October 14 | Making Connections Annual Conference

Hilton Garden Inn | 235 Hoosick Street, Troy

Make your connection with inspiration, education, and the opportunity to meet and share ideas with peers at Making Connections. Join the early childhood and school-age community from all over the Capital Region for a one of a kind day filled with powerful, educational workshops focused on understanding children. Among the presenters, you’ll find experts in the area of child development, nutrition and movement, child care business operations and much more. Connect with the skills you need to discover and nurture children’s growth and development.

AGENDA

Check in: 7:15am | Vendors and Refreshments

Morning Sessions: 8:15am–10:15am

INFANT | FUN WAYS TO PLAY WITH INFANTS TO ENHANCE THEIR MOVEMENT AND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
These easy and effective activities are from the Nurturing Pathways® curriculum and are implemented by an adult with one infant at a time. Each developmentally appropriate activity is designed to enhance infants’ sensory and motor system and brain development. Practice these fun activities with infants for a few minutes at a time and help infants experience the joy of movement. 
Diane Craft, PhD, Consultant on Early Childhood Physical Activity | OCFS: 1, 2, 3 | CBK: 1, 4, 5 | Register>>

TODDLER | TEACH MUSIC TO TODDLERS
Enjoy a hands-on music experience designed to help you teach music to toddlers. This session will include practice with different elements of music: for example, rhythm sticks and clapping games to teach rhythm, songs to teach dynamics, high/low games to teach pitch, and dances to teach tempo. With your new understanding of music, you will be able to adapt each activity to your program and understand how music builds community.
Noel Liberty, Founder/Director, The Music Studio | OCFS: 1|CBK: 1, 4 | Register>>

HEALTH | VISION AND AUTISM
Vision is our dominant sense with 80 percent of what we learn comes to us by way of eyesight. This session will discuss the role of vision in the development and show the role developmental optometry plays in the child with autism.
Dr. Robert Fox, OD, FCOVD, Fox Vision Development Center Lisa Frankle, Autism Specialist/Behavior Consultant/Special Educator, Dynamic Minds OCFS: 1 | CBK: 1 | Register>>

SCHOOL-AGE | DISCOVERING GIFTS AND TALENTS
Identify a few of your gifts and talents. Explore Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Practice some activities from NASA’s “Train Like an Astronaut” curriculum and evaluate how to do them safely. Intentionally plan lessons that inspire school-age children to develop their many gifts and talents.
Bonnie Schultz, RD, CDCCCC and former Science Teacher OCFS: 3 | CBK: 4 | Register>>

PRESCHOOL | LITERACY AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Early childhood is a critical period in which children develop skills to understand and use language. In this session, we will explore research-based practices that promote communication, reading and writing skills. Participants will apply these strategies to their setting and design open-ended questions, a read-aloud lesson plan and writing activities for play-based centers.
Jessica Orellana, Social Emotional Development Educator, CDCCCC OCFS: 1, 3 | CBK: 1, 4 | Register>>

PRESCHOOL | CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS
This session is an in-depth study of functions of challenging behavior to better understand why a child is misbehaving. Is the child over or under-stimulated? Attention seeking? Escaping or avoiding? This session will allow for participants to analyze and practice positive guidance methods in addressing challenging behavior.
Kimberly Polstein, LMSW, Director of Development Education, CDCCCC OCFS: 1, 3 | CBK: 1, 4 | Register>>

PRESCHOOL | MATH AND SCIENCE ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Participants will discover how to create skill-based math and science activities for children 2 to 6 years old. We’ll explore how to engage young children in the development of math and science concepts and vocabulary through hands-on activities that use the dough, exploration tubs, charts and graphs, and manipulatives. Participants will walk away with ideas that promote an understanding of time, patterns, sequencing and more.
Lauren Cohen, Creative Director, The Wonder Room Chris Stack, Education Director, The Wonder Room OCFS: 1, 3 | CBK: 1, 4 | Register>>

DIRECTOR | IMMUNIZATIONS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
The NYS Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) is a tool that allows you to access all the immunizations administered in NYS. With a Health Commerce Account you will be able to utilize this tool! In this session, you will learn how to register for NYSIIS read-only access and how to put it to good use for your program and your families. This session will provide current immunization requirements and recommendations. Trends in lead level follow up will also be discussed.
Lisa Phillips, BSN, RN, Director of Patient Services, Rensselaer County Health Department | OCFS: 5 | CBK: 6, 7 | Register>>

EN ESPANOL | CUIDANDO DE TI MISMO
Este será un taller interactivo y de reflexión de dos horas. Tendremos actividades interactivas, preguntas y reflexiones acerca del cuidado de ti mismo. Aprenderemos como manejar el tiempo para poder sacar tiempo de calidad para cuidar de uno mismo. El taller también proporcionará recursos y la oportunidad para que el participante se comunique y comparta ideas.
Paula Abreu, Education/Disability Manager, Eastconn | OCFS: 5 | CBK: 6 | Register>>

