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Take away best practices and bright ideas from our thought-provoking lineup! Our annual conference gathers researchers, policymakers, medical practitioners, early childhood educators and all those working to optimize children’s development for a day of learning and enlightenment. Hear from experts on timely issues: early childhood education–ensuring quality, adjusting to COVID-19, measuring what matters, and supporting the workforce; Autism–early interventions, and the genetics; and health equity as well as child well-being.

Join in the celebration, 10 Years of Impact! ICS has 10 years of early childhood success on the books. In this video, we summarize our history and aspirations, describe our past impact and biggest wins, and introduce our Theory of Change as we head into the next 10 years.

On February 24, 2021, ICS and Root & Rebound held a joint webinar, Family Housing Instability in Greenville County: The Complex Interplay of Housing, Child Welfare, and Criminal Justice to discuss the ongoing issue of housing instability in Greenville County, and the particular impact this issue has on families who are involved with the criminal justice and/or child welfare systems. Intended for professionals who do not work directly in housing services, but who work with families facing crisis.

On February 26, 2021, ICS hosted a virtual conference, Nurturing Developing Minds Conference and Research Symposium. In this series of Zoom-hosted sessions, experts presented either a Service Provision Challenges Track, Developmental Challenges Track or Equity Track workshop to researchers, policymakers, medical practitioners, early childhood educators and all those working to optimize children’s development. The keynote address was delivered by Perri Klass, MD, pediatrician, author, professor and Medical Director of Reach Out and Read.

You may view the video playlist on YouTube.

On October 5, 2020, ICS hosted a joint webinar, Overcoming Racial Injustice and Ensuring the Success of All Children. In this 1.5 hour webinar, we addressed key questions about implicit bias and its role in racism, what organizations like ICS and Tri-County Cradle to Career (TCCC) are doing to address these issues, and how we can best advocate for a society in which all children – including Black children and other children of color – can thrive and succeed.

On October 1, 2020, ICS delivered the webinar, Hello Family Foothills Update and Impacts of COVID-19. Inspired by the Hello Family continuum of services that will soon launch in Spartanburg, ICS has explored the potential of expanding high quality evidence-based early childhood programming into Northern Greenville County since late 2019. To date, we have completed a community assessment, performed listening sessions, and held informational meetings with stakeholders. Due to COVID-19, ICS paused to take account of the pandemic’s effects on the population of Northern Greenville County.

On September 22, 2020, ICS hosted the joint venture webinar, Improve Outcomes for Parents and Children with GOMO Health and Reach Out and Read. Guest experts Shelley R. Schoenfeld, Chief Marketing and Client Services Officer of GOMO Health and Callee Boulware, Regional Executive Director of Reach Out and Read (SC, NC, VA & D.C.) discussed two fascinating “light touch” models designed to work through parents to improve outcomes for parents and children alike, particularly as national challenges from the pandemic have changed how programs and families interact.

On July 30, 2020, ICS presented a cross-cultural, interactive event with a video tour of Barnkids in Surrey, England: Outdoor Learning for COVID-19. Produced by ICS Senior Fellow, Mary MacKenzie, and UK Early Years Consultant and Trainer, Rachel Dearnley. Research suggests that the community spread of COVID-19 is lower outdoors. The idea of open, child-directed play spaces instead of purpose-built equipment (like jungle gyms) appears to be the way forward as there is less risk of touching the same surfaces again and again.

On July 7, 2020, ICS presented the webinar: Ideas for Increasing Capital to Childcare Centers During COVID-19 Outbreak. Through a recent childcare center survey, we found that centers across South Carolina were experiencing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. With the economy reopening, childcare has been realized to be at the foundation of the economy with as many as 200,000 children needing childcare in order for their parents to get back to work.

On June 18, 2020, ICS delivered the webinar: The Impact of COVID-19 on South Carolina’s Child Care Sector. We surveyed early care and education providers to understand the effect of the pandemic on the already-fragile early care and education market. The results of the survey show that, like for many other small businesses, the economic impact for child care centers has been sharply negative. Adequate child care is essential to the broader economic success of the state as families begin to go back to work in large numbers.

On June 4, 2020, ICS produced Health Equity & Systems Leadership. Health inequity is one of many issues both highlighted and worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than two months into the worldwide crisis, the impacts have been disproportionately felt across society as people of color and those experiencing poverty are bearing the brunt of the burden.

On May 21, 2020, ICS  delivered Economics, Equity and Inclusion in Early Care and Education. Topics include: Macroeconomic forces that have shaped early care and education • How those forces affect the business operations of early care centers • Implications of equity and inclusion • COVID-19’s impacts • Opportunities for investment and policy change.

On May 7, 2020, ICS brought you Preschool Suspension and Expulsion: Overview & Policy Recommendations. As children across the country are now out of school for an extended period of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many have raised concerns about the impact of time away from the classroom without structured in-person instruction.

The year 2019 has been fantastic! Full of accomplishments benefiting the children of South Carolina and beyond.

On September 20, 2018, ICS hosted “Childhood, Unplugged” in at the Children’s Museum in Denver, focused on how technology and hands-on learning’s impact child development. We are pleased to share this highlight video of an engaging day of learning! Visit our event page for more information.

Dr. Yuko Munakata, University of Colorado, Boulder
Sarah Konradi, National Wildlife Federation
Mary Mackenzie, ICS
Justin Svingen, Public Health Madison and Dane County (Wisconsin)
Closing remark: Mary Garvey, ICS

Through policy research, leadership development, knowledge sharing, and advisory services, the Institute for Child Success relentlessly pursues its vision: the success and wellbeing of all young children.

In 2014 ICS partnered with design and marketing firm Ferebee Lane + Co. to explore the experiences of low-income mothers, their children, and opportunities for design. Small Steps is our film documenting that experience.

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