

Children who live in under-resourced areas and children of color are particularly vulnerable to educational reforms that restrict their access to self-initiated, complex play.

We will develop our own playful dispositions, learn to uphold play as a right and move play back to the center of childhood experiences for all children. Participants will co-create practical strategies to provide more access to space, time, materials and relationships within their own contexts. This experience is well suited for participants with a passion for play, equity, and advocacy.

Click here to register for Part 2.

Thanks to our co-hosts and sponsors:






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