Quality Start San Bernardino County (QSSB) presented the 2nd Annual QSSB Early Childhood Conference on July 13th and 14th, at Cal State San Bernardino. This sold out conference brought together nearly 300 early childhood educators from around the county to grow their skills, network with their peers, and receive much deserved encouragement and support.
The Necessity of Self-Care
The theme of the conference was “How Does Your Garden Grow,” which heavily focused on the necessity of self-care as a key element in optimal work performance and positive day to day interactions with children and families. Each attendee was given a bag with tea, inspirational quotes, tactile tangles, healthy snack packs and water. They were even able to choose health and movement sessions like yoga and Zumba. One highlight was the interactive fun zone which allowed educators time to get to know one another in the ball pit, take pictures in the photo booth, and express themselves creatively through painting.
The Participant Experience
On both days the educators were treated to two uplifting keynote speakers. Friday featured Dr. Kathleen Van Antwerp, an advocate for childhood justice and founder of One Circle Inc., a nonprofit organization that advocates for abused and neglected children. Dr. Van Antwerp encouraged the crowd to remember the positive impact they have on their students and the heroes who inspire them to keep doing their very best work. Saturday’s keynote JT Turner, a comedian and motivational speaker with experience in the early childhood field, entertained the crowd with laughable and relatable anecdotes of parenthood and life as an early educator.
Attendees were able to choose three breakout sessions per day that were most applicable to them including: environment and safety, infants and toddler, relationship building, child guidance, and more. Educators expressed their excitement about attending again next year and even asked for some of their favorite presenters to return. Deborah Wasbotten, director of Crafton Hills College Early Childhood Center said, “I just have to say what a great conference. I am amazed at the job you all did. I put plus signs after the ‘excellent’ on some of my evaluations. Great job, thank you!”
The Heart Behind the Conference
“The annual QSSB Conference is our way of giving back to and supporting our providers who work hard year round to provide quality services to the children and families in our community. It was truly a pleasure to watch it all come together, to speak to so many attendees, receive their feedback, and ultimately to know they each took something that they could use in their daily life. As we know, when we can better take care of ourselves and are aware of our own well-being we are better able to help those around us,” related QSSB Professional Development Coach Dominique Metoyer.
QSSB’s regular training opportunities for participants will resume in August. Email us if you’d like to be notified about future professional development courses or check out our website calendar.
If you are not yet enrolled in QSSB, don’t miss your chance to apply this fall! Share your information with us here and we’ll notify you when enrollment opens.