The Best Early Childhood Education Conferences of 2017

Education is the key to further advancing the modern world. Therefore it is essential to properly educate today’s young children and youth. Attending education conferences can be an effective way of doing so, as interaction with other learning professionals helps educators to better their classrooms. Attending the presentations and lectures of others can help an attendee improve their skill set and strategies.

Further, educational conferences allow for a chance to mingle with other learning professionals while discussing their work, which then leads to refined and effective curriculums. Many education centered conferences offer continuing education credits as well.  Below is our list of 10 can't miss conferences in 2017. Did we leave any off the list? Please let us know! 

  • Dates: January 24-27, 2017
  • Location: Orlando, FL
  • Cost: Early Bird - $349(Until December 16,2016), Regular - $399, On-Site - $449

The National Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) is the single most comprehensive and biggest independent technology centered conference around. This year, the FETC will feature a specialized track focusing on the importance of integrating technology into early childhood education. Plenary lectures and small group sessions will showcase a wide range of research explaining the effects technology has on early childhood education. Attendees will have access to intensive workshops and training sessions, focused on introducing educators to various devices that can be used in a classroom setting. Tech experts will be on-site ready to help and answer any technology related questions, in addition to providing a plethora of information regarding incorporating STEM topics into curriculums. Key speakers include Dr. Kate Highfield, Tamara Kaldor, Gail Lovely, and others!

  • Dates: May 9-11, 2017
  • Location: Chapel Hill, NC
  • Cost: TBA (Available in January)

The annual National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute’s conference seeks to shed light on toddlers, preschoolers and young children with disabilities. Often time, these children with special needs get overlooked within the education system, due to lack of educator training. The National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute works relentlessly in order to train educators with the proper tools required to deal with disabled toddlers and young children and provide them with proper educational resources.

  • Dates: March 13-15, 2017
  • Location: New Orleans, LA
  • Cost: Early Bird (Before March 9,2017) - $745, Regular On-Site - $795

Reading is an essential life skill that serves as the foundation of any education. Therefore, early childhood educators and learning professionals have a responsibility towards fostering strong reading skills in students.

The Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning conference does exactly this, by training educators on strategies to better teach students how to read. The conference presents several breakout sessions centered around presenting effective classroom strategies such as foundation reading skills, social skills, writing, and comprehension.

The event is a must attend for educational leaders, administrators, early childhood educators, ESL teachers and even mental health professional. The institute will highlight strategies for dealing with reading difficulties in students, along with teaching preventative measures. Attendees will leave the conference refreshed and ready to strengthen the reading foundations of early childhood students.

Conference attendees also have the option of being eligible to receive continuing education units (CEUs), along with credit offerings at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Key speakers include Robert Brooks, Doug Fisher, Pedro Noguera, Anita Archer, Neil Duke, Steve Dykstra, Howard Fuller and many more!

  • Dates: October 4-6, 2017
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Cost: Member Early Bird - $335, Member Regular - $415, Member On-Site - $450

The Division for Early Childhood Conference aims to bring together educators and learning professions whose career is centered around assisting special needs children and their families. The annual conference serves as a platform for bringing together attendees with an interest in special education, early autism detection and treatment options.Every year the conference is centered around a theme, this year’s theme being Mountains of Opportunities: Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the New Millennium. Breakout sessions will consist of assisting attendees in mastering this theme, by educating them on special needs and detection.

Attendees will also learn to develop new teaching techniques to apply in their classrooms, focusing on educating special needs children from ages zero to eight. Key speakers for the 2017 conference are still pending announcement.

  • Dates: May 2-5, 2017
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Cost: Early Bird Rate (Until April 17, 2017) - $373 (3 days), Regular Rate - $425 (3 days)

The Young Child Expo & Conference is a collaboration between the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University and Los Niños Services. The conference has a simple goal, to train professionals and early childhood educators with the ability to foster knowledge in children, ultimately leading to their growth. The event brings together doctors, nurses, teachers, professors and students from around the world, all eager to learn techniques to further education processes in their home institutions.

This year, the conference is broken down by days, May 2nd will feature the Autism Invention Summit Day presented by Profectum Foundation and the Neuronet Learning pre-conference workshop, then breakout sessions and lectures will take place from May 3-5.

The Autism Invention Summit Day provides attendees with a great opportunity to learn different methods for dealing with autistic children. Experts will be on standby to answer any specific behavior or autism-related questions attendees might have.

