Spanning prenatal development to age eight, early childhood provides the building blocks for learning and participation throughout an individual’s life. The first 1000 days of a baby’s life are the most critical to the development of neural pathways that lead to cognitive, linguistic and socio-emotional pathways, predictors of positive outcomes later in life.

All children have the right to shine and flourish, regardless of the circumstances they are born into. Each child has individual strengths and varied needs for support in order to grow into their full potential. As parents and caretakers, educators, support providers, and community members, we must nurture and celebrate each child. Early support, including early education and early intervention services, play an important role in helping young children to flourish in early childhood and beyond.

The early childhood strand aims to shed light on what is going right in the field and how we might spread this hope to as many individuals and organizations as possible. Please allow this strand to be the conduit for sharing your wonderful experiences, approaches, research, lessons learned, and tried-and-true as well as innovative programs.

How can young children and their families be empowered to flourish? How can we support positive engagement in families as well as between families and the community, including schools and support services? How can culture-based and place-based strategies be implemented in early childhood programs? What partnerships and long-term strategies are needed to optimize the developmental outcomes of young children with and without special needs? We welcome innovative proposals that touch different disciplines and have the potential to advance service, education, and research.

We are looking for early childhood proposals in the following areas:

  • Best practices for fostering flourishing and positive engagement at the individual, program, and systems levels;
  • Models of successful partnerships and collaboration in the early childhood field;
  • Personal stories of how early childhood supports helped you or your family member, including insights for current early educators or program administrators to replicate this success with others;
  • Original innovative research or a meta-analysis of research in early childhood (effective strategies, learning environments, family involvement, brain research, child development, technology, diverse abilities and special needs, culture, economic impacts, resiliency)
  • Programs and strategies that optimize the developmental outcomes of babies, infants and young children;
  • Best practices for supporting students with special needs in inclusive settings;
  • International perspectives on early childhood programs, practices, and approaches including culture-based and/ or place-based models;
  • Visioning the future of early childhood education and new paradigms of support, care, and connection.

If you have a proposal that may not fit in to the above targets, we will welcome them as part of our discussion. We welcome proposals in any presentation format. We are especially looking for hands-on workshops. Please see presentation formats on our webpage at Please check the criteria for each format and ensure that you have the appropriate number of presenters for your chosen format.

You may submit proposals online at: or send your proposals via email to

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