Where Is the Conference Located?

Celebrating Connections 2019 will be located at the Charleston Civic Center across the street from the Town Center Mall in downtown Charleston, West Virginia. Parking at the Civic Center parking garage is $3 per day. Town Center Mall parking is $1.75 per day. Thankfully construction on the building is now complete, so all sessions will be held in the renovated Charleston Civic Center.

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Is There a Central Information Office at the Conference?

Information about special events, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, transportation, places of interest in Charleston, first aid or other emergency needs, and a lost and found is available at the Information Desk in the Registration Area. You may also contact the Charleston Visitor’s Bureau for more area information at (304)344-5075.

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While every effort is made to ensure this conference is as barrier-free as possible, some challenges may still exist. Your expertise and feedback in barrier identification will allow us to remedy these areas of concern for future events.

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Community Bulletin Boards.

Visit our Community Bulletin Board located in our Registration area for information on the job market, last minute conference changes, and community events. Conference participants may post their qualifications or job vacancies here. Conference staff may also post last minute communication about conference changes here. Although most changes will be communicated through our conference Facebook page. Anyone attending the conference is also encouraged to share information about local community events for early childhood professionals of families.

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Electronic Handouts

Handouts will be available on the Celebrating Connections website for participants prior to attending the conference. Visit the Conference Handouts tab as the conference approaches to print your handouts. As we move forward with this effort to "go green" please note that no handouts will be given out during the conference unless they are provided by the presenter.

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Children at the Conference.

Please do not bring children to the conference with you while you attend sessions. It can be disruptive to the learning atmosphere when young children are in the sessions.

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A Word of Caution.

Unfortunately, losses and thefts occur whenever large numbers of people meet. Please exercise adequate precautionary measures. The Civic Center and conference sponsors are not responsible for the loss or theft of any item.

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What is the Exhibit Hall and When is it Open?

The Exhibit Hall is a central area where participants can browse various information booths of area businesses related to the early childhood field. Most vendors have something unique to give away and/or purchase, so drop by and see what you can find! The Exhibit Hall will be open during the following times:

 Wednesday  7:30 am-4:30 pm
 Thursday  7:30 am-5 pm
 Friday  7:30 am-1:30 pm

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Early Childhood Resource Lending Library (ECRLL).

The ECRLL is a statewide resource and lending library for early childhood providers. Be sure and visit the Exhibit Hall where a display of resource materials and resource lists will be available.

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What Are the Benefits of Registering Early and How Do I Register?

Registering early not only helps ensure workshop selections, but is also the greatest savings. You can save up to $50.00 by registering early!

Early registration deadline is provided on the registration form. Any registration forms sent to the WVECTCR office after the deadline, will be returned UNPROCESSED. If your registration is returned, you need to bring your registration form and payment with you to the conference for on-site registration.

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When Can I Register On-Site?

On-site registration and other information will be provided at the registration table and will adhere to the following schedule:

 Wednesday  7:30am-4:30pm
 Thursday  7:30am-5 pm
 Friday  7:30am-12 pm

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Why Does My Name Badge Have a List of Workshops On It?

If you pre-register, you will receive your name badge and confirmation letter in the mail. Your name badge serves as your ID card for the conference by admitting you to all workshop sessions and special events. Your badge indicates the workshops you pre-selected to attend. DO NOT LOSE YOUR CONFERENCE NAME BADGE. If you lose your name badge, please contact the WVECTCR office at 304-529-7603 or 888-983-2827 as soon as possible. If you are unable to call, please go to the conference registration area designated for "help line". Conference committee members will be available to help you with any questions you might have regarding this process. Help us reduce waste by recycling your badge holder. Just drop it off at the registration area in the Civic Center before leaving the conference.

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How Can I Receive Credit for Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?

During each workshop, presenters will pass around a CEU sign-in sheet. You must complete this sign-in sheet in order to receive full credit for attendance.

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Are There Stipends Available?

Stipends are available for PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS BIRTH THROUGH 8 and CHILD CARE PROVIDERS who are unable to receive financial support from their affiliated agency. Stipends will be available beginning February 25, 2019. As part of receiving stipend support to attend the conference, stipend recipients will be asked to monitor one or more of their sessions. Monitoring includes assisting the presenter as needed (if requested), passing out attendance sheets, etc. Monitors will receive an instruction sheet with all the directions needed to complete this task and a list of the assigned sessions. Celebrating Connections will also be offering additional stipends this year for those specifically living in the Huntington greater area. This is a result of the generosity of the former Huntington Area Early Childhood Conference (HAECC). Please contact conference coordinator LeAnn Ruddle for more details.