Conference attendees also have the option of being eligible to receive continuing education units (CEUs), along with credit offerings at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Key speakers include Monica G. Osgood, Bari Koral, Steve Gross, Derek Volk, Rebecca Shahmoon Shanok and much more.

  • Dates: June 11-14, 2017
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Cost: TBA (Available in March)

The goal of the NAEYC Professional Learning Institute is to encourage early childhood education professionals to better impact their classroom environments. NAEYC is open to all early childhood education teachers, researchers, and leaders who are looking to strengthen their early childhood education knowledge.

The conference will present lectures and breakout sessions aimed at improving teaching practices, teaching new lecture approaches and offering early childhood education centered research. By attending the 2017 conference, participants are sure to leave with new knowledge, a stronger professional network, unmatched inspiration to improve their school system and numerous other tidbits of new innovative information.

Conference attendees also have the option of being eligible to receive continuing education units (CEUs), along with credit offerings at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Key speakers include Eugene Robinson, Kara Ahmed, Stephanie Carlson, Allyssa Meuwissen, Luis Hernandez, Martha Buell and many more!

Dates: July 19-21, 2017Location: Honolulu, HICost: Full Conference - $550, Early One-Day - $350

The Learner conference is a must for professionals who want to incorporate digital media into their early childhood educational methods, along with those who have already taken the initiative to do so. Each year the conference is centered around one major theme, which is then broken down into multiple sub-themes, presented via a series of breakout sessions.

Learning is a form of traditional media taught through means of textbooks, homework, lectures, and activities. However, modern times and modern technology has made it essential for educators and learning professionals to adopt digital media teaching methods as well.

The conference provides training sessions for using e-textbooks and virtual classrooms beginning at the early childhood level all the way to college and even professional studies. Through means of breakout sessions, attendees will have opportunities to learn about new ways to teach using technology, how to introduce collaborative learning to the classroom and combining different online platforms for a better learning experience. Key speaker include Bill Cope, Mary Kalantzis, Dan Hoffman, Fuxing Liu, Christine K Sorensen and more!

  • Dates: March 17-18, 2017
  • Location: Denver, CO
  • Cost: TBA (Available December 2016)

The Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference is presented as a collaboration between three institutes, the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children, Denver's Early Childhood Council, and the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance. The conference is aimed at providing a means of learning skills required to successfully educate early childhood students, and collaborating with other attendees in order to network and talk strategy. Lectures and breakout session offerings are aimed at addressing problems and hurdles faced by early childhood and learning professionals in their respective fields.

The conference also seeks to train professionals to adequately address such challenges and shortcomings found in early childhood education, in order to better the future of today’s youth. Key speakers include Holly Elissa Bruno, Steve Spangler, and others!

  • Dates: April 7-8, 2017
  • Location: Whitewater, WI
  • Cost: TBA

UW-Whitewater’s Early Childhood Conference is a must attend event for professionals who are looking to expand their network and develop insights on early childhood education. The conference is a grand collaboration between the College of Education and Professional Studies in partnership with the Continuing Education Services department at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater. The theme of this year’s conference is Our Words are Important: Nuestras Palabras son Importantes, an attempt at highlighting the importance of words in all languages.

The conference will feature lectures in both English and Spanish, along with hosting breakout sessions in both languages as well. Spanish workshops serve to highlight the conference’s theme that stems from encouraging children to converse in any language they feel comfortable in. Moreover, the conference offers credit to professionals who attend the conference on both days and who complete mandatory written assignments. Key speakers include Monica Brown, Terrie Schmoldt, Okee Dokee Brothers, Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, Jayanti Tambe, Shelly Gonzales and more!

  • Dates: January 25-28, 2017
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Cost: Individual Rate – $125, Group Rate - $125

The annual Opening Minds Conference is considered by many as being amongst the best early childhood conferences worldwide. Opening Minds brings together numerous professionals in order to host unforgettable lectures and breakout sessions focusing on early childhood development. Attendees have the privilege to learn about the newest and most effective teaching strategies for all types of students. Furthermore, attendees also have the opportunity to earn professional credits at the conference.

Credit earning opportunities are available in Continuing Professional Development Unites (CPDU’s), Continuing Education Unites (CEUs) for Certified Teachers, and Continuing Education Credits for Advanced Nurse, Registered Nurse, and Licenses Practical Nurse, to name a few. The Opening Minds Conference is a great event for all professionals who have careers in the education, technology, social service and others. Key speakers include John Borrero, Tom Bradach, Carrie Brockway, Nancy Bruski, Patrick Cerria, Meredith Craven and more!