Start Early. Start well.

June 12, 2017

Experts at National Symposium Discuss Ways to Help Parents

Omaha, Neb. — About 200 researchers, practitioners, philanthropists, and advocates gathered June 6 in Omaha to hear national and local experts discuss strategies to support and help parents.

The symposium, hosted by the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska in collaboration with the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, highlighted several critical issues raised in Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8, a landmark report from the National Academies that describes key aspects of parenting that matter for young children and identifies effective interventions.

Issues surrounding poverty, family leave policy, child health, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (traumatic or stressful events that have lasting impact on health and well-being) were addressed by national and local experts at the Parenting Matters symposium. Featured speakers included AERA Immediate Past President Vivian L. Gadsden, chair of the national Parenting Matters study committee, professor of child development and education at the University of Pennsylvania, and member of the Buffett Institute’s national Board of Advisors; and Samuel Meisels, founding executive director of the Buffett Institute. Joining them were Kim Boller, Mathematica Policy Research; Paul Chung, UCLA; Brenda Jones Harden, University of Maryland; Iheoma Iruka, Buffett Early Childhood Institute and HighScope Educational Research Foundation; Sarah Ann Kotchian, Holland Children’s Movement; Melissa Tibbits, College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and Tony Vargas, District 7, Nebraska Legislature.

Symposium Presentations

  • Overview of Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children 0-8, Vivian Gadsden and Iheoma Iruka
    Presentation Slides | Video
  • Plenary 1: Parenting Investments as a Pathway out of Poverty: Evidence and Recommendations, Kimberly Boller
    Presentation Slides | Video (includes presentation by Tony Vargas)
  • Plenary 2: Buffering Toxic Stress Through Parenting Interventions, Brenda Jones Harden
    Presentation Slides
  • Plenary 2: Adverse Childhood Experiences in Nebraska, Melissa Tibbits
    Presentation Slides
  • Plenary 2 Video (Jones Harden, Tibbits)
  • Plenary 3: Family Leave and the Health of Children, Paul Chung
    Presentation Slides
  • Plenary 3: The Importance and Possibility of Paid Family Leave in Nebraska, Sarah Ann Kotchian
    Presentation Slides
  • Plenary 3 Video (Chung, Kotchian)
  • Panel Discussion With National and State Leaders
  • Closing Remarks, Vivian Gadsden


View photos from the event on Facebook.


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