A national summit on early childhood health, education and policy


Feb. 8 – 10, 2017


The Omni Championsgate, Orlando, Florida

Early childhood studies is one of the highest priorities at the University of Florida. Campus wide, faculty from many disciplines are focusing their efforts to address collaboratively the grand challenges facing young children who are most vulnerable and their families. This momentum has spurred us to bring together many of the nation’s renowned researchers, educators, scholars, policy makers and leaders for an early childhood national summit, Starting Ahead. Staying Ahead.

This national summit, 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, will serve as a convener of the nation’s outstanding thought-leaders. Collectively, we will address timely topics that interconnect research, policy and practice to establish science-informed actions and advocacy and inform the public about why investments in early childhood are critical. The summit will focus on the following 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.