Conestoga news

March 18, 2002 12:55 PM

Early Childhood Educators Convene at Conestoga

It’s all about professionalism and caring service.

That’s the message and purpose of “Where It All Begins . . .2002", a conference for approximately 500 early childhood educators set for Conestoga College in Kitchener on March 22 - 23. The event, which will attract ECE practitioners, managers and educators, is co-sponsored by kidsLINK/NDSA Preschool Support Services, the Region of Waterloo Child Care Division and the Child Studies Department of Conestoga College. kidsLINK is a not-for-profit child and family service organization offering services ranging from information, education, prevention and early intervention through to clinical therapy and intensive school and residential treatment.

The conference has a dual purpose, both aspects of which are important at a time when ECE professionals are more needed than ever in their communities, yet are stressed by financial and operational constraints. Workshops and sessions are geared to both professional and personal issues, as well as new programs and techniques for effective education in the early years.

All sessions are at the Doon campus of Conestoga College.

Friday night is devoted to registration, networking and a keynote address by Paul Huschilt -- “A Pat on the Back”. Thinker, practitioner, educator and performer, Paul Huschilt is an expert in the area of personal evaluation and growth. He has credentials in management, fine arts, education and career counselling, and his many careers have provided him with many valuable insights. He has worked in insurance, opera, theatre, travel and fundraising, in capa cities as diverse as actor, classical singer, comedian, storyteller, counsellor/facilitator, even computer programmer. His address begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 22.

Saturday, March 23 is devoted to workshops, as each participant will choose a morning and afternoon session from a menu of 28 available sessions. Topics cover professional concerns (such as resiliency, legal implications of report writing, efficiencies of shared-services partnerships and the need for work-life balance) as well as planning and implementation of ECE programs and activities (such as coping with bullies, nutrition planning and counselling, effects of domestic violence and “toyrobics”).

Workshop presenters come from postsecondary institutions, resource centres, community agencies, public health units and private practice from across southern Ontario.

An additional feature of the conference will be displays by more than 30 exhibitors during the lunch break on Saturday from 11:15 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. On display will be information on community resources and agencies; toys, books and other learning materials; and child care products.

CONTACT: Judi Neufeld, kidsLINK/NDSA, 519-741-1122 <>