Child Care Conference Offers Sessions on Intentional Interactions, Other Topics

This year’s Wayne County Child Care Conference on March 1 will offer a variety of learning opportunities for child care providers, from becoming more aware of the results of every interaction with those in their care to building science into the daily routine.

Kim Hughes, founder of Conscious Connections, a behavior management and educational consulting firm serving teachers, child caregivers, and parents, will headline the annual professional development event. Her talk, “The Intentional Teacher: Caring and Daring to Do What’s Best for Our Children,” is set for 8-9:30 a.m. at Wayne Community College.

“Intentionality is something we have preached for a long time but it is coming back to the forefront,” said Jodi Baker, WCC public services department chair and a conference organizer. “Everything we do should not happen haphazard. It should be intentional.”

Ms. Hughes’ presentation on the role of teacher, child, parent, and classroom environments in promoting kids’ success is particularly important when you consider that a child typically spends 50 hours a week with a child care worker, Ms. Baker said, which gives the worker quite an opportunity to mold that young life.

In addition to her keynote talk, Ms. Hughes will do a breakout session on “Five Steps to Self-Regulation in Children,” using Consciouse Discipline® to stay calm and to teach it to children.

Through her firm, Ms. Hughes helps teachers, school administrators, child care providers, and parents harness positive discipline techniques and cutting-edge early childhood research to create rewarding relationships and positive learning environments for children from birth to third grade.

Her accomplishments include developing curriculum for Sesame Street’s Global Grover Project and PBS’ Danger Ranger Series, and delivering customized training and coaching services to clients in public and private school settings, multiple chapters of the Association for the Education of Young Children, Head Start groups, colleges and universities, and education foundations.

Ms. Hughes is one of just nine Loving Guidance Associates in the world certified by Loving Guidance.™. She is also a Conscious Discipline® Certified Instructor serving the national level. She has also authored articles in multiple publications, including Young Children and Early Childhood Education Journal.

She holds a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education from the State University of New York, administrative school leadership licensure from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania.

Following Ms. Hughes’ keynote speech, breakout sessions will run 9:45-11:15 a.m., 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m., and 1:30-3 p.m. Lunch will be provided from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m.

Conference participants can attend up to three of the 26 hour-and-a-half workshop  sessions. Sessions are designated for infant, toddlers, preschool, school age, and combinations of age groups. Each workshop is worth 1.5 hours of training credit, for a total of six training hours by the end of the day if all are attended.

The topics include:
using visual clues in the classroom,
including Latino culture in the classroom,
using everyday items to create learning materials,
building relationships with challenging children,
creating planned transitions,
providing active play,
creating a literacy rich environment,
working with special needs children,
using play to foster school readiness,
learning with musing and movement,
promoting oral language, writing and reading,
creating a culturally responsive classroom,
making the environment you have work,
facilitating positive play experiences,
understanding female bullies,
making science part of the routine,
building rapport and partnerships with families,
creating file folder games,
using outdoor play spaces,
exploring digital photo activities,
playing and teaching with dominoes, and
connecting play to learning.

A complete schedule is available at under the Events and Activities tab or by calling (919) 735-3371, ext. 227.

Vendors will be set up in the Atrium of the Wayne Learning Center throughout the day. They will be showing and selling items ranging from children’s books and teaching supplies to jewelry.

Registration is $30 in advance and $35 on site. It includes lunch, a tote bag, and opportunities to win door prizes donated by vendors.

Members of the public may attend the conference for the same fee as child care providers. They may visit with the vendors without registering.

The conference is sponsored by the Partnership for Children of Wayne County and Wayne Community College.

The Partnership for Children of Wayne County, Inc. is a non-profit organization designed to provide programs and services for families and children in Wayne County, North Carolina.

Wayne Community College is a public, two-year college with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro, N.C. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, it serves 15,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 100 college credit programs.