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CONFERENCE

CONFERENCE

About The Conference

The AELL Annual National Conference, How Successful Directors Lead is the ONE event specifically designed for early learning administrators featuring 40+ educational sessions on leadership, administration, finance, marketing, legal, and program quality presented by national experts. 

Conference Sponsors

 

Funshine Express

CONFERENCE DETAILS

The AELL Board of Directors met and made a unanimous decision to transition our 2020 conference to a virtual event for the safety and well-being of our participants, our staff, and our volunteers. This was not an easy decision, and tears were shed. This event has become a “reunion” each year as old friends and new come together to connect in meaningful and powerful ways.  Please know that our hearts hurt with yours that we won’t be together in-person this year.  We are saving hugs, high-fives, and fist bumps for Orlando 2021!

JOIN US VIRTUALLY!

Who Should Participate?

Early Care and Education Directors, Owners, VPs & Managers, Agency Administrators, Education Coordinators, Specialists, Trainers & Consultants, Assistant Directors and Emerging Leaders.

Legacy Commission Conference Scholarships

The Legacy Commission was formed by past Board Presidents of the Association with the purpose of “giving back” and supporting the mission and legacy of AELL and all it represents.  As an extension of that effort, we are making available a limited number of scholarship awards for use at 36th Annual National Conference, How Successful Directors Lead.  It is truly our joy to support the ongoing professional development of early learning leaders like you!

Please review the eligibility requirements and guidelines below and submit completed application below along with requested supporting documents.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  For additional conference information, please visit our website at www.earlylearningleaders.org.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Candidate must be a member in good standing with AELL.
  • Candidate must be actively working in the field of early education.
  • Candidate must submit all required documents in a timely and complete manner.

CRITERIA

  • Completed scholarship application
  • Updated resume
  • Letter on company letterhead from your current employer stating why you are deserving of this scholarship
  • Typewritten, double-spaced 200-word essay addressing the following questions: 
    • Why have you chosen a career in Early Education? 
    • What are your career goals? 
    • What impact would this scholarship have on your education and career goals?

PROCEDURE

Applications should be emailed to Lori Buxton, [email protected] and must be received no later than August 15, 2020 for consideration for the 2020 conference awards. Award notifications will be made on or before September 1, 2020. 

DOWNLOAD SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

Where can I contact an organizer with questions?

Email us at [email protected] or call 512-301-5557. 

What is the cancellation policy?

CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION FOR NEWARK CONFERENCE REGISTRATION PURCHASED PRIOR TO JULY 6, 2020: Please contact Aryam Andom at [email protected] for cancellation options.

CANCELLATION FOR VIRTUAL CONFERENCE REGISTRATION PURCHASED ON OR AFTER JULY 6, 2020: All cancellations must be made in writing and sent to [email protected]. Cancellations received before September 1, 2020 are refundable minus a $125 processing fee. No-shows and cancellations received after September 1, 2020 will not be eligible for a refund.

REGISTRATION TRANSFERS: Registration is transferable without penalty or funds can be applied to another posted AELL training event.

Can I update my registration information?

Yes!  You can update your registration information at any time. Just email [email protected] for assistance.

DOWNLOADABLE NATIONAL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE OVERVIEW

 

     36th Annual National Conference Schedule Overview

 

Tuesday Pre Conference (All Times CDT)

 
*PreCon: Operating Successfully in a COVID-19 World12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
SMALL TALK! with Ron & Lori Conference Kick Off Edition7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  

Wednesday (All Times CDT)

 
Coffee with the Exhibitors9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Opening Keynote: Dr. Peter Gray10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Munch & Mingle with Exhibitors12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m
Breakout Session One1:10 p.m. – 3:30 p.m
Round Table Conversations3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Get Connected! First-Time Attendee Meet-and-Greet4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m
Zoom Groups Happy Hour5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  

Thursday (All Times CDT)

 
Coffee with the Exhibitors9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Breakout Session Two10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Speed Networking with Attendees11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Munch & Mingle with Exhibitors12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m
Breakout Session Three1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Round Table Conversations2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Ambassador Informational Meeting4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
SMALL TALK! Happy Hour with Mixologist7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  

Friday (All Times CDT)

 
Coffee with the Exhibitors9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Breakout Session Four10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Exhibitor Networking Break11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Brown Bag Conversations12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Closing Keynote: Dr. Jeanette Betancourt1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  

*Saturday Staff Training (All Times CDT)

 
7 Essential Skills for Classroom Teachers10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Understanding Sensory Disorders11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Building Relationships with Families12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Wonder Inspired Teaching Through the Magic Play1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  
*Optional, fee-based training events 
  

*Please note that due to COVID, speaker availability may have changed and can result in schedule changes. For the latest schedule, please click below. 

