6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Dine and Discuss

Dine and Discuss is an opportunity to connect with colleagues around a topic over a meal.

You will be able to sign up for the Dine and Discuss groups at the conference in the registration area. Dine and Discuss is an optional event.

Location: Gertrude B. Nielsen Child Care and Learning Center | 3835 Willow Road, Northbrook IL 60062
Host: Lana Weiner | Executive Director
Topic Title or Targeted Group:
Creating Excellent Environments

Description: Our early childhood environments give a visual picture of our total program.  They influence child and adult behavior.  They tell prospective parents about what we value and why.  Join us for dinner and tour of the Gertrude B. Nielsen Child Care and Learning Center and for a stimulating discussion of how to create excellent environments and make the most of them.
Number of Participants: 20

Dinner: Chipotle
Cost: $15 – $20 per person (cash or check only)

Location: RAM (across the street from the conference hotel, walking distance)
Hosts: Sonja Crum-Knight | McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership
Evelyn Mancilla | McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership
Topic Title | Targeted Group: Navigating the Terrain | Family Child Care Providers

Description: Accreditation, early head start partnerships, ExceleRate™, and licensing:  how are you managing the expectations of multiple constituencies?  This dine and discuss will allow us to share challenges, hopes, dreams and lessons learned thus far.
Number of Participants: 16

Dinner:Full menu
Cost: $25 – $35 / person


Location: Bucca di Beppo (across the street from the conference hotel, walking distance)
Host: Tiffany Hall | Lewis University
Topic Title: Building up Play! Facilitating Critical Thinking and Problem Solving through Play

Description: Looking for strategies to share with staff to help develop critical thinking and problem solving skills in the classroom? Wondering how you can help your students get more out of their “one hour of uninterrupted play?” Searching for evidence for parents that play is important?

Look no further! Let’s discuss the many benefits of free play and how it can be used to develop thinking skills and metacognition in children.
Number of Participants: 8

Dinner: Italian Food served Family Style
Cost: $15 – $25 / person


Location: McCormick Center
Topic Title or Targeted Group: Raising of America Film Screening

Description: Join us for a screening of The Raising of America, a documentary series on early childhood and the future of our nation. Choose from three episodes to watch over a meal. Then, contribute to a reflective conversation discussing questions such as “Why are so many children in America faring so poorly?”
Number of Participants: 30 (10 each)

Dinner: Salad and Pizza
Cost: $10 – $25 per person (cash or check only)


Screening 1
ONCE UPON A TIME: When Childcare for All Wasn’t Just a Fairy Tale
32 min
Imagine how things might be different if all America’s children had access to high-quality early care and education for the past four decades? They almost did.

Screening 2
32 min
A growing number of economists are worried about our investments in early childhood. Not because we’re spending too much but because we’re spending too little where it matters most.

 Screening 3
DNA IS NOT DESTINY: How the Outside Gets Under the Skin
37 min
Fetal and early childhood experiences and environments – chemical, family, socio-economic – literally become part of us. But how?