Meet our Professional Development Program!
Training and Professional Development

Professional development staff

Early Education and Child Care Professional Development

We are a team of trainers and coaches who are passionate about improving the quality of early childhood services in Kansas and Missouri. We provide training and professional development opportunities in the community, at program sites, and at special events.

Have a question? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at 913-742-4113. We look forward to working with you soon!


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Trainings for Missouri Providers

 
Northland Programs: We have a couple of trainings coming up brought to you by the Northland Early Education Council
 
Keep visiting our website for upcoming training in the Northland!

Here are our upcoming trainings through December 2017!

 

Helping Parents and Providers Understand Temperament

 A child’s temperament influences not only his or her style of interaction but the very way in which he or she understands and experiences the world.  This unit provides child care professionals with an introduction to the concept of temperament and to key developmental traits.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (2.0 Clock Hours)

Wee Rock Learning Center - At Church on the Rock

5110 S. Brookhart Drive, Harrisonville, MO 64701

Cost: $10.00

Sorry! Registration is Closed!

 

Promoting Children's Success through Social and Emotional Learning Techniques

Do you want to learn more techniques that support social and emotional development, even when children are displaying challenging behaviors? This module identifies strategies, such as problem solving and games to teach children emotional literacy and emotional regulation. You will see your classroom transform, as you help children identify emotions and teach them positive social skills that foster friendships. In this session you will learn about the third level of the CSEFEL teaching pyramid, which represents Targeted Social Emotional Supports.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM (3.0 Clock Hours)

Lee's Summit Medical Center Office Building - Room 208, Elm Room

600 Murray Road, Lee's Summit, MO 64081

Cost: $15.00

Register Online Here

Print and Mail Registration Here

 

Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Infants and Toddlers

Are you delivering high quality infant and toddler care in your classroom, center or family child care home? How do you know? From this workshop, you will learn the importance of developmentally appropriate practices with infants and toddlers and the 10 components related to high quality child care. You will learn how to reinforce the healthy development of infants and toddlers, through consistent routines, primary caregivers and responsive care. After this workshop, you will know what it means to provide high quality, inclusive care for our youngest children.

Thursday, December 7, 2017 from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (2.0 Clock Hours)

Holy Cross Lutheran Early Education Center - Fellowship Hall

2003 NE Englewood Road, Kansas City, MO 64117

Cost: $10.00

Register Online Here

Print and Mail Registration Here

 

 

To Register Any of the Trainings Above:

Register online and fill out the fields completely. You will receive a confirmation e-mail to the e-mail you provide.

Print and Mail the registration form complete filled out to:

The Family Conservancy

attn: Leanne Hilligas

444 Minnesota Avenue, Suite 200

Kansas City, KS 66101

Call and Register with a credit card to our Training Coordinator at 913-742-4113

Register online for MULTIPLE trainings using this online form

 


Don't see anything that meet's your needs?

 

  • Our staff can provide training events that are tailored to your program's needs.  Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inquire about available training topics, or to request a specific topic.

 

 

  • Are you pursing a degree in early childhood education, or looking to obtain your CDA? You may qualify for financial assistance from the Missouri T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship!  Visit their website for more information: https://teach-missouri.org/
 

CLASS Institute

Have you heard of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)?

The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) is a research-based observation tool that focuses on the effectiveness of classroom interactions among teachers and children, because daily interactions promote children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. Children thrive when teachers create nurturing, well-managed settings and provide frequent and engaging opportunities to learn.

Let us introduce you to The CLASS Institute for Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte counties in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas!

 

What is The CLASS Institute?

The CLASS Institute provides training and coaching for your program to improve quality teacher/child interactions using the CLASS tool. We will help you learn more about this instrument and how to use it in your program, support one another, and how to sustain what you learn.

 

Training

Twenty-two hours of approved training for directors to attend together with multiple preschool teachers from their program. (Four hours of training take place on five Saturdays, and one additional two hour training.)

 

Coaching

Twelve hours of on-site group coaching for preschool teachers. (Director is required to participate in the last thirty minutes of each of the eight 1.5 hour sessions. Coverage will be needed for teachers as they will need to meet outside their classroom at the program).

 

Director Support Group

Twelve hours held in eight 1.5 hour sessions. Directors will meet together at a community location to learn more about how to integrate CLASS into their program and support their teachers and each other with this tool.

 

Individualized Coaching

Individualized one-on-one coaching is available to participating programs with toddler teachers that are committed to improving their interactions with the children (limited spots available).

 

When

August 2017 through June 2018

  • August and September --recruitment, collect commitment forms, and pre-assessments scheduled

  • September, October, November—Twenty hours of training on preschool CLASS

(Saturday Dates:  September 16 & 30, October 14, November 4 & 18, and December 9 for reschedule, if needed)

  • September, October, November, January, February, March, April, June—Twelve hours of Director’s Support Groups

  • December—CLASS assessments completed on teachers to set goals for group coaching

  • January—Group coaching introduction and CLASS refresher training (two hours)

  • February through May—Group coaching sessions

  • May and June—Post Observations

 

Incentives available for full participation

 

Are you interested in applying for the CLASS Institute? Please fill out a complete application by August 25, 2017.

