Past Conferences


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  • 2020 First 1,000 Days Early Head Start Conference | August 10-12, 2020 – Virtual and On-Demand

    Due to Covid-19, the 2020 conference went online in 2020. With the Region 9 HSA’s association-wide theme of “Stay Connected, Stay Invested,” the event theme highlighted capacity-building activities for responding to and advancing in the face of adversity.

    A rich and balanced curriculum featured four content tracks: Early Head Start Center Based, Home Visiting, Family Child Care, and Leadership. Each track offered a selection of 12 education sessions over the course of the conference. In addition, pre-conference, deep learning sessions, general session keynotes, networking, and an afterglow event for attendees and their families were held.

    The keynote address “Research to Practice” on Day 1 was presented by Debra Pacchiano, Ph.D., a vice president of translational research at the Ounce of Prevention Fund. An educational psychologist, she focuses on early childhood intervention and education settings. She served previously as a special education administrator in a large, public school system.

    Day 2 keynote presentation was “Voices from the States Panel” with Camille Maben and Marilee Dal Pra. Maben is Executive Director of First 5 California, a role she held since 2012. She is responsible for staffing the California Children and Families Commission, in addition to directing the work of the agency and its staff. Maben has served on the Rocklin Unified School District for more than 20 years.

    Dal Pra is Chief Executive Officer for First Things First. Prior to joining FTF, she was Vice President for Programs at Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, where she led the foundation’s community initiatives and strategic program development, including being a driving force behind efforts such as Read On Arizona, the state’s third-grade reading initiative.

    Day 3’s keynote session “The Power of Kindness” by husband-and-wife team Jason and Kim Kotecki. Jason Kotecki is an artist, author. He is the author of five books, including Penguins Can’t Fly +39 Other Rules That Don’t Exist. In 2005, Jason and his wife Kim co-founded The Cure Adultitis Institute, a mission-based organization focused on the awareness and early detection of Adultitis.

    The Closing Session address “Call to Action for the Babies” was presented by David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. He is the former executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, which works across federal agencies and with partners and communities nationwide to produce a more effective continuum of education programs for African American students.

  • 2019 First 1,000 Days Early Head Start Conference | August 5 – 7, 2019 – Hilton Costa Mesa, CA

    Region 9 HSA launched this EHS event in 2019. This new conference focused on supporting Early Head Start, Home Visitors, Family Child Care Partners, and all professionals who work on the development of children and families, during the first three years of life.

    The three-day conference featured opening keynote speaker Julie Kurtz, M.S., with a presentation on Growing Human(e) Beings: A Job of Superheroes. Kurtz is the co-author of Trauma-Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators: Relationship-Based Approaches that Support Healing and Build Resilience in Young Children. She is the creator of the APP for children 3-8 years old to promote sensory and emotional literacy and to support self-regulation called Trigger Stop: Sensory and Emotional Check-in designed specifically for Android tablets.

    Closing keynote speaker Dr. Ross Thompson, an internationally recognized authority on the psychological development of young children, presented “How to Think Like a Baby.” Thompson is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, where he directs the Social and Emotional Development Lab. He offered attendees an understanding of toddlers’ developing brain with early experiences in both typical and at-risk children.

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