Early Childhood in These Times: Equity, Policy, & Practice!

DEY’s 2022 Summer Institute

We at DEY are excited to announce our 2022 Virtual Summer Institute on June 27-29th from 4-6 pm EDT.

This year, we explore the intersection of equity, policy, and practice in early childhood education and care within our current local, national, and global landscapes.

How do we foster equity in our practices, curriculum, and pedagogy when lawmakers pass legislation prohibiting racial and gender equity in public institutions?

What can we do to advocate for the early childhood experiences every child deserves? Where can we find examples of early care and education advocacy in action?

With all the research on child development, teaching, and learning, how can we utilize these findings to improve our practices and relationships with young children and their families?

We will explore these and other questions at the 2022 Summer Institute. Check out our detailed plan for each day below.

Day 1: Centering Racial Justice in Early Childhood Education.

Monday, June 27, 4-6 pm EDT 

We kick off the institute with a discussion on centering racial justice in early care and education.

Takiema Bunche Smith, Founder and President of Anahsa Consulting and Senior Advisor to the Center on Culture, Race, & Equity at Bank Street, will moderate this discussion, with Maurice Sykes, co-editor of the forthcoming book Child Care Justice: Transforming the System of Care for Young Children, and Rukia Rodgers, Founder/Director of The Highlander School.

This discussion begins with an understanding that our field must be an entry point for authentic equity and racial justice work while addressing the historical and contemporary obstacles created to disrupt that work.

As we continue to make powerful strides in uplifting and centering marginalized voices, we must not forget that all too soon, there will be another day when we need to prepare to talk with young children about the latest attack of domestic terrorism against communities of color.


Day 2: Advocating for the Childhoods All Children Deserve: A Conversation with Linda Darling Hammond.

Tuesday, June 28, 4-5 pm EDT, and DEY Presents Advocacy in Action, 5-6 pm EDT.

Day 2 is all about advocacy, focusing on effective strategies for policy advocacy and examples of advocacy in action.

DEY co-founder Nancy Carlsson-Paige and DEY co-director Denisha Jones begin in conversation with education policy expert Linda Darling Hammond, President of the Learning Policy Institute.

As DEY strives to be a hub of support for local, state, and national early childhood education and care advocacy efforts, we are excited to talk with Linda about best practices for advancing a policy agenda to protect childhood.

After discussing strategies and tactics, we want to highlight the advocacy efforts of our partners and mini-grant recipients.

In our DEY Podcast Special: Advocacy in Action, you will meet early childhood advocates and hear about their outstanding efforts to support young children, teachers, and families.

Join Lakisha Reid and Denisha Jones as we help you develop your advocacy plan and share a surprise announcement!


Day 3: Aligning Research & Practice in Early Care and Education.

Wednesday, June 29, 4-6 pm EST.

The 2022 Summer Institute concludes with a panel discussion on turning research findings into best practices.

Denisha Jones invited Dale Farran, an emerita professor at Peabody College at Vanderbilt and lead researcher on a recent study of state-funded preschool education, Carol Garboden Murray, author of Illuminating Care: The Pedagogy and Practice of Care in Early Childhood Communities, and Lakisha Reid, host of The DEY Podcast and founder/owner of Discovery, A Place for Childhood, to join her for this critical discussion.

For years, administrators, funders, and policymakers have demanded we use evidence-based research to develop best practices that support healthy child development.

Yet we routinely see the research on the benefits of unstructured play, centering exploration and inquiry in early education, and creating high-quality relationships dismissed by the administrators and elected officials consumed with the false belief that a child can and should read and write at four years old.

Research has given us the tools we need to implement supportive early care and education practices; however, we cannot wait for those in charge to read, interpret, and implement the research.

It is up to us to make sense of research findings and align our work to what we know will best serve children’s needs and help them thrive. We will discuss recent findings on the dangers of academic instruction in preschool and share strategies for using research to guide your practice.

We look forward to engaging in these powerful conversations and hope you will join us. Register here.



Did you hear about our new DEY podcast hosted by Lakisha Reid?

Have you seen our Advocacy Map? If you know of an early childhood advocacy organization or legislation, please submit it today.

Do you need funding to engage in community action? Apply for a DEY Mini-Grant.

Are you concerned about the direction that education policy is going? Please consider donating to support DEY’s important work advocating for appropriate education for young children.