ARCQE 11th National Child Day Conference
Reimagining Pathways Forward…
February 9-11, 2021

Virtually Online

ARCQE Conference update

Hello friends and colleagues near and far!

Despite the reopening of child care programs over the late summer and early fall, we at ARCQE recognize the tremendous impact that the Covid-19 health pandemic has had on program restarts and the adjustments that early childhood educators have had to make in meeting new safety requirements for children and families.  Given this, and the enthusiasm from the early learning sector to gather in celebration of children both across Alberta and beyond to other parts of Canada, ARCQE will be rescheduling our National Child Day conference to the week of the Family Day holiday in February 2021.  It is our hope that this will enable educators and programs more time to stabilize relative to new norms and for ARCQE to ensure a more meaningful conference experience for all interested.

Watch for further updates over the coming weeks relative to the new innovative virtual format we will be using to host an exciting interactive event- and be sure to Save the new Date” now scheduled for February 9th-11th, 2021!  At a time where the world is physically “social distancing” ARCQE looks forward to bringing everyone together in celebration of children to support meaningful connection as we look optimistically forward to a new and more memorable year in child care in 2021!


Greetings to those near and far…

As we prepare to commemorate another National Child Day; hosting what will be ARCQE’s 11th annual early learning conference, we reflect on the significance of gathering as a community at a time where social distancing has become a new norm. In a profession that places emphasis on “practice of relationships” no doubt the onset of a pandemic health outbreak has challenged all of us relative to how we continue to find new and meaningful ways to honour the rights of children at a juncture in our history where there is so much uncertainty and transition. For these reasons and knowing there is much wisdom and strength that can come from uniting in times of adversity, we felt taking pause to

• re-imagine responsive environments in welcoming the return of children & families to programs,
• renew our focus on authentic ways we support the practice of relationships and;
• reconsider ways we continue to nurture the process of reflective practice

was important as we adapt and redefine the spirit of “community” in new virtual ways. In so doing, and on days where it all feels impossible, we urge all of you to continue to take inspiration from the endless springs of resilience we have seen authentically exhibited in a million surprising ways from children over the past 6-month period. Looking forward- we embrace the opportunity to be in community with all of you as we celebrate National Child Day together February 9-11, 2021!

To view the updated conference brochure with new date, please click HERE

*All conference sessions will be delivered as on-demand videos. Registrants will be able to watch and re-watch the sessions at any time that is convenient for them, and have 30-day access to the recordings.

Keynotes & Featured Speakers

Opening Keynote — The long-term effects of COVID-19 stress on kids’ future health and development – What we should know post-Pandemic…

From the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, children’s daily routines were disrupted and the predictability of central features of their world disappeared. In response, Dr Price’s research team conducted hundreds of interviews with children around the world to learn about the pandemic’s impact on their lives. These interviews, combined the implications of the pandemic for at-risk children, will be discussed in this keynote address.

Dr. Heather Price is a Professor of Psychology and Canada Research Chair in Children and the Law at Thompson Rivers University. Dr. Price studies children’s memory, investigative interviewing, and children’s involvement as victims and witnesses in the jus-tice system. She regularly con-ducts research and training across Canada with police and social workers on investigative inter-viewing of children. Dr. Price has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and her research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Department of Justice.

Closing Keynote – Canada’s ELCC Sector and COVID—It’s (More Than) Time for a National Plan

The COVID pandemic has exposed the many cracks in the foundations of Canada’s child care sector. Canada needed a high quality, national child care system years ago and the time is now to make it happen. This session will look at the pan-Canadian responses to ELCC in the early days of COVID up and until what is happening today—and why it matters.

Don Geisbrecht is CEO of the Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF), Canada’s largest member based early learning and child care organization. Prior to his current role as CEO, he was President of the CCCF Board of Directors from 2006-2012. His is currently a member of the federal government’s Expert Panel on Early Learning and Child Care Data and Research, the Province of BC’s Childcare Sector Labour Market Partnership and of the Vanier Institute for the Family Canadian Military and Veteran Family Leadership Circle. He was the Chair of the Alberta Resource Centre for Quality Enhancement, an expert panel member of the B.C. Universal Child Care Prototype Sites Se-lection Committee and a member of the Province of Manitoba’s Early Learning and Child Care Commission. He is a past Board Executive Committee Member of the Child Care Hu-man Resources Sector Council, served as the President of the Manitoba Child Care Association and was a member of the Federal Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Child Care Spaces Initiative. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his service on behalf of Canadian families in 2013.

Before working as the CEO of the CCCF, Don was the Executive Director of a non-profit, multi-age early learning and child care program in Winnipeg.

"I really enjoyed the virtual event. It was was less stress to have to be away from my workplace during the pandemic."

Conference Attendee

"So impressed by the great work ARCQE did providing a virtual conference yet still creating a culture of togetherness. Thank you."

Conference Attendee

"The ability to have this event virtually made it possible for programs who cannot afford to close for the duration of the conference to send their educators to the sessions; it made it possible to include a more diverse range of presenters; and I hope this format continues at least in part for future conferences!"

Conference Attendee

"I really liked the fact that if I had to step away for a moment that I could go back and see what I missed. Due to low staffing I would of not been able to attend in person. I could do this in between my work duties."

Conference Attendee

"So grateful for all of ARCQE team. This was a lot of work to put together...pat on the back! was well organized and delivered."

Conference Speaker