Mid-Morning Sessions: 10:30am-12:30pm

INFANT | A GIFT OF LOVE: ATTACHMENT, SEPARATION AND SAFETY
Positive, supportive attachment and separation are an important part of a child’s life. As a way to connect with the needs of the children in our care we will watch a video chronicling a 17 month old child placed in overnight nursery care for 9 days. We will assess his experience as it relates to attachment, separation, and safety and explores how his needs and experiences can inform the care we provide.
Dr. Abigail McNamee, Professor Emerita | OCFS: 1 | CBK: 1, 2 | Register>>

TODDLER | TAMING TODDLERS: SUCCESSFULLY ENGAGING TWO-YEAR-OLDS IN FUN PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES
Learn strategies for leading loosely structured, non-competitive, fun physical activities that encourage young children to explore and experiment with movement. Enjoy playing some of these activities, too!
Diane Craft, PHD, Consultant on Early Childhood Physical Activity OCFS: 1, 2, 3 | CBK: 1, 4, 5 | Register>>

HEALTH | BRUSH UP ON DENTAL HEALTH
Learn how to implement best practice regarding dental care in your program. In this hands-on session you will explore the importance of dental care in the child care setting and develop a dental care plan that meets the needs of the children in your care in a practical way. You will create a toothbrush storage center and practice multiple child-focused dental care lessons.
Rachel Mandel, RN, Child Care Health Consultant, CDCCCC | OCFS: 2 | CBK: 5 | Register>>

SCHOOL-AGE | PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES FOR SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN
Come ready to play! In this session we will discuss developmentally appropriate physical activity for school-age children. Participants will then engage in many different activities to encourage physical development and teamwork in their program.
Erin Broderick, Capacity Building Director, NYS Network for Youth Success | OCFS: 1,3 | CBK: 4 | Register>>

PRESCHOOL | FAMILY ENGAGEMENT Learn the value of family engagement and reflect on your role with families as an early childhood educator. Practice communication skills, and learn about how you can use your knowledge of family dynamics to improve the quality of interactions between yourself and the family to meet best practice standards. Barbara Mitchell, LMHC, Social Emotional Development Educator, CDCCCC OCFS: 3, 4 | CBK: 2 | Register>>

PRESCHOOL | LEARN AS YOU PLAY
Playing is fun and learning can be too. Join us to learn more about hands-on teaching methods that you can bring back to your own school or classroom. We will cover innovative teaching methods on how to best prepare teachers to teach in play-based schools. Get ready to have fun, play and learn! Check out our blog at https://learnasyouplay.net
Shann Acevedo, Pre K 3 Teacher and founder of Learn as You Play Debbie Markland, Pre K Teacher and Education Consultant, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School | OCFS: 3 | CBK: 4 | Register>>

PRESCHOOL | EXPLORING ART WITH YOUNG CHILDREN
How do we encourage and nurture the artist in each young child? Primary art includes exploration of line, shape, space, and perspective as well as practice with perseverance, risk-taking and trial and error. Gather ideas for open-ended, process-oriented art activities. Discover activities that foster the development of self-expression, understanding of concepts, fine motor skills and the creative and practical uses of a variety of materials and tools.
Lauren Cohen, Creative Director, The Wonder Room
Chris Stack, Education Director, The Wonder Room | OCFS: 3 | CBK: 4 | Register>>

DIRECTOR | QUALITY FROM AN ADMINISTRATIVE PERSPECTIVE
Building quality programs starts at the top. Using the Program Administration Scale (PAS) is a way to measure that quality. This session will give an overview of the tool and how to score each indicator.
Heather Sweet, Director of Curriculum and Education, CDCCCC | OCFS: 5 | CBK: 7 | Register>>

EN ESPANOL | COME SANO
En este taller, exploraremos los diferentes grupos de alimentos utilizando el modelo MyPlate. MyPlate ayudará a los proveedores a analizar el estilo de alimentación saludable y una dieta equilibrada. Una dieta balanceada es clave para tener hábitos alimenticios saludables porque les brinda a los niños los nutrientes que necesitan para desarrollarse y crecer. Todo lo que le das a los niños para comer y beber es importante. También vamos a discutir la importancia de beber y comer menos sodio, grasas saturadas y azúcares agregados.
Alfred Feliciano, Nutrition Educator, Hispanic Health Council| OCFS: 2|CBK: 5 | Register>>

Lunch: 12:30–1:45pm | Visit the Vendors | Flu Shots Available until 1:30pm

Afternoon Sessions: 1:45pm-3:45pm

INFANT | YOUR BABY IS SPEAKING TO YOU—ARE YOU LISTENING?
Learning to read and understand how our youngest children communicate is a skill that can be learned with time and is very revealing. Young babies are thinkers who are relying on our ability to follow their lead and meet their needs. It’s our job to read their cues and follow along.
Ann Fraser, Training Coordinator & Infant-Toddler SPECIALIST OCFS: 1, 2, 3 | CBK: 1, 4 | Register>>

