Sprouting Our Youth: Fall into Healthy Habits Conference

thMaine Roads to Quality and MaineAEYC have been working together to organize conferences around the State, so early childcare educators can gather together to learn from each other, strengthening early childhood education (birth thru 8yrs) in Maine.

When the opportunity arose, FCCAM joined the conference planning group headed by the York County Early Childhood Coalition for a new Fall conference to be held at York Community College. We are hoping to also be a part of the planning for a Spring conference held in Piscataquis County.

You can find information on additional conferences and registration links in the sidebar.

Three members of FCCAM will be presenting at the York conference.

Members of FCCAM have a discounted conference registration cost of $24. Be sure to check off FCCAM member when you register. If you are not already an FCCAM member it’s easy to join. All membership information can be accessed on this website. We offer either paper registration or online registration and payment. FCCAM is also offering a 1 yr membership ($45 value) to the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) to any new FCCAM member that joins us thru the end of Oct.


All conference information and paper registration material can be accessed through this link.

For easy online registration use this link.


Following is the Conference Schedule and workshop descriptions. FCCAM hopes to see many family child care providers there!

Sprouting our Youth: Fall into Healthy Habits Saturday, October 20, 2018

Conference Schedule

8:00 AM – Registration, Refreshments & Networking 

8:30 AM – Opening Remarks 

9:00 AM – Morning Breakout Session #1 

10:40 AM – Morning Breakout Session #2 

12:15 PM – Lunch (included in registration fee)

1:00 PM – Afternoon Breakout Session

2:35 PM – Let’s Go! Breakout Session, Raffle

3:00 PM – Adjourn


Keynote Address with Kathy Gunst: From the Ground Up: the importance of teaching young children to cook, grow and love healthy food Kathy Gunst is a James Beard award winning food journalist. She is the author of 15 cookbooks; her most recent book is Soup Swap (Chronicle Books). She is the Resident Chef of the award winning NPR show, Here and Now, heard on over 500 public radio stations. She helped start a food education program at Central School in South Berwick, Maine.

Descriptions for Breakout Sessions:

Infant & Toddler Safety: Safe Sleep & Period of Purple Crying, Patrice Leary-Forrey: More than 3,500 babies in the U.S. die suddenly and unexpectedly every year while sleeping, often due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or accidental deaths from suffocation or strangulation. In an effort to reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) updated policy statement and technical report includes new evidence that supports skin-to-skin care for newborn infants, addresses the use of bedside and in-bed sleepers, and adds to recommendations on how to create a safe sleep environment.

Gardening Cooking & Nutrition, Tammy Dwyer: This interactive workshop shares intentionally planned activities that inspire providers and excite/engage children in gardening, cooking, and nutrition. Be inspired with new games to play, learn about vegetables children can grow, and new ways to teach mindfulness of health and nutrition. The session will end with cooking fun!

Gardening in Your Child Care: How to Maximize Your Tax Write Off, Sasha Shunk: In this session you’ll discover how to maximize your deductible food expense by utilizing a garden and the IRS standard food deduction. We’ll also discuss creative ways to use all the vegetables so nothing goes to waste all while staying within the CACFP guidelines. This is appropriate for both the home based and center based provider.

Healthy Relationships/Sexual Abuse Prevention, Patrice Leary-Forrey: The Healthy Relationships Project is a sexual abuse prevention curriculum for ages 3-14. This session will provide an overview of how to talk to children about sexual abuse prevention, classroom resources, grooming and red flags.

Let’s Make a Plan, Kate Smith: Are you inspired and passionate about gardening and cooking with students but just not sure how to start? Wondering how to engage your parents and/or community? Or maybe you’ve been doing it for a while and you are ready to dig deeper and make meaningful, purposeful and authentic connections to your curriculum. If so, this session is for you. Come with a colleague if you can and we’ll learn how the logic model can help us organize, maximize, strategize and yes, apply for grants.

Movement Matters: Fun Ways to be Active While Learning, Samantha Bowen: Join Samantha from Let’s Go! York County in this interactive session where participants will learn the importance and value of incorporating physical activity into their daily activities, as well as providing you some tangible tools to use with any age level!

Strengthening Maine Families, Patrice Leary-Forrey: Strengthening Maine Families supports child care providers to help parents become stronger parents. Child care providers learn to approach parents as the experts on their own children, to listen openly to their concerns and ideas, and to work together with parents to find answers to questions and concerns about child development. Strengthening Maine Families is grounded in the research that recognizes how children develop and has identified the important protective factors that strengthen every growing family,

  1. Parental Resilience: taking care of self and learning to manage stress
  2. Social Connections: creating natural parent support
  3. Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development: understanding leads to better parenting
  4. Concrete Support in Times of Need: helping Parents learn where to go when they need help
  5. Social and Emotional Competence of Children: helping children to communicate and understanding how to help them develop appropriately
  6. Healthy Parent Child Relationships: giving children the love and respect they need

Roll up your sleeves and help Cassie, from the Let’s Go! Program demonstrate: A life in the day of Sally and Oscar: You will be amazed at how “just one small” food reward adds up throughout a child’s day…Truly a Sugar Shocker! Participants will be provided with tools and resources to share with families on this topic as well as ideas on what non-food rewards could be used instead.

Turtles & Tomatoes!, Cathryn Falwell: Entice the children in your program with fun activities that promote healthy eating, gardening, nature exploration and outdoor play. Using several of her titles as examples, children’s book author and illustrator Cathryn Falwell will share many examples for extending picture books into a cornucopia of projects, activities, experiments and experiences for you to share with your students. There will be time to generate and share ideas with each other as well. Participants will be invited to create several projects to take home.

Using Picture Books in Support of Developing Healthy Habits, Deborah Arcaro: In this breakout session, we’ll explore together a variety of picture books that can be used year round to expand and enrich lessons around developing healthy habits connected to gardening and nutrition with children. While the majority of the books we will be sharing are geared for 3-5 year olds, their lessons can be adapted up or down. You will leave with a data list of 100+ books and additional links to online resources for activities.

We’re All in This Together, Kate Smith: None of us is as smart as all of us! In this interactive breakout session we will identify activities and strategies to engage children in gardening and healthy eating. Be prepared to share what you’ve tried with your students, I will too, and we will leave with a list of inspiring activities, resources and strategies!

WinterKids Guide to Outdoor Active Learning (GOAL) and the WinterKids Challenge, Marion Doyle: Who makes winter fun? We do! Do you want ideas and materials to make winter outdoor time fun and engaging? Join this session to learn indoor and outdoor active ways to explore winter themes. Participants will enjoy this lively walk through the WinterKids GOAL getting creative work plans for eight weeks of winter fun! NEW THIS YEAR-We have added a two-week unit covering Spring transitions! Participants will