Click here to access the application

Click here to access the committment form

 

Please e-mail, fax or mail the application AND committement form to:

The Family Conservancy

Attn: Shari Williams

444 Minnesota Avenue, Suite 200

Kansas City, KS 66101

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: (913)-742-4116

Fax: (913)-342-3632

Early Childhood Fall Symposium

Early Education Fall Symposium TrainingSAVE THE DATE! Our Early Childhood Fall Symposium will be held Saturday, October 21, 2017 at KU Edwards Campus BEST Conference Center in Overland Park.

Sorry!

 

Our 12th Annual Early Childhood Fall Symposium registration is full! We apologize for any inconvenience. If you would like to be put on a waitlist, please e-mail Leanne Hilligas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, e-mail and phone number and we will get a hold of you if an opening arises. Thank you for your interest in The Family Conservancy's Early Childhood Fall Symposium!

 

 

The Family Conservancy’s annual Early Childhood Fall Symposium provides practical tools and valuable information from exceptional speakers and specialists in the early childhood field. You’re sure to leave with the knowledge and motivation to overcome any challenge. For registration updates sign up for our monthly email newsletter.

Have a question? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at 913-742-4113.

2017-2018 Director Leadership Academy

The Family Conservancy Director Leadership Academy was designed by request of  early education directors.   It serves those who are currently a director, assistant director, other administrator or those who have a desire to be a director or leader in the field of early childhood.   The Academy provides leadership skills training and focuses on ways to become a more effective leader to meet the needs of the program, as well as of the staff, children and families entrusted in their care.   Class topics include:  Communication, team building, ethics, leadership traits, behaviors/characteristics of working with adults, advocacy, mentoring, coping with change, budgets, supporting families, employment practices, and other leadership concerns.  All programs will participate in a pre/post assessment using the Programs Administration Scale (PAS), will receive their own copies of the PAS book, and will use their pre-assessment results to set goals for the course of the project.  In addition, each participant will receive follow-up coaching during the project. 

 
Because there are only 18 slots available for this session of the Director’s Leadership Academy, it is very important that you commit to attending and engaging in the complete series (5 sessions).   We will together challenge each other to intentionally ‘make a difference’ using our time, talents and resources.

 

 

Important Information to know before you apply and agree to participate:
When: The 5 sessions are to be held on the following Thursdays: 12/14/2017, 1/25/2018, 2/15/2018, 3/15/2018, and 4/19/2018.
 
Time: 9:00am - 3:30 pm (6 clock hours each)
 
Location: The Family Conservancy, 444 Minnesota Avenue, Suite 200, Kansas City, KS 66101
 
Cost:  $75.00 per participant for 30 hours of approved training 
(note – if conditions listed in “Additional Information”  are met - $50 will be refunded to the participant at last session)
 
Included:   Snacks, all printed materials, notebook , clock hour training certificates (Kansas and Missouri), door prizes, on-site coaching
 
Additional Information:    Participant will need access to an email account.   Up to 2 participants from any program may be considered for the Academy.    $50 refund is contingent on attending a minimum of 75% of the sessions and hosting a parent event at the program.  Participant’s program must accept and have state subsidized children enrolled.
 
Priority will be given to programs that serve low-income families and who are in Wyandotte county.
 
Questions? Please contact Janelle Balarashti at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Are you interested in applying for Director's Leadership Academy? Please fill out our application and submit by mail, email or fax (913-742-3632) to Janelle Balarashti. 
Payment should be submitted to Leanne Hilligas either by check (USPS) or credit card (phone: 913-742-4113)
 

Trainings for Kansas Providers

Step it Up Challenge!

Join Child  Care Aware of Kansas in our Challenge to Reduce Childhood Obesity! 

Project Benefits: 
  • KDHE approved in-service training hours for center staff at no cost, including a comprehensive curriculum 
  • On-site technical assistance 
  • Program recognition 
  • Material and equipment including music CDs, books and training materials 
  • Networking opportunities to be a part of a team committed to children’s health and well-being
  • A $500 incentive stipend 
 
Who is Eligible? 
  • Licensed Family and Child Care Centers located in Johnson or Wyandotte counties; including Head Start and Early Head Start Programs
 
Program Involvement:
  • Four hands-on trainings during the project year  
  • Staff professional development facilitated by leadership teams to equip staff with knowledge to create healthy practices 
  • Support to develop plans for program improvement.
  • A time to celebrate successes!
 

For additional information, click here to view the flyer and sign up by contacting Amy Cochran at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 913-742-4188


Don't see anything that meet's your needs?

 

  • Our staff can provide training events that are tailored to your program's needs.  Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inquire about available training topics, or to request a specific topic.

 

Meet Our Team!