TODDLER | INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION
A thoughtfully arranged learning environment invites toddlers to explore independently. Join us for hands-on exploration of room arrangement and area development. We will create environments that encourage children to move about freely, building independence and confidence as they explore and learn.
Sara Baldwin, Infant Toddler Regional Specialist, CDCCCC| OCFS: 1, 3 | CBK: 1, 4 | Register>>

HEALTH | BUILDING RESILIENT COMMUNITIES
This is a multimedia session, with interactive activities and videos that highlight and build skills and knowledge around:
-Adverse Childhood Experiences Study
-How childhood trauma affects health and social emotional behaviors across a lifetime
-What is resilience and how can we build it
-Introduction into the Protective Factors Framework and an explanation of each of the 5 protective factors
Brittany Enekes, Prevention Development Coordinator, Prevent Child Abuse New York OCFS: 6 | CBK: 1, 2, 5 | Register>>

SCHOOL-AGE | SOCIAL EMOTIONAL SKILL BUILDING IN SCHOOL-AGE CARE
Children need social emotional security throughout their development. As children grow up, it can be difficult to help them effectively deal with the real-life challenges they face. This session explores the skills children need to be successful and the ways out of school programs can help guide them.
Jacqueline Farmer, Early Childhood Educator, CDCCCC | OCFS: 1, 3 | CBK: 1 | Register>>

PRESCHOOL | CULTIVATING COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS: FRAMEWORK FOR AN ANTI-BIAS APPROACH
Learn to create courageous conversations around anti-bias education in your preschool classroom. We will share activities that have led to enlightening conversations in our own classrooms, as well as provide tools and resources to implement an anti-bias culture. Learn to evaluate and create one’s environment to ensure that it provides windows and mirrors for all children.
Shann Acevedo, Pre K 3 Teacher and founder of Learn as You Play
Molly Collier, Pre K Teacher and Education Consultant, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School| OCFS: 3 | CBK: 4 | Register>>

PRESCHOOL | ACTIVE PLAY! FUN, PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Learn fun, inclusive, developmentally appropriate physical activities that use inexpensive equipment, small spaces, and work well in home-based and center-based child care settings. View videos of three- to five-year-old children playing these fun activities and try a few, too!
Diane Craft, PHD, Consultant on Early Childhood Physical Activity| OCFS: 1 | CBK: 1, 3 | Register>>

PRESCHOOL | YOGA FOR PRESCHOOLERS
Yoga and mindfulness have been shown to improve both physical and mental health in preschool children and their teachers. Attend this session to learn more about how yoga can improve memory, self-esteem, academic performance, classroom behavior, and reduce stress and anxiety in children. Yoga is an accessible and tangible tool that can build confidence, strength and mind-body awareness. Movement breaks and demonstrations will be included in this session so wear clothes you can move in.
Hannah Wise, RD, CDCCCC| OCFS: 2, 3 | CBK: 1, 5 | Register>>

DIRECTOR | PREVENTING SUSPENSIONS AND EXPULSION BY PROMOTING SOCIAL EMOTIONAL HEALTH
The NYS Council on Children and Families has explored suspensions and expulsions related to children in early childhood settings. The Council issued two surveys to better understand and respond to the challenges faced by providers in supporting young children who exhibit challenging behaviors. During the presentation you will receive an overview of the survey results, hear about the action steps by the state, and progress that has been made on the Pyramid Model.
Stephanie Woodard, Senior Policy Analyst, NYS Council on Children and Families OCFS: 1 | CBK: 7 | Register>>

EN ESPANOL | CRECIENDO LA PARTICIPACIÓN DE LAS FAMILIAS EN SU PROGRAMA
Aprenda cómo llevar su comunicación con las familias al siguiente nivel empleando estrategias para fomentar el compromiso familiar. Obtendrá ideas para implementar un plan de compromiso familiar que cumpla con los estándares de conocimientos básicos de NYS para profesionales de la primera infancia.
Andrea Adrian, Group Family Child Care Provider, Andrea’s Daycare | OCFS: 4 | CBK: 2 | Register>>

FINANCIAL AID

VOICE/CSEA for Family/Group Child Care and legally exempt Providers

Family/Group Family and Legally Exempt providers may ATTEND FREE WITH VOICE/CSEA by visiting VOICE/CSEA online at HTTPS://CSEALEARNINGCENTER.ORG/GRANTS/CSEAPROFDEV.CFM, then call the Child Care Council to register

Educational Incentive Program (EIP)

Scholarship funding may be available for Family/Group, Center and School-age programs through the Educational Incentive Program (EIP). Visit ECETP online at HTTPS://WWW.ECETP.PDP.ALBANY.EDU/INDEX.ASPX

COST:

Members-Only Early Bird register by September 6: $100

Register by September 30: $110 ($130 Non-member)

After September 30: $120 ($140 Non-member)

*Online registration requires a credit card payment at checkout