Early Childhood National Summit

Early childhood studies is one of the highest priorities at the University of Florida. Campuswide, faculty from many disciplines are focusing their efforts to collaboratively address the grand challenges facing young children who are most vulnerable and their families.

In February 2017, this momentum spurred us to bring together many of the nation’s renowned researchers, educators, scholars, policymakers and leaders for an early childhood national summit, “Starting Ahead. Staying Ahead.

Hosted by the University of Florida and the Colleges of Education, Medicine, Public Health and Health Professions and Law, in concert with the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, the summit served as a convener of the nation’s outstanding thought-leaders.

Collectively, we addressed timely topics that interconnected research, policy and practice to establish science-informed actions and advocacy and brainstormed how to inform the public about why investments in early childhood are critical.

The summit focused on three areas:

Discovering the Keys to Opening Young Minds

Identify how knowledge from neuroscience, epigenetics and the learning sciences, may be used to inform strategies that strengthen children’s resilience to biological, environmental and established risks.

Influencing the Influencers to Unlock Children’s Potential

Identify effective strategies to integrate and advance social policies focused on young children who are vulnerable and their families.

Inspiring New Initiatives for the Next Generation

Identify approaches that have shown promise for supporting caregivers’ and practitioners’ implementation of evidence-based practices and improving children’s health, developmental and learning outcomes.