Over the last week, ICS collected responses to a survey of child care providers in South Carolina to better understand how the spread of COVID-19 – and the resulting economic impacts – are affecting the child care sector. The child care sector is essential to the health and well-being of millions of South Carolina families and to our economy as a whole.
What We’ve Been Up To
Nurturing Developing Minds 2020
On February 20-21, ICS together with Prisma Health, the Bradshaw Institute for Community Child Health & Advocacy and the SC Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) hosted the 2020 Nurturing Developing Minds Conference and Research & Implementation Symposium. With record-setting attendance and a line-up of stellar speakers, this event was well-received by the over 200 attendees who joined us to focus on the conference theme, Partnering Across Sectors to Support Child Development.
Even the threat of winter weather could not deter the enthusiasm of our attendees! The conference offers a unique opportunity for experts to come together from across the fields of really child education, health, child welfare, mental health, and more. The event has a particular focus on research to inform practice – whether that be in a classroom or in the medical clinic.
New Paper: Early Childhood Mental Health
What do we mean when we talk about “early childhood mental health?” How can our policies better support this crucial phase of development? In ICS’s newest brief, authors Angela Baum (Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina); Kerrie Schnake (Director of SC Infant Mental Health Association); and Dee Stegelin (ICS Senior Fellow & Clemson University Professor Emerita) examine the value of attending to the mental health of very young children; review the research literature; describe the impacts of Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) issues; discuss programs that support mental health in young children; and make future IECMH research and policy recommendations. Read the full brief here.
ICS is featured in the Giving Matters series of the Greenville Journal, highlighting our work with the Bradshaw Institute for Community Child Health & Advocacy on the Childhood Homelessness Project. As ICS President Jamie Moon explained, “Human capital begins at birth, and the majority of brain development occurs in the first five years. From both an ethical and a practical standpoint it’s better for society to commit resources earlier.” Read more about the project and follow along here for more updates on the findings and recommendations. We appreciate the support of the Community Foundation of Greenville and the Bradshaw Institute for making this project a reality.
Medical Legal Partnerships
ICS’s white paper on the medical-legal partnership (MLP) model is highlighted in as an item in the Duke Endowment’s newsletter on the power of the model and the Endowment’s support to connect the two MLPs existing in the state. The Duke Endowment see this as “…a unique opportunity to improve health outcomes for children and their families through a grant that also supports learning and education” – and we couldn’t agree more! ICS is grateful for the Endowment’s support of this vital model as well as our partners in the community who work tirelessly to support this approach.
Out & About
Sorenson Innovation Summit
ICS was pleased to both attend and speak at the Sorenson Innovation Summit in snowy Salt Lake City in early February. Vice President Bryan Boroughs spoke on a panel discussing“Strategic Investments for Maximum Impact: Current Opportunities in Early Childhood.” The annual event is attended by several hundred experts and influencers in the impact investing world. The goal of the session was to discuss how states can leverage opportunities to implement comprehensive and integrated child development strategies to improve outcomes for children. Our team came home ready to #MoveMountains!
Lessons Learned Conference
ICS Senior Fellow, Dr. Dee Stegelin presented a workshop for school administrators, teachers, and professional staff on February 18, at the Lessons Learned Conference in Charlotte, NC, Sponsored by the National Dropout Prevention Center and Successful Practices Network. The title of her presentation was “Mental Health, Trauma and Discipline Practices for Prekindergarten Students in Public School Classrooms. “Dr. Stegelin also presented to the Anderson School District Two Professional Development Fair in January, focusing on exclusionary discipline in early childhood, for a group of administrators, occupational therapists, counselors, and prekindergarten, primary, and middle-school teachers. Dr. Stegelin has previously written on this topic for ICS in the brief Preschool Suspension and Expulsion: Defining the Issues.
Clemson Play Institute at Value of Play Conference
The US Play Coalition at Clemson University will hold its annual conference on the Value of Play on March 29 – April 1. ICS is proud to serve as a sponsor of the event. Two of ICS’s Senior Fellow will be presenting at the event in the Early Childhood Professional Development Day, with 6 workshops in one full day training aimed at early childhood educators and caregivers.
Chaired and moderated by Dee Stegelin, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Clemson University, the “Play and Early Childhood” Institute featured sessions presented by early childhood education experts from across the country.
⦁ Integrating Play and STEAM Teaching into Early Childhood Classrooms – Amanda Bennett, M.Ed., ABD, PhD Student, Clemson University
⦁ Strategies for Supporting Preschool Children Who Have Experienced Trauma – Jill C. Shelnut, M.Ed., ABD, Lecturer, Clemson University
⦁ Children Think Better on Their Feet Than Their Seat – Mary Mackenzie, M.Ed., United Kingdom, Senior Fellow, Institute for Child Success
⦁ Reggio Inspired Indoor and Outdoor Play – Dee Stegelin, Ph. D., Professor Emerita, Clemson University & Senior Fellow, Institute for Child Succes and Jill C. Shelnut, M. Ed. , ABD, Lecturer, Clemson University
⦁ Voices for Play: Advocating for Active Play – Amity Buckner, M. Ed., Director, Pickens County Office of First Steps
⦁ Playing with Vivian Paley’s Storytelling and Storyacting Approach – Debora Wisneski, Ph. D., Associate Professor, University of Omaha
In January, the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce invited ICS Board Vice Chair, Dr. Desmond Kelly, to present to its inaugural SURGE cohort, a new leadership program designed to create high-impact change in Spartanburg. SURGE is made up of leaders selected by the chamber’s Executive Board. Dr. Kelly discussed the importance of early childhood and early child brain development.
A number of Greenville organizations have highlighted notable community members in honor of Black History Month, focusing not only on figures of the past but also the current black community members who are helping to build a better Greenville. ICS is honored to have members of our board who have been recognized in this way. The United Way of Greenville County highlighted Merl Code’s long history of work on behalf of Greenville, calling him a “brilliant community leader.” And Ava Smith & Associates heralded Calvin Calhoun III’s dedication to “create new synergies and business opportunities for all.”
In January, ICS welcomed Karen Cantu as our new Executive Assistant. Karen has many years of experience working in similar roles with Prisma Health (previously the Greenville Health System). Prior to his retirement, Karen served as the longtime executive assistant to ICS Board Member Dr. Bill Schmidt. We are grateful to have Karen’s expertise and eye for detail on our team.