A Recap of the 2nd Annual First State Family Child Care Conference

On a rainy, fall Saturday morning, family child care educators from all across Delaware gathered at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware, for a day of learning, networking, and growth at the First State Family Child Care Conference: Educate, Elevate, Empower. This conference, held on October 14th, 2023, was a resounding success, drawing over 170 family child care educators.

The Chase Center provided the perfect backdrop for this educational event. As attendees filed in, the atmosphere buzzed with excitement, as educators and exhibitors alike looked forward to a day of collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Continue reading here.

DIEEC Staff pose with keynote speaker, Jerletha McDonald (center)

2023 1st State Family Child Care Conference Wrap-up

Image courtesy of Jerletha McDonald

Keynote Speaker: Jerletha McDonald

Jerletha McDonald is a social entrepreneur, a family child care business consultant, and a national speaker. Jerletha has a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies with a minor in Early Childhood Intervention from Stephen F. Austin State University. She owned and operated a family child care center, Nurturing Gifts Infant and Toddler Center, for 15 years. Jerletha is the founder of the Arlington DFW Child Care Professionals Association. Jerletha has 20 years of experience in Early Care Childhood Education. Jerletha is the former Senior Manager of Membership and Volunteer Affairs for the National Association for Family Child Care.

2023 Conference Information

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Chase Center on the Riverfront – 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Day-of Schedule:

  • 8:00-9:00 a.m. – Registration, breakfast, & vendors
  • 9:00-9:30 a.m. – Keynote speaker
  • 9:45-11:15 a.m. – Breakout sessions
  • 11:30-12:30 – lunch
  • 12:45-2:15 p.m. – Breakout sessions
  • 2:30-4:00 p.m. – Breakout sessions
  • 4:15-4:45 p.m. – Closing speaker & raffles

Click here for a downloadable version of the above schedule.

Professional Learning Experience (PLE) Sessions:

Click here for a downloadable version of the breakout sessions listed below.

Overnight Accommodations:

Conference attendees wishing to stay overnight have several options near the Chase Center on the Riverfront. DIEEC has secured a room block at Homewood Suites. This room block will remain open through 9/29. 

If you’d prefer to stay elsewhere, the hotels listed below are also within walking distance:

Interested in attending as a vendor or contributing a raffle item? Click here to get started.

2022 Conference

Thank you for a great first conference.

DIEEC hosted its inaugural 1st State Family Child Care Conference in support of Delaware’s family child care educators. We learned together, networked, and had so much fun! We’re already thinking about ideas for next year. Home-based child care is a culturally responsive way to provide early education, and we want to support your continued success!

2022 Special Guest Speaker

Alexandra R. Patterson

Director of Policy & Strategy for Home Grown, a national collaborative of funders committed to building quality of and access to home-based child care.

For over 15 years, Alexandra has worked in the early learning sector in a variety of roles including early childhood classroom teacher, case manager and supervisor in Pennsylvania’s QRIS system, professional development and technical assistance instructor and most recently intermediary Director for Philadelphia’s prek program, PHLpreK.

Alexandra holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Education from Bank Street College in New York City.