News from the Executive Office

BCCCRC 2017 Emotional Wellness Conference

Baltimore City’s Child Care Resource Center held its annual Emotional Wellness Conference recently.  The keynote speaker was Lesley Koplow, a teacher at Bank Street College and expert in emotionally responsive practice.   The conference was sold-out and attended by over 250 providers.  Both the keynote and the four break-out sessions covered timely topics of keen interest to caregivers of children from birth to five.

I came away with pages of notes that I wanted to share with my daughter, a graduate of Bank Street, who is raising children who are now 14 months and 3-1/3.  One of the hand-outs I most appreciated was the “Core Concepts of Emotionally Responsive Practice:  Developmental Milestones 0-5,” developed by Koplow.  She carefully explained how mastery of each skill, knowledge, or behavior was essential before the next milestone could be attained.  For instance, a baby has to understand object permanence before he can cope with separation issues, and he has to grasp separation issues before we can deal with toileting and other body integrity issues.

One of the workshops, “Identifying and Communicating with Families in Need of Assistance:  What do the Early Intervention Experts Do?” presented by Margo Candalaria and Laurie Chaikind, introduced me to a video that I thought was wonderful.  With humor and skill, it demonstrated the difference between empathy and sympathy.  It’s short and worth the time.

I also appreciated the “Story Gathering Form” that Lesley Koplow distributed.  It’s a tool that providers can use with the families of children in their care to get to know them and begin developing a relationship.  And the information gathered during the process is probably invaluable in developing an approach to working with the child. [Lesley Koplow’s “Story Gathering Form” can be found here and here.]