Dear Early Childhood Colleagues:

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (Department) Early Learning staff and the Conference on the Young Years (CYY) Planning Committee would like to extend a special invitation to you for the 41st Annual Conference on the Young Years. The theme of this year’s conference is Leadership begins with play. This is a wonderful opportunity to come and celebrate Missouri’s rich history of supporting the field of early childhood. The Department has always been committed to early childhood. Missouri’s Top 10 by 20 plan has identified four goals to guide the Department’s work, with Goal #2 being very specific to early childhood, “All Missouri children will enter kindergarten prepared to be successful in school”. We know for the Department to be successful in meeting this goal we need quality early childhood people leading the way. We hope that you will join us at CYY and be part of this incredible opportunity to design a professional development plan that fits your needs. There will be time for networking with other early childhood professionals and gathering new ideas and information that can assist you in the work you do every day with young children and their families. This is a unique opportunity for professionals to come together from across the state and listen to national speakers talk passionately about early childhood.

Registration for the conference will be completed online. This should allow conference participants to receive immediate confirmation of registration and presentation choices. Please note that the conference registration fee has not increased again this year. We, at the Department, along with the conference planning committee are committed to providing early learning professionals with a quality conference experience including national experts all at a reasonable cost. We know you will enjoy this year’s selection of presentations.

The committee has planned a track specific to the Missouri Learning Standards and the Missouri Early Learning Goals. This track will assist teachers with how to incorporate this information into the work they do every day. Parent Educators will find a special track specific to Parents as Teachers’ new Foundational Curriculum. We have partnered with the Professional Learning Communities consultants and the PAT national office to offer a variety of presentations that will support strong parent education services throughout Missouri. It is exciting to provide participants with a new face or two in our selection of presentation offerings, including the St. Louis Zoo. A representative from the zoo will be presenting two fun and exciting seminars on Saturday. All licensed child care providers will once again have the opportunity to receive up to 14 clock hours approved by Department of Health and Senior Services. There is something for everyone at this year’s conference and we hope to see you there.

Participants are responsible for making their own room reservations and obtaining directions by contacting Tan-Tar-A Resort directly at (800) 826-8272 or (573) 348-3131 or on-line at www.tan-tar-a.com. Select “on-line reservations” and then choose “Conference Attendee”. The group number for the conference is YNGY. Participants making reservations by February 5, 2014 will receive the special conference rate of $86.00 plus tax. Reservations made after this date will not be guaranteed the conference rate. Please ask for the “Conference on the Young Years” room block for this special room rate! Be sure to register early and remember: Check-in time is 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is 11:00 a.m.

If you have questions regarding registration for the conference, please direct them to Jamie Schieber at Custom Meeting Planners at (573) 445-2965 or jamie@custommeetingplanners.com. For general questions concerning the content of the conference, you may contact the Early Learning section of DESE at (573) 751-2095.



Early Learning Section