If you are interested in applying for a stipend, please contact LeAnn Ruddle at West Virginia Early Childhood Training Connections and Resources (WVECTCR) at 304-529-7603 or 888- 983-2827 for eligibility and award amounts. Stipends are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and funds are LIMITED. Stipends will be awarded based upon number of days of attendance. Child care centers will be limited to 3 stipends. WVECTCR reserves the right to decline an application for a stipend at any time. If you receive a stipend and are unable to attend the conference, please let WVECTCR know immediately so the funds can be allocated to someone else.

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Reading the Workshop Descriptions.

Workshop descriptions explain the presentation content and identify who benefits most from each workshop. Participants are encouraged to read each description thoroughly before making final selections.

The word LIMITED means the presenter has asked for the number of participants to be limited. The conference committee respects this limit in order to enhance the learning environment. Register as early as possible to maximize your chances of getting the workshop you want. All other workshop limits are based on the audience seating capacity of the room (based on fire safety code). Workshops will close when room capacity is reached.

In an effort to help you make informed decisions, each presenter has indicated the training content targeted area for each session. Please use the following legend to help you choose your sessions:

Training Content Targeted Area:
  • I-Infants
  • T-Toddlers
  • P-Preschoolers
  • S-School Age
  • M-Mixed Age Groups
  • SN-Children with Special Needs
  • A-Adults (content not applicable to a child's age)
  • HV-Home Visitors

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One Day Institutes and Concurrent Conference Sessions.

One Day Institutes are in-depth, practical workshops scheduled for 6 hours on Wednesday. Concurrent sessions are 3 hours on Wednesday morning and afternoon, as well as Thursday afternoon. Shorter concurrent 1.5 hour sessions will also be offered on Thursday morning, Friday morning and Friday afternoon.

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WV Core Knowledge and Competencies.

West Virginia Core Knowledge and Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals are a core body of knowledge relating to the developmentally appropriate, family-centered, and child-nurturing practices needed by all those who care for and educate young children. The core competencies are necessary to promote the optimal development of all children, including those with special needs, and to address the needs of families. The workshops presented at Celebrating Connections Conference meet contact hours for Early Care and Education Competencies and Infant/Toddler Mental Health Competencies.

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Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

The conference committee is working to receive approval for graduate credit (must attend 3 days of the conference) and CEUs in Social Work, Nursing, WV Birth to Three, WV STARS, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Language Pathology, Counseling, and Professional Development Graduate Hours. For more information regarding CEUs, please ask a conference member at the conference.

In order to receive CEUs for each session, you must be present for the entire session and sign the attendance sheets. It is your responsibility to document CEU credits.

Use the CEU certificate in the back of this program to record your participation. Please review your CEU/licensing certification requirements before attending the conference. We hope this will be helpful to you when applying for credit when you return home.

Please do not give or send the conference committee any of your CEU forms or information.

We do not submit your CEU forms to your licensing body. Monitors will not pass around attendance sheets until the last 15 minutes of the session, so please do not expect them to make exceptions.

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Smoking is not permitted in the Charleston Civic Center.

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Fire Safety.

To prepare for the unlikely event of a fire or other emergencies requiring rapid departure, please locate all exit doors and routes upon entering any room.

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Where Can I Eat Lunch?

A networking luncheon is planned for each day of the conference. The buffet luncheon will be served at the Civic Center. The cost of the buffet is approximately $12.00. There are also numerous restaurants within walking distance.

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Please be courteous to your fellow participants and presenters by turning off cell phones and limiting talking during presentations.

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Accommodations for Nursing Mothers.

A room will be designated for nursing mothers who need to pump during the day. Please see the registration desk for more information.

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The conference committee members do not get a chance to attend the sessions or participate in every conference-related activity. Therefore, we would like not only your suggestions, but your compliments, so we can discover what works and what should be changed. Please take time to complete the overall conference evaluation form so we can continue to produce a quality conference. We appreciate and value your feedback.

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