Beginnings

Spanning prenatal development to age eight, early childhood provides the building blocks for learning and participation throughout an individual’s life. The first one-thousand days of a baby’s life are the most critical to the development of neural pathways that lead to positive outcomes later on. Regardless of the circumstances they are born into, all children require support in order to grow into their full potential and realize their individual strengths.

As parents, caretakers, educators, healthcare providers and community members, how can we support the positive development of children in our families and communities? How can culture-based and place-based strategies be implemented in early childhood school programs and services? What partnerships and other long-term approaches are needed to optimize the developmental outcomes of young children with and without special needs?

Innovative answers are proffered in a variety of ways within this vital topic area. A breakout session led by Misty Campbell champions the value of early planning and teamwork within the nuclear family as a determinant for a child’s long-term success.  A seminar on how to identify the signs of complex disabilities in young children and how to expedite appropriate services if needed is led by Robin Greenfield.  Just right for early childhood professionals, Ted Burke offers a session focused on recommendations under Division for Early Childhood—or DEC, designed to bridge the gap between research and best practice. In all, the topic of early childhood is illuminated by more than one-dozen presenters who are bound to trigger added ideas for innovation within our vigorous discussion.   

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For more information about this topic area, please contact the Chair, Naomi Rombaoa Tanaka at nrombaoa@hawaii.edu. For general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at cccrocke@hawaii.edu, (808) 956-7539. For registration questions please contact the registration desk at (808) 956-8816, fax (808) 956- 4437 or email prreg@hawaii.edu.