DOWNLOAD VIRTUAL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

DOWNLOAD STAFF TRAINING SCHEDULE

 

 

 

CEUs

CEUs are offered for every session at no additional cost. The Association for Early Learning Leaders has partnered with Stalwart-Genesis to provide Continuing Education Units for conference attendees.

GROUP RATES

FOR 3-DAY CONFERENCE: Register four or more directors, owners, or administrators and receive 10% discount for ALL 3-day registrations.

FOR SATURDAY STAFF TRAINING: Register ten or more staff and receive 10% discount for all registrants.

Please email [email protected] or call us at 512-551-0857 for group promo code.

CANCELLATION POLICY

CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION FOR NEWARK CONFERENCE REGISTRATION PURCHASED PRIOR TO JULY 6, 2020: Please contact Aryam Andom at [email protected] for cancellation options.

CANCELLATION FOR VIRTUAL CONFERENCE REGISTRATION PURCHASED ON OR AFTER JULY 6, 2020: All cancellations must be made in writing and sent to [email protected]. Cancellations received before September 1, 2020 are refundable minus a $125 processing fee. No-shows and cancellations received after September 1, 2020 will not be eligible for a refund.

REGISTRATION TRANSFERS: Registration is transferable without penalty or funds can be applied to another posted AELL training event.

Can I update my registration information?

Yes!  You can update your registration information at any time.  Just email [email protected]gleaders.org for assistance.

DR. PETER GRAY, Author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

Peter Gray is a research professor of psychology at Boston College who has conducted and published research in neuroendocrinology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education.  He is author of an internationally acclaimed introductory psychology textbook (Psychology, Worth Publishers, now in its 8th edition), which views all of psychology from an evolutionary perspective.  His recent research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves, through play and exploration, when they are free to do so. He has expanded on these ideas in his book, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life (Basic Books). He also authors a regular blog called Freedom to Learn, for Psychology Today magazine.  He earned his undergraduate degree at Columbia College and Ph.D. in biological sciences, many years ago, at the Rockefeller University.  His own current play includes kayaking, long distance bicycling, backwoods skiing, and vegetable gardening.

 

DR. JEANETTE BETANCORT, Senior Vice President, U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop

Dr. Betancourt is the Senior Vice President for U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street.  She directs the development and implementation of community and family engagement initiatives making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and their families. These research-based initiatives are designed to impact children’s early learning, health and well-being, and provide strategies and resources to counteract the effects of trauma while fostering the critical connections that adults have on children’s lives. Prior to joining Sesame Workshop, Dr. Betancourt created programs in adult learning and early childhood education at Teachers College, Columbia University.  She is a licensed bilingual speech and language pathologist and educational therapist. She participates on several national and local boards and has contributed to the start of charter schools. Dr. Betancourt has a BA and MA in Speech and Language Pathology; an MS in Bilingual Reading/Special Education, and an Ed.D. in Special Education.

Click HERE to learn more about Sesame Workshop.

 

 

 

CALL FOR 2020 CONFERENCE PRESENTERS HAS CLOSED. 

 

THE CALL FOR 2021 CONFERENCE PRESENTERS IS NOW OPEN. 

Please click on “Become a Presenter” to submit your proposal for 2021.  

The Association for Early Learning Leaders pursues experts in the early care and education community to present sessions from a national perspective to early care and education directors, administrators and owners at our Annual Conference, How Successful Directors Lead! The Association prides itself on the high-level of quality and professionalism that is upheld throughout the conference.

Sessions incorporate the following areas of expertise: leadership, legal, business administration, budgeting, insurance-liability, health & safety, curriculum, assessment, instructional leadership, parent education and program quality-accreditation. In order to lead a quality early learning program, directors are required to have knowledge, skills and abilities from diverse areas. Nationally known experts from across the country are secured to share a wealth of knowledge and experience with our participants.

The Association for Early Learning Leaders is a professional organization committed to strengthening the skill level of leaders in the field of early care and education. We believe that effective management is the critical link to superior programs.

The Association accepts requests for conference presenters from May 15 through September 1 annually. The requests are thoroughly reviewed and presenters are notified of acceptance by October 31. Presentations are to be either 1 hour 45 minutes or 3 hours in length with a 15-minute break. Presenters will be required to submit a completed and approved CEU application.

 

Travel and Hotel Arrangements for Presenters

Each presenter is responsible for making individual travel and hotel arrangements. The availability of hotel accommodations is limited at the conference site so register early. 

Conference Registration

All presenters will receive one complimentary conference registration that includes many conference extended events including lunch on Thursday and Friday.   After we receive your signed agreement, we will provide you with information regarding registration. Conference presenters will have reserved seating. Additional tickets may be purchased at $50 each.

The Association does not offer honorariums for session presenters but is pleased to provide a letter of participation for you to include in your professional speaking portfolio.

*The COVID-19 emergency has delayed the opening of the 2021 Call for Presenters.

Important Information for Preparing Your Proposal

ROOM SET-UP:
The training room will be set up for approximately 40-80 people with a presenter’s table in front.
AUDIO/VISUAL:

Each presenter will have access to a projector and screen. These items will be provided by the Association at no extra cost. We respectfully request that each presenter provide a laptop if one is needed during the presentation. Should additional audio/visual equipment be required, arrangements will be made at your expenses with the contracted audio visual company for the Conference.  Internet access is not always freely available.  Please consider this when building your training content.

HANDOUTS:

The Association requests that each presenter provide a handout corresponding with the topic of discussion and sufficient copies for all attendees. Handouts should be no more than four (4) pages in length and contain a minimum of three website resources and two additional resources or references related to the topic.

ACCREDITATION STANDARDS:

The Association for Early Learning Leaders sponsors the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs. If accreditation standards are referenced during the presentation, please include accreditation standards in the reference. To obtain a list of standards, click here. For questions on particular standards, contact [email protected]

PROMOTING PRODUCTS AND SERVICES:

The Association for Early Learning Leaders recognizes that the National Conference is often used as a vehicle for presenters to expand their own markets.  The Association encourages the dissemination of knowledge promoting personal and professional development and to enhance the quality of early care and education programs.  To respectively maintain a balance of dissemination of information and marketing, presenters are encouraged to purchase an exhibit booth in the Exhibit Hall.  Interested presenters may contact Lori Buxton, Managing Director, at [email protected] for reservations in the Exhibit Hall.

Please help us maintain the professional integrity of the conference by abstaining from the appearance of using your session as a marketing venue.  Presenters will not be allowed to sell, display, or promote their events, publications, materials, and/or services during their training presentation.  You will be permitted to distribute promotional materials to participants at the conclusion of your session and our conference Ambassadors are happy to facilitate distribution of your materials.

Failure to abide by presenter guidelines may result in your not being invited to present at future AELL training events.

CALL FOR 2020 CONFERENCE PRESENTERS HAS CLOSED. 

 

THE CALL FOR 2021 CONFERENCE PRESENTERS IS NOW OPEN. 

Please read the following information carefully before submitting your proposal.  

The Association for Early Learning Leaders pursues experts in the early care and education community to present sessions from a national perspective to early care and education directors, administrators and owners at our Annual Conference, How Successful Directors Lead! The Association prides itself on the high-level of quality and professionalism that is upheld throughout the conference.

Sessions incorporate the following areas of expertise: leadership, legal, business administration, budgeting, insurance-liability, health & safety, curriculum, assessment, instructional leadership, parent education and program quality-accreditation. In order to lead a quality early learning program, directors are required to have knowledge, skills and abilities from diverse areas. Nationally known experts from across the country are secured to share a wealth of knowledge and experience with our participants. 

The Association for Early Learning Leaders is a professional organization committed to strengthening the skill level of leaders in the field of early care and education. We believe that effective management is the critical link to superior programs.

The Association will be accepting applications for the 2021 National Conference through September 30, 2020. The requests are thoroughly reviewed and presenters will be notified of acceptance by November 15, 2020. Presentations are to be either 1 hour 45 minutes or 3 hours in length with a 15-minute break. Selected presenters will be required to submit a completed and approved CEU application no later than January 31, 2021.

Travel and Hotel Arrangements for Presenters

Each presenter is responsible for making individual travel and hotel arrangements. The availability of hotel accommodations is limited at the conference site so reserve early. Conference group rate information is available on the Conference Accommodations page.

Conference Registration

All presenters will receive one complimentary conference registration that includes many conference extended events including lunch on Thursday and Friday.   After we receive your signed agreement, we will provide you with information regarding registration. Conference presenters will have reserved seating. Additional tickets may be purchased at $50 each.  

The Association does not offer honorariums for session presenters but is pleased to provide a letter of participation for you to include in your professional speaking portfolio.  

 

Important Information for Preparing Your Proposal

 

ROOM SET-UP:

The training room will be set up for approximately 40-80 people with a presenter’s table in front. 

AUDIO/VISUAL:

Each presenter will have access to a projector and screen. These items will be provided by the Association at no extra cost. We respectfully request that each presenter provide a laptop if one is needed during the presentation. Should additional audio/visual equipment be required, arrangements will be made at your expenses with the contracted audio visual company for the Conference.  Internet access is not always freely available.  Please consider this when building your training content.

HANDOUTS:

The Association requests that each presenter provide a handout corresponding with the topic of discussion and sufficient copies for all attendees. Handouts should be no more than four (4) pages in length and contain a minimum of three website resources and two additional resources or references related to the topic. 

ACCREDITATION STANDARDS:

The Association for Early Learning Leaders sponsors the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs. If accreditation standards are referenced during the presentation, please include accreditation standards in the reference. To obtain a list of standards, click here. For questions on particular standards, contact [email protected]

PROMOTING PRODUCTS AND SERVICES:

The Association for Early Learning Leaders recognizes that the National Conference is often used as a vehicle for presenters to expand their own markets.  The Association encourages the dissemination of knowledge promoting personal and professional development and to enhance the quality of early care and education programs.  To respectively maintain a balance of dissemination of information and marketing, presenters are encouraged to purchase an exhibit booth in the Exhibit Hall.  Interested presenters may contact Lori Buxton, Managing Director, at [email protected] for reservations in the Exhibit Hall.

Please help us maintain the professional integrity of the conference by abstaining from the appearance of using your session as a marketing venue.  Presenters will not be allowed to sell, display, or promote their events, publications, materials, and/or services during their training presentation.  You will be permitted to distribute promotional materials to participants at the conclusion of your session and our conference Ambassadors are happy to facilitate distribution of your materials.

Failure to abide by presenter guidelines may result in your not being invited to present at future AELL training events.

SUBMIT RFP FOR 2021 NATIONAL CONFERENCE

SUBMIT 2021 PRESENTER AGREEMENT

 

 

Accomodations

Our 36th Annual National Conference scheduled to be held at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., has been transitioned to a virtual event. If you had reservations at the venue, they should have been cancelled automatically with the cancellation of the event room block. If that did not occur, please contact the hotel directly to cancel.

The 37th Annual National Conference will be held on April 7-10, 2021 at the beautiful Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Disney Springs Area Reservations are now being accepted. 

CLICK HERE FOR RESERVATIONS

Special AELL Conference Room Rate: $189 per night (standard double queen or single king room)

Reservations must be made no later than March 5, 2021 to be eligible for discounted rate.  Room blocks traditionally sell out at this venue, so please reserve early!  A deposit of one night’s lodging will be applied to your credit card at the time of reservation.  

Check In: 4:00 p.m.          Check Out: 11:00 a.m.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Flights

Our 36th Annual National Conference scheduled to be held at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., has been transitioned to a virtual event. 

FOR REGISTRANTS TRANSFERRING FUNDS TO 2021 NATIONAL CONFERENCE: The 37th Annual National Conference will be held April 7-10, 2021 at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista.  The nearest airport is the Orlando International Airport (MCO). 

INFORMATION FOR THE 37TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE WILL BE RELEASED SEPTEMBER 22, 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shuttle

Our 36th Annual National Conference scheduled to be held at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., has been transitioned to a virtual event.

INFORMATION FOR THE 37TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE WILL BE RELEASED SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Driving & Parking

Our 36th Annual National Conference scheduled to be held at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., has been transitioned to a virtual event.

The 37th Annual National Conference will be held at the beautiful Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Disney Springs Area, April 7-10, 2021.  Event registration will open September 23, 2020.  Hotel reservations are now being accepted.  More information can be found on the Conference Accommodations page.

Conference participants will receive a discount of 50% on posted self-parking rates at the host hotel.

 

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COVID-19 UPDATES

NATIONAL ACCREDITATION COMMISSION UPDATE: (6/1/2020)

Beginning 6/1/2020, the National Accreditation Commission will resume conducting validation visits. The Accreditation Office will work with individual programs to determine the impact of local restrictions on a potential visit. The safety of program families and staff and National Accreditation Commission validators is of the utmost importance and at the heart of all decisions made during the ongoing public health crisis. Please direct any questions and concerns to Erin Schmidt, Director of Accreditation, at [email protected]. Please monitor this website for further developments and updates. From the Accreditation Team to your team, stay safe and be well.

2020 NATIONAL CONFERENCE UPDATE: (7/6/2020)

The AELL Board of Directors met and made a unanimous decision to transition our 2020 conference to a virtual event for the safety and well-being of our participants, our staff, and our volunteers. This was not an easy decision, and tears were shed. This event has become a “reunion” each year as old friends and new come together to connect in meaningful and powerful ways.  Please know that our hearts hurt with yours that we won’t be together in-person this year.  We are saving hugs, high-fives, and fist bumps for Orlando 2021!

For details and additional information about the 36th Annual National Conference, please visit our Conference page.

COVID-19 WEBINARS & DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES

For access to our free COVID-19 related webinars and downloadable resources, please visit our Upcoming Webinars page.