What Works: Learning from Early Childhood Educators, Advocates, and Researchers

This year we wanted to acknowledge the people, actions, and practices that get us closer to ensuring all children have a just and equitable early childhood education. We recognize the challenges and will continue strategizing on how best to overcome them, but after five years, we believe it’s time to focus on the solutions. How are educators engaging in best practices to support young children? What wins have advocates made to improve systems of early care and education? How can the latest research have a positive impact on our practices? If you missed any of the institute we invite you to watch the recordings. 

2023 Fifth Annual DEY Summer Institute Recordings

Day 1 Strategies for Early Childhood Advocacy: A Conversation with Valora Washington & Making Policy Work

DEY’s Nancy Carlsson-Paige and Denisha Jones discuss strategies for early childhood advocacy with Valora Washington, Founder and President of The CAYL Institute

What wins have we seen in the early childhood advocacy policy? What can we learn from the efforts of advocacy groups? On Day 1, we discussed three different recent successful policy initiatives! 

Linnea Westerlind with Recess for Washington State State 

Jessa Cowdry with CHI St. Joseph’s Children and Invest in Kids Now! 

Monica Wiedel-Lubinski with Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools Outdoor Preschool Licensing in Maryland

Day 2: Educators and Caregivers Leading the Way

How are early childhood educators centering the needs of all children despite public attacks on teaching the truth about race and gender? What are parents and caregivers doing to support their child’s healthy development? On Day 2, we honored early childhood educators and parents and centered their voices in our discussion on best practices! 

Laleña Garcia, Kindergarten Teacher and Consultant, Brooklyn, New York.

“Teacher Tom” Hobson, Early Childhood Educator, Author, and Blogger, California. 

“Mr. Chazz”, Teacher of Parents, Teachers, and Children, Virginia. 

Kisa Marx, Owner of Kid Crew Adventures, Illinois.

Leslie Priscilla, Founder of Latinx Parenting, Orange County, CA. 

Cassandra Santos, K/1 Teacher, Westchester, New York. 

Day 3: Research Into Practice

What can we learn from research to improve our pedagogy and enhance our approaches to curriculum? How can research support our advocacy for a just and equitable childhood for all children? We concluded our three-day institute with a panel discussion on three areas of research that can improve our practice. 

Child Care Justice: Transforming the System of Care for Young Children with Maurice Sykes and Iheoma Iruka 

Segregation by Experience: Agency, Racism, and Learning in the Early Grades with Jennifer Keys-Adair and Natacha Jones 

Decline in Independent Activity as a Cause of Decline in Children’s Mental Wellbeing: Summary of the Evidence with Peter Gray.