Early Childhood Education Conference

February 4, 2023
Central Community College
3134 W Highway 34, Grand Island, Nebraska

Registrations are closed for this conference.

Conference Schedule

7:15 - 8:15 a.m. Check-in is located inside the main entrance Entrances are available from the north and south parking lots. Vendors will be in the hallways and refreshments in the 500 Heath/Science wing

8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sessions: You have the option to select 3 sessions from 4 available topics.

Lunch: A boxed lunch is provided with choice of roast beef, chicken or grilled veggie sandwich. Lunch also includes chips, cookie and drink.

General Conference Information

All sessions are approved for licensing in-service requirements (all day = 6 hours). Every effort is made to provide programs as listed. On occasion some presenters cancel and cannot be replaced. We apologize for any inconvenience this may create.

Emergency phone number available the day of the conference is 308-398-7447. Out of consideration for all participants, no children are allowed at the conference. A lactation room is available on campus if needed.

Please dress in layers. Room temperatures my vary, and as personal preferences differ, it may be very difficult to keep everyone comfortable in a large group.

NOTE: CCC will observe local health-directed measures at all campuses and centers regarding Covid-19. Masks are not required but highly recommended. Subject to change per health directives.


Choose one session from each time block.

8:30 - 10:30 a.m. (A, B, C or D)
11 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. (A, B, C or D)
2 - 4 p.m. (A, B, C or D)

A: Meltdowns in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Brenda Smith, Ph.D, Author, Presenter and Autism Advocate

Self-regulation challenges are among the most frequently observed behaviors in autistic children. Research shows a link between the autistic neurology and these behaviors, highlighting the need to understand these challenges and teach in meaningful strategies. This session will overview the three-stage meltdown cycle and discuss evidence-based strategies and prevention methods. It is important that those who work and live with autistic individuals and autistic individuals, themselves, understand the cycle of meltdowns as well as interventions that can be used during this cycle.

B: Milestones Matter: Celebrating Children's Development and Improving Early Identification

Dr. Kerry Miller, Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska

Typical child development usually follows a known and predictable course, and the acquisition of certain skills and abilities (developmental milestones) is used to gauge children's development. This session will discuss how these milestones form building blocks for growth and continued learning in typical development and what patterns of development may be early warning signs for developmental concern. Learn how you can use CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early” materials to celebrate children's development, and to improve early identification of children with developmental delays and disabilities.

C: Creating Outdoor Spaces

Katie Krause, Early Childhood Extension Educator

It’s not surprising that children of all ages love to be outside! During the session we will discuss the benefits of spending time outdoors (for children and adults!) We will share ideas for ways to create engaging outdoor spaces and ways to make your outdoor space your favorite place to be. Challenges of getting children outdoors will also be discussed and participants are encourage to ask questions and work together to come up with solutions.

D: Mindfulness and Compassion in Early Care and Education Settings: CHIME

Lynn DeVries and Jaci Foged, Early Childhood Extension Educators

The CHIME Program provides education and guidance on how to incorporate mindfulness and reflection into your early care and education setting. Engaging in mindfulness and reflective practice has many benefits for health and well-being, including reduced stress, improved emotion management, increased focus and attention, and enhanced relationships. Presenters will share our promising findings, provide resources to support children’s social and emotional learning how you can sign up to participate in the 8-week program.

Cancellations: No refund after January 27, 2023. Refunds will be given if the event is cancelled by the college. No alternate conference date is scheduled. For more information about the conference, please call 308-398-7447 or toll-free 1-877-222-0780, ext. 7447.


These and other exhibitors will be available the day of the conference.

  • Central Community College
  • Early Development Network/GIPS
  • Active Family Chiropractic and Acupuncture
  • Infant/Toddler Initiative
  • Rooted in Relationships/H3C/Sixpence-CCP
  • Derr’s Log Cabin
  • WMW Didactic Products
  • Provider’s Network, Inc.
  • Usborne Books & More
  • Grow with Words
  • Book Buddies
  • Learning Connections
  • NeAEYC
  • Family Service CCFP

Sponsored by: Central Community College‐Grand Island in collaboration with

  • Early Learning Connection ESU 10
  • Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
  • Nebraska Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Family Service Childcare Food Program-Lincoln
  • Step up to Quality
  • UNL in Hall, Hamilton and Merrick Counties

For questions regarding online registration, please call 308‐398‐7447.