The Summer Institute


Our annual event brings together early childhood educators and advocates from across the country to develop a thoughtful and dynamic grassroots advocacy platform and action steps that support the whole child, respects child development, and recognizes the importance of play so that all children may experience a just, equitable, and quality education and future. Our community comes together to learn from each other, share what is working and build stronger platforms.

DEY 6th Annual Summer Institute

June 24-26, 2024

Advancing Quality in Defense of Early Childhood Education and Care

Promotional poster for the 6th annual DEY summer institute, highlighting the event's focus on "advancing quality in defense of early childhood education and care," scheduled for June 24-26.

Our mission is to work for just, equitable, and quality early childhood education and care for every young child. Quality has always been an important component in ensuring that all young children have access to early care and education. Nonetheless, defining, measuring, and guaranteeing high quality demonstrates the complexities and difficulty in making high quality for all a reality.  What does quality mean to you? How do you demonstrate quality in your program or classroom? How can the systems used to measure quality be improved? What does high quality mean in relation to justice and equity for disadvantaged and marginalized children? The 2024 Sixth Annual DEY Summer Institute will address these questions and many more. We hope you will join us in our work to advance a vision and practice of high-quality early childhood education and care.  Register today!

Past Institutes

DEY’s 5th Annual Summer Institute

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.

2o22 Summer Institute

JUNE 27 – 29, 2022


Early Childhood in These Times: Equity, Policy, and Practice

We convened a group of scholars, practitioners, and researchers to discuss strategies to ensure all children have a just and equitable childhood. 

2021 Institute Panelist

2021 Summer Institute
June 28-30, 2021


Where we had three days of theoretical, practical, and inspirational discussions with some of the leading voices in early childhood education and early childhood advocacy.

DEY Institute

2020 Summer Institute
July 21-24, 2020


For our 2020 virtual Summer Institute; a gathering of educators, parents, researchers and activists to advance ECE priorities. We hosted four panel discussions with speakers such as Diane Ravitch, Michelle Gunderson, Josh Golin of the now Fair Play for Kids, Takiema Bunche Smith, Erika Christakis, Peter Gray, Keisha Reid and so many more.

First Institute Gathering

2019 Summer Institute
July 7-10, 2019


DEY’S first early childhood summer organizing leadership institute — a huge success!

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We know you care about young children and ensuring their early years is one where they can thrive.  Turn your caring into action.  Your tax deductible contribution allows us to continue the work of educating parents and fellow educators, of providing resources grounded in child development research and best practices as well as advocating for our young children and early childhood educators.  Your generous donation makes a difference!