The early childhood programs of West Virginia welcome you to the nineteenth annual Celebrating Connections Conference. The success of the early childhood community begins with you as educators. Your enthusiasm is the reason for Celebrating Connections’ success. This year’s conference has been designed to provide relevant information about practices, policies, planning and research that enhances community partnerships and quality in early care and education. You will also have the opportunity to network with other professionals and participate in a diverse array of early childhood education discussions. All those involved in the conference would like to thank you for your continued dedication to young children.

West Virginia's Annual Early Childhood Conference is sponsored by:

WV Department of Education:

  • Office of Special Programs.
  • Office of Early Learning.

WV Dept. of Health & Human Resources:

  • Bureau for Public Health/Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health/WV Birth to Three & WV Home Visitation.
  • Bureau for Children and Families/Division of Early Care and Education.
  • WV Head Start State Collaboration Office.

Conference Planning Committee:

 Ginger Huffman, Chair
LeAnn Murray, Coordinator

Michele Baranaskas Teresa Lawlor
Suzi Brodof Jackie Newson
Melanie Clark Pam Roush
Michelle Comer Melissa Smith
Trella Coppola Elizabeth Teel
Rhonda Fisher Debbie Withrow
Olivia Gregorich Mel Woodcock
Lesa Groves Stephanie Young
Brooke Hunter Sheila Zickefoose

Conference Objectives:

  • Promote effective and positive practices when working with children and families.
  • Highlight state and local programs which demonstrate effective practices with young children and families.
  • Share information regarding community collaboration.
  • Provide networking opportunities for the early childhood community.
  • Learn practical solutions for community involvement and supporting families.
  • Create an opportunity for early childhood programs to better understand each other through common experiences.
  • Create opportunities to learn about program specifics such as policies, standards, and transition procedures for Head Start, public/private/special education preschool, Early Head Start, child care, WV Birth to Three, Home Visitation, and the Universal Pre-k system.
  • Develop strategies to advocate for young children and families in the state within early care and education.
  • Create an environment that fosters collaboration within the early care and education community.