 

We are a team of trainers and coaches who are passionate about improving the quality of early childhood services in Kansas and Missouri.  We provide training and professional development opportunities in the community, at program sites, and at special events.

Pictured from Left to Right 

Back Row: Debbie Karlstrand, Shari Williams, Mary Williams, Marsha Wiard, Leanne Hilligas, Nancy Heathman, Janelle Balarshati

Front Row: Sue Sullivan, Heather Waterfield, Jenny Brandt, Jo Applegate, Jeannie Evans

Not Pictured: Carol Ayres, Emma Bart-Plange

 

Jenny Brandt, Director of Quality Initiatives and Professional Development

Years in Early Education: 18+ years

I oversee a department of passionate, determined, and innovative coaches and trainers. Our goal is to improve the quality of early childhood education in our community. My passion is to help the professionals in my field grow, and find ways to make their innovative ideas become reality.

Mary Williams, Quality Initiatives and Professional Development Program Manager

Years in Early Education: 13+ years 

I have BA in psychology and an M Ed. in Counseling and Guidance. I also hold a National Counseling Certification. I have worked in school age childcare, and then was an infant room teacher and eventually director at a Therapeutic Child Treatment program under the umbrella of services offered by the Greenville County Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse treatment in South Carolina. I worked as an Infant/Toddler Specialist at the Resource and Referral Agency in Wichita, KS before moving into the same position here at The Family Conservancy. I moved away for a couple years and stayed at home with my son while getting a baby sign instructor certification and then taught classes once a month at a local library. We moved back to Kansas City three years ago and I moved into my position as a early Education and Professional Development Specialist. I am now transitioning into my role as a Quality Initiatives and Professional Development Program Manager.

Jo Applegate, Quality Initiatives Administrative Coordinator

Years in Early Education: 15+ years

I came to The Family Conservancy in June 2002, and became the Quality Initiatives administrative assistant for a few years later. In my role, I support the Director of Quality Initiatives, the Vice President of Programs, the Quality Initiatives and Professional Development Program Manager, coaches, and trainers in a multitude of ways in day-to-day activities.

Carol Ayres, Early Education and Professional Development Specialist

Years in Early Education: 20+ years

I provide evidence based practices to support continued improvement and learning for early education professionals, families and children.

Janelle Balarashti, Quality Initiatives Grants Coordinator

Years in Early Education: 13+ years

I currently work with license exempt, registered and family child care providers in Missouri and assist with various projects as needed.  My passion for early education providers is assisting them in making each child and family feel successful in their own unique ways.

Emma Bart-Plange, Quality Initiatives Early Learning Coach

COMING SOON!

Jeannie Evans, Quality Initiatives Early Learning Coach

Years in Early Education: 28+ years

I work with Early Childhood Educators striving to improve the quality of care. I am passionate about giving all children a chance to feel valued and loved for who they are, while providing a rich environment conductive to learning. 

Nancy Heathman, Quality Initiatives Early Learning Coach

Years in Early Education: 39+ years

I coach and train for the Quality Initiatives/Professional Development department at The Family Conservancy, including teaching the Director's Leadership Academy. My passion in early education is working with administrators and early childhood professionals strengthening growth, learning and leadership skills. 

Leanne Hilligas, Training Coordinator

Years in Early Education: 7+ years

I currently coordinate and schedule professional development training in Missouri and Kansas as well as provide professional development trainings to Missouri early education staff. My experience is in assistant teaching, teaching in a licensed exempt, licensed, and Head Start Program in infants and toddlers, working in a Head Start partnership delegate, and in training coordination. My passion in early education is to work with young adults and students to advance their career in the early education field. 

Debbie Karlstrand, Child Development and Inclusion  Specialist

Years in Early Education: 23+ years

I have a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Missouri and a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in Early Childhood Leadership from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. My passion in early education includes assisting educators in professional development, including e-Learning, supporting those in the CDA process and workforce development, supporting families, children and early childhood educators in the referral process and inclusion services, and parenting support and advocacy.

Sue Sullivan, Quality Initiatives Early Learning Coach

Years in Early Education: 40+ years

I work to help teachers improve their positive interactions with children so that children are successful socially/emotionally as well as intellectually.‚Äč

Heather Waterfield, Early Education and Professional Development Specialist

Years in Early Education: 20+ years

I currently work with parents, families, child care providers, and other early education specialists on improving the quality of child care for children in Kansas and Missouri. She has received numerous professional training including Kansas City Brain Child, Parents and Teachers, ACT Against Violence Program, Partnering with Parents Zero to Three, and the West Ed Program for Infant and Toddler Caregivers, and is a Certified National Playground Safety Inspector through the National Recreation and Parks Association. She is also working towards her Infant/Toddler HighScope Trainer certification.

Marsha Wiard, Early Education and Professional Development Specialist

Years in Early Education: 34+ years

I am a coach and trainer for early educators. I have a love and passion for making a difference for young children and their families.

Shari Williams, Early Education and Professional Development Specialist

COMING SOON!

 

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