OKLAHOMA CITY — Parents of young children and early childhood professionals will have the opportunity Nov. 2 to gain skills to support the development of children. The Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness (OPSR) will host OKFutures Moving Forward: 2019 Professional Development Conference across the state, nearest Muskogee in Tahlequah and Tulsa.

This conference will help participants understand child/adult interactions, trauma and other behaviors when working with children from birth to 5 years old. And for the first time in Oklahoma, this early childhood conference will occur simultaneously in eight locations, making access more convenient for both parents and professionals. Event sites include Ada, Durant, Enid, Lawton, Norman, Tahlequah, Thackerville and Tulsa. In addition, this event is supported by six tribal nations including Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, Comanche Nation, Osage Nation and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians demonstrating the commitment of partnerships between state and tribal governments in support of early childhood in Oklahoma.

“OPSR is very excited to bring this professional development opportunity to all of the state’s hard working child care workers, educators and parents,” said Debra Andersen, OPSR executive director. “We’re also grateful to have the support of multiple tribal nations who want their citizens to have the tools and resources to improve the lives of young children. We hope this conference empowers every participant to feel confident in their ability to make a positive impact on children and families.”

From 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., participants will engage in four different training tracks, each tailored to address an important aspect of early childhood. Featuring Amy Huffer, Ph.D., Track One will focus on trauma-informed care, such that participants will walk away understanding the signs of trauma as well as how to create a nurturing environment. Track Two will concentrate on the basic concepts of early social-emotional growth and socialization for infants and toddlers.

Tracks Three and Four will both emphasize brain development and communication milestones from birth to 5 years old. Track Three will also focus on how children learn through play. Presented by Lakeshore Learning, participants will gain a clear understanding of how play promotes cognitive, physical, social and emotional development in children. Lastly, Track Four will identify ways to support early childhood teachers' physical, psychological and professional well-being.

In addition, professionals can earn six formal training hours through the Center for Early Childhood Professional Development or Continuing Education Units for Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.

This event is $15 to register. Parents can register for free with promo code, PDPARENT19. In addition, qualifying attendees will receive a $40 stipend for their participation. To register, visit https://www.okschoolreadiness.org/events/okfutures-moving-forward-conference#registration.

Information: OPSR, (405) 429-4219.

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