Hundreds of daycare providers, preschool teachers, educators and more will converge at UW-Stout for the 41st annual Early Childhood Education Conference, to be held Friday and Saturday, April 26-27.
More than 800 people are registered to attend. Events will be held at the Memorial Student Center and Heritage Hall.
The conference will feature keynote speaker Debra Lawrence on Friday and a screening of the documentary “No Small Matter” on Saturday.
Lawrence, who has 35 years of experience in the field, will present “So What Do You Do for a Living,” looking at how professionals in early childhood education can convey the importance of their work. Lawrence has served on the board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
“No Small Matter,” recently released, explores early education and early life brain science.
A showing of the Mr. Rogers film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” will be at 4:15 p.m. Friday.
Along with many UW-Stout faculty and staff, conference presenters are from the University of Minnesota, University of Indiana, UW School of Medicine, Chippewa Valley Technical College and other institutions. Specialists will present on parenting, music, mental health, occupational therapy, reading, literacy, family therapy, nutrition and more.
On Thursday, April 25, a related program by Lawrence, Early Experiences: Lasting Impacts of Childhood Trauma, will be held at a reduced rate for conference attendees. A morning session will be “The Impact of Stress and Trauma on the Developing Brain.” An afternoon session will be “Working with Children who Have Experienced Adversity.”
A free community showing of "No Small Matter" will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the student center, including a discussion with Lawrence.
The conference is coordinated by UW-Stout’s Professional Education Programs and Services.
UW-Stout has offered an undergraduate program in early childhood education since 1972. Kindergarten and primary teacher training was the first degree program offered at UW-Stout, starting in 1899 when the university was known as Stout Manual Training School.
A scene from the documentary “No Small Matter,” which will be shown at the UW-Stout Early Childhood Education Conference.