Covering Early Learning: Putting the Pieces Together: Agenda
Chicago • November 6–7, 2017
Chicago • November 6–7, 2017
Monday, November 6, 2017
Erikson Institute, Polk Bros. Lecture Hall, Room 201
Registration and Lunch
12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
Welcome & Ice Breaker
12:30 – 1:00 p.m.
Framing Remarks: Understanding the Puzzle of Early Learning
1:00 – 1:30 p.m.
With a dizzying array of programs, funding streams, and even monikers — pre-K, child care, early learning, etc. — just gaining a basic understanding of the pieces that make up children’s first five years can be a major challenge. An expert provides an overview of the field and relevant research.
Braiding the Dollars: Financing Early Learning
1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
In many states, the cost of child care rivals the cost of college tuition. Yet many early-learning programs struggle to stay afloat financially, concerns about quality abound, and low wages plague the early childhood workforce. Experts and practitioners discuss these challenges, offer solutions, and suggest story ideas.
What to Look for in Early-Learning Settings
3:00 – 3:45 p.m.
Teaching and learning looks a lot different for very young children than it does in the elementary grades. When journalists visit early-learning settings, what should they be looking for? What questions should they ask? What are the hallmarks of quality and the warning signs of ineffective practices?
Lightning Talks & Panelist Circles
4:00 – 5:15 p.m.
In this interactive session, presenters deliver brief talks on a variety of early-learning issues. Afterward, journalists dive deeper into selected topics through small-group discussions with presenters.
Reception hosted by the Erikson Institute
5:30 p.m. I Harris Commons, Erikson Institute
Site Visits for Early Learning
8:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Journalists visit local sites that provide education and care for young children.
Debrief: Site Visits
10:30– 10:45 a.m.
Journalists reflect on what they saw during site visits and share ideas for how it can inform and strengthen their early-learning coverage.
Inside the Beltway: A Federal Policy Update
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Nearly a year into the Trump administration, what changes are afoot in federal policy and funding for early care and education? Will Head Start and other major programs see cuts? Will a rewrite of the tax code deliver beefed up child-care support? Who are the key players? What federal policies and programs should be on reporters’ radar?
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
A Conversation With Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner
12:45 – 1:15 p.m.
Diana Rauner, the first lady of Illinois and the president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, an advocacy group for early learning, discusses how public policy is changing in Illinois and nationally to better support children’s first five years.
Understanding & Improving the Child Care Workforce
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Rich, engaging interactions between adults and children are a key element of high-quality, early-learning programs. Yet those responsible for caring for and educating the youngest learners are among the lowest paid and, often, are required to meet only minimal qualifications. Experts and a child-care provider discuss the complex state of the child-care workforce.
Workshop: How I Did the Story
2:45 – 3:30 p.m.
Reporters describe their experiences covering issues around early childhood education and suggest ideas and data resources for future coverage.
Brainstorming Session: Covering Early Childhood Education
3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
You’ve heard from experts and fellow journalists and seen, firsthand, what high-quality early learning looks like. Now what? What story ideas do you plan to pursue? What is still unclear? Reporters huddle together and share ideas to take back to their newsrooms.
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