8:00am - 10:00am - Trauma and Toxic Stress (Jennifer Novak, MSW; Zero to Three) It can be challenging to work with children who have experienced stress and trauma and it is vital that early childhood professionals are able to understand and be responsive to the needs of vulnerable children. Trauma is the emotional, psychological and physiological residue left over from heightened levels of toxic stress that accompanies experiences of danger, violence, significant loss and life threatening events. Young children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of trauma. This session shares the science behind trauma and toxic stress and strategies for supporting very young children and their families when they have a traumatic experience. Additionally, staff will gain an understanding of the types of stress and how to mediate stress so that it does not become toxic.
10:30am - 12:30pm - Foundations of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (Christy Stanton, LCSW) Responsive relationships with consistent primary caregivers help build secure attachments that support healthy social-emotional development. These relationships form the foundation of mental health for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. This session addresses a wide range of areas from the historical foundations of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, importance of attachment, building relationships, responsive caregiving as well as disorders that can disrupt these processes. Participants will gain a better understanding of the mental health needs of infants, toddlers, and young children and their families and strategies for supporting them.
12:30pm - Lunch Provided
2:00pm - 5:00pm - Strategies and Exercises to Promote Learning and Attention in the Classroom (Tiffany Higginbotham, MS, PT; Erin Reillly, Ph.D.) In this training session, participants will discuss cultural shifts that have possibly attributed to rises in shorter attentions spans, discoordination, and processing issues in children. We'll examine the science behind gross motor development and the correlation between early movement and future learning, coordination, and attention.