The Childhood Conversations Conference started in 2007 to provide parents with the same access to professional development and speakers that educators, child advocates, social service professionals receive at annual conferences. Our first conference was held that April and brought in 84 parents and some professionals. In our first year, we had already outgrown the hotel space, however we had captured the vision of giving parents a day of pampering and access to cutting edge knowledge through impactful keynote speakers and workshops.
Throughout the years since the first conference, we have used our evaluations to drive the planning process for the next year and have brought in between 200 and 250 people from 1/3 of the towns across Connecticut. The partnerships have grown from the original three agencies to sixteen agencies spanning multiple disciplines. We have also expanded our audience to include professionals in the early childhood, social work, and education sectors while at the same time maintaining our parent base.
Each year we offer between 15 and 24 workshops, a morning keynote speaker, networking opportunities at lunch, and many vendors. Additionally, we are beginning to receive inquiries regarding the conference as early as June of the previous year. In 2012, we were honored to welcome Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy for lunch remarks and hear how Connecticut is at the forefront for children and families.