Start Early. Start well.

2022 Thriving Children, Families, and Communities Conference

September   19 , 2022 12:00 AM

Thriving Children Conference

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with peers, meet leaders from across the state, and help the children, families, and businesses in your local community thrive!

Please plan to join us for the fifth annual Thriving Children, Families, and Communities Conference on Monday, Sept. 19, in Kearney, Nebraska.

Returning to an in-person format, this year’s conference will bring together community leaders from across Nebraska and continue building momentum around quality early childhood education and its connection to economic development and community vitality. Livestreamed keynote sessions are available for those who can't attend in person.

The conference is intended for community leaders and elected officials from education, economic development, child care, business, government, health care, higher education, philanthropy and more. Community members and experts will discuss challenges, share success stories, learn from each other, and highlight the importance of implementing high-quality birth to Grade 3 care and education.

Attendees will experience general sessions with Dana Suskind, M.D., New York Times best-selling author, Barry Ford, president and CEO of Council for a Strong America, and We Care for Kids campaign leaders. Dynamic breakout sessions, which are available to in-person attendees only, will focus on early childhood workforce recruitment and retention, advocating for change with elected officials, community-school and interlocal partnerships, and much more. 

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, representatives participating in the statewide Communities for Kids initiative will engage in local planning efforts. This Nebraska Children and Families Foundation initiative works with communities across Nebraska to advance their early childhood programming and services.

Thriving Children, Families, and Communities Conference
Monday, Sept. 19
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (CT)

Dana Suskind, M.D., and Barry Ford, J.D., will be the featured keynote speakers at this year’s conference.

Suskind is a professor of surgery, pediatrics, and public policy (affiliated) at the University of Chicago and co-director of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health. She and her team led the first-ever Bridging the Thirty Million Word Gap convening at the request of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 2013. She is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child's Potential, Fulfilling Society's Promise, which empowers parents to use developmental neuroscience to build a society that works for families, not against them.

Ford is president and CEO of Council for a Strong America, chair of the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers steering committee, and a board member of the Afterschool Alliance. He has led efforts to build and deepen relationships with public sector policymakers at every level of government, oversaw external relations at The After-School Corporation (TASC), now ExpandED Schools, and has been a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. 


View previous conference content:

First Five Nebraska
Growing Together Northeast Nebraska
Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties
Nebraska Association for the Education of Young Children (NeAEYC)
Nebraska Association of School Boards (NASB)
Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC)
Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
Nebraska Community Foundation
Nebraska Council of School Administrators
Nebraska Department of Economic Development
Nebraska Department of Education (NDE)
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative
Nebraska Early Learning Connection (Northern Partnership)
Nebraska ESU Coordinating Council
Nebraska Extension
Nebraska Hospital Association
Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association
Panhandle Partnership, Inc.
Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Buffett Early Childhood Institute

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