About Symposium

What is Symposium?

Child Care Aware® of America's 2014 Symposium is a three day event where child care and early education professionals from across the nation will gather to focus on four key categories of our field: Policy, Research, Practice, and Innovation. Symposium participants will learn how to engage policymakers on critical child care issues, leverage cutting-edge research and strategies that will promote quality child care, and discuss the future of child care and early learning in their communities and across the nation.

Now that the 2014 Symposium has concluded, check the Program and Events page for slides and presentations from many of our 27 expertly panelled breakout sessions. Click the tab above, or just follow this link to view them and get a glimpse in on sessions you may have missed: Program and Events.

Participate Virtually through 1K for Kids

Help us take 1,000 actions for children in child care April 2-4, 2014. This year at Symposium, we're asking everyone to help continue the momentum for children in child care. You created a social stir during our Reddit AMA event and helped generate thousands of emails to push the reauthorization of CCDBG. Now, you can join us for Symposium wherever you are. We're challenging everyone who cares about children to help generate 1,000 actions for children, or 1K for Kids.


What's an "action"? That's easy. Each of these actions will help us reach the goal.

Ways to take action:

  • Tweet using #RYH4ChildCare
  • Mention @USAChildCare in a tweet
  • Like or share our Facebook status
  • Post about Symposium on LinkedIn
  • Post a photo on Instagram with #RYH4ChildCare
  • Send a message to Congress through our Action Center
  • Attend a Hill meeting at Day on the Hill or visit your state legislature
  • Send a press release about your organization's participation
  • Donate to Child Care Aware® of America


How's it work? Every action you take will count as one towards our 1,000 action goal. BUT, a donation will count as more. For example, if you donate $50 to Child Care Aware® of America, that counts as 50 actions for children. Every day during symposium we'll randomly pick a winner from the pool of people who help us reach 1K for Kids. And we've made it so easy! Pick from sample tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn posts to contribute to 1K for Kids. Download the toolkit here.

Presenting at Symposium? Send a press release. That counts as an action! Download your media kit here.

What you can win:

  • Complimentary Membership to Child Care Aware® of America
  • A drawstring goody bag from Child Care Aware® of America
  • A copy of Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Shulte, which features interviews with Child Care Aware® of America

Check your progress Check Facebook every day during Symposium to see how all of us can make a difference for children in child care. We'll update the number of actions each day. Thank you for supporting children in child care by helping us reach 1K for Kids!

Why Should I Attend?

Make history

The committee passage of reauthorization for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, the proposed changes to Child Care Regulations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the introduction of "Strong Start for America's Children Act of 2013" signal a historic opportunity for early childhood advocates to impact decisions made in Washington, DC.  Don't miss this chance to shape the conversation around child care and early learning at the 2014 Symposium.

More breakout sessions than ever

You asked for more. You got it.  This year you can choose from 27 professional breakout sessions.  Nowhere will you find a more diverse cross section of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, educators, business professionals, philanthropic foundations and policy makers.  Colleagues from NAEYC, the Centers for Disease Control "Learn the Signs Act Early" program leaders, Generations United, ZERO TO THREE, and many more will combine for our most packed-full-of-goodness concurrent sessions yet.

Day on the Hill

The ability to speak directly to your congressional representatives is a right and a privilege. But how many people actually get to walk into their congressional representative's office in Washington DC and have a real conversation? Symposium attendees do.  Plus, this year's congressional panel will include congressional staffers and their principals. Don't miss your chance to speak to congress and share your state's story. Then, take what you learn back to your state Policymakers and be even better connected to continue your local agency work.

Celebrate your colleagues

Child Care Aware® of America established the Sandra J. Skolnik Public Policy Leadership Award in 2008 in honor of a tireless advocate for children and families. Sandy Skolnik is described as a visionary who saw the need to and importance of investing in young children's education early and often. She spent more than 30 years setting a high standard for the Child Care Resource and Referral profession nationwide.  Do you know someone who reflects Sandy's leadership and inspiration? Nominate them for the 2014 Sandra J. Skolnik Public Policy Leadership Award. One special nominee will receive the award at Symposium.

Get inspired and have fun

We're closing out Symposium with a speaker who will challenge us with new ideas to innovate and invigorate our work. Plus, thanks to the support of Sesame Workshop, a special character will make an appearance at Symposium this year. Early registrants will get a VIP photo session with the mystery Muppet.

Symposium is about taking action, learning, networking – and getting inspired to continue the great work you do.

Something BIG is coming and it's all at Symposium. Be a part of it!  Register today.

Hotel and Local Attractions

All Symposium attendees reside at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill for the duration of their stay. This historic neighborhood is just minutes from dozens of bustling shops, restaurants, monuments and museums, so throughout your visit you can take full advantage of all D.C. has to offer.