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All About MTAEYC

Updated: Nov 14, 2023


Every October, Montana holds the state Early Childhood Education Conference in partnership with the National Association for the Education of Young Children. This year’s conference is being held in Billings at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center starting on Thursday, October 19th and ending on Saturday the 21st. What better time than now to introduce and talk about the Montana affiliate of NAEYC?

This year's conference will be jam packed with amazing classes and opportunities to earn continuing education credits, featuring the Keynote speech presented by Carla Ward, the CEO and founder of Early Learning Foundations.



Other examples of classes being offered this year include an entire day’s training on Thursday titled, “Beyond Behavior Management: Guiding Children from the Inside Out” presented by Doctor Jenny Barkac of Conscious Discipline. Other trainings to highlight: "Establishing Your Brand" with Heide Borgnonova, "Growing the Social and Emotional Skills of Parents and their Children" with Amanda McMahil, "Sustainable Staffing Strategies" with Jason Nitschke, "Project Based Learning" with Danielle Bailey and Anna Puryear, "Assessment in Diverse ECE Cultural Environments" with Xuan Li, "Active Supervision" with Bob Swindle, "Measuring what Matters Most: Social Skills for Kindergarten Readiness" with Grace Decker, and so many more! Check out the conference website for more information on this year's event in Billings.

The in person classes are wonderful after we’ve spent so much time on Zoom the last few years! It is great to meet trainers and instructors from all over who offer the latest knowledge and research. There are also many opportunities to discuss and learn alongside providers from all over Montana. I always come home with a notebook full of ideas and strategies to try back at my program.

I’ll be the first to tell you, though, that the State Early Childhood Conference is not all learning and seriousness. The Friday night dinner, awards ceremony, and after party is always a great time! There are also many opportunities for networking and collaborating with other professionals in the industry.

I’ve been involved with the Missoula chapter AEYC for four years but have been attending the state conferences for much longer! As the current VP and treasurer of the Missoula chapter AEYC, I thought I would share some of the benefits and the reasons why I personally stay involved with NAEYC and with our local chapter here in Missoula. If you are curious to join a local chapter near you, check out the MTAEYC website!

Woman speaking in front of a group of several people.
Woman speaking in front of a group of several people.

“The mission of the Montana Association for the Education of Young Children is to promote a community of professionals advocating for quality care and education of young children through collaboration.”

Reasons for joining (and staying with) Montana AEYC:

Reasons for joining (and staying with) Montana AEYC:

  • I was able to meet other early childhood professionals all with different careers in early childhood in my area whom I might have not met otherwise

  • I became close with professionals who were more experienced than me and I was able to lean on them for support and advice

  • I learned, and continue to learn, about being an advocate for the early childhood industry

  • I am more confident in my abilities as a leader in this industry and in my community, too

  • It’s easy to meet my yearly training hours by attending AEYC events

  • I receive wonderful readings and resources in the mail each year

  • Being a part of a professional organization looks great on a resume and added onto your credentials

  • Our monthly meetings are always a welcome respite for me to unwind and vent to peers who understand my daily wins and struggles in ECE

  • We have fun parties! Watch for our Spring Membership event coming up in Missoula!


I hope this synopsis answers any questions or thoughts you may have had regarding the state conference or the Montana Association for the Education of Young Children. There is still time to snag your tickets for the Billings conference, but they are going fast. If you can’t make it this year, we will see you next year in beautiful Butte!


 

Meghan is a born and raised Montanan, mama to a new baby boy, a busy preschooler, and a bonus mom to two amazing teenagers. She holds both a Bachelors and Master's degree in Early Childhood Education. Meghan is currently working part time with Raise Montana as a project specialist where she writes blogs, curriculum guides, and hosts the seasonal book clubs. Meghan is passionate about using her experience as an early childhood educator and as a Mom to bring knowledge and inspiration to Montana child care providers


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