The objective of the 3rd Annual Austin Early Childhood Symposium is to rally Austin’s civic leaders, parents, families, childcare providers, faith-communities, and community development practitioners around one common education agenda: 3rd Grade Success for all Austin children.

Morning workshops will be followed by a Community Rally and Resource Fair.

Childcare providers will earn professional development hours.

We will hear from public officials, foundations, and non-profit organizations on education, childcare, safety, and jobs. Our goal is to mobilize resources for Austin’s young children and their families.

On Saturday, October 10, 2015 From 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM , located  By the Hand Club  on 415 N Laramie Ave.

We will discuss about 9 topics :  1. Developmental Assets: Josephine Robinson, World Vision. This workshop will introduce participants to 40 “assets” — building blocks of healthy development – that help young children grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Participants will learn how to assess the presence of these assets in children’s lives, build on those that are present, and fill in gaps where particular assets are missing for a child. (Gateways Credit: 2 hours in Human Growth and Development)

2. Advocating for Your Child in the School System: Katherine Gladson, LAF. This workshop is for parents/grandparents/guardians who want to know more about how to advocate for their children in the school system. Are you concerned about the disciplinary practices at your child’s school, or do you feel that your child has been unfairly suspended or expelled? Do you feel that your child has special needs that aren’t being addressed in school? If so, this is the workshop for you! (Gateways credit not available for this workshop)

3. Nutrition, Stress, and Taking Care of Yourself: Sarita Sashington, Be Strong Families. This training helps you to identify what stresses you out and how nutrition plays an important role in reducing stress and balancing your mind, body, and spirit.  (Gateways Credit: 2 hours in Personal and Professional Development)   

4. Bully-Proofing Your Center: Durriyyah Kemp, U-I Extension. Explore how your center, home, or classroom can be bully-proof! This interactive workshop will provide educators and parents with tools to assess and address bullying in early childhood, create collaborative agreements, and experience engaging activities that can be incorporated into everyday learning. (Gateways Credit: 2 hours in Interactions, Relationships, and Environments)

5. Put it in Writing: Knowing what belongs in your contract and handbook: Linda Butkovich, McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership. Contracts and parent handbooks are two of the most important documents a family childcare provider can have; yet, providers sometimes struggle when trying to create them. Using the Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care (BAS) as a guide, participants will learn the most important elements of contracts and parent handbooks and how to organize each document in a way that will protect your business and help bridge communication between your business and the families you serve. (Gateways Credit: 2 hours in Family and Community Relationships) 

6. Credit and Budgeting: Kendall Reid, Kingdom Community, Inc.: Are you planning to save money for a car, a home, or a college education? Or would you like some tips on how to make ends meet each month? Do you want to know how to build a good credit score or how to repair your not-so-good credit? This interactive workshop will take you through the basics of credit and budgeting, and will show you what steps you can take today to start on the path to a solid financial future. (Gateways credit not available for this workshop)

7. Creating Individual Professional Development Plans: Camille Gant, Quality Care Educational Services. Staff professional development is an integral component of improving the quality of your childcare business. In this workshop, you will learn to clearly define and explain the value of professional development plans as they relate to growth potential and success, and how to individual PD plans for your staff that best meet their needs and the needs of your childcare business. (Gateways Credit: 2 hours in Personal and Professional Development)

8. Trauma and Childhood Exposure to Violence: Marlita White, Chicago Safe Start.Exposure to violence in the home, at school, or in the community can be very harmful to children. This workshop will help educators, childcare providers, parents, grandparents, and staff at child- and youth-serving organizations to identify signs of trauma in children and to respond in ways that support healing and growth. (Gateways Credit: 2 hours in Health, Safety, and Well-Being)

9.  COFI Parent Engagement Workshop:  Maralda Davis, Gloria Harris, and Michelle Morton, COFI PARENT-PAC Leaders; Patricia Islas, Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI).  At this workshop, staff and parent leaders from Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI) will present on COFI’s proven model of parent leadership and engagement, Family Focused Organizing. Over the past 20 years, COFI has trained and supported more than 3,300 low-income parents, including parents of very young children, to become powerful leaders in their own lives, families, communities and in larger systems.  In this workshop, participants will learn some of the tools and principles of COFI’s parent engagement work and will meet parent leaders who are taking action to make their communities and public policies more family friendly, particularly around early childhood issues.  Parent leaders will also present on some of their innovative projects in which families, schools, and communities are coming together to improve the lives of young children.  (Gateways credit not available for this workshop.)

 Register here for morning workshops:


For more information please call Amy Voege at 773.417.8601

The event is organized by Austin Coming Together (ACT). ACT is a member based 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to increase the collective impact of our member organizations on education and economic development outcomes in the Austin community of Chicago.