First 1000 Days Conference focuses on importance of early childhood

First 1000 DaysMore than 700 participants will join a national movement to increase their knowledge of science, skill-building and advocacy in the field of early childhood during the First 1000 Days Florida Summit, Oct. 21-23, at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.

Experts know that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life (prenatally to age 3) are critical because they create the foundation for that child’s future health, well-being and educational achievement.

The summit is a collaborative effort of key statewide groups in maternal and child health, prevention and early intervention, infant mental health, school readiness and early childhood development.

“We as a community, as a state, as a nation, have come to understand how vital the early years are in a child’s development,” said Lisa Williams-Taylor, CEO of Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, which is a major sponsor of the summit, along with the Florida Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting Initiative (MIECHV). “The more we understand about how best to serve at-risk children and families, the better chance we’ll have of ensuring all of our children grow up healthy, safe and strong.”

The summit, to be kicked off by the Honorable Barbara J. Pariente of Florida’s Supreme Court, will feature five plenary sessions with nationally recognized experts and more than 40 workshops on key early childhood topics. Topics to be tackled include the impact of toxic stress and early language gaps.

Participants also will peruse a Showcase of Best Practices featuring effective community strategies for engaging and serving at-risk families.

“We are excited about joining with Children’s Services Council and other partners to bring the latest in skill-building and research-based practice to staff who serve vulnerable families every day,” said Carol Brady, MIECHV Project Director. “This work will change the trajectory for many Florida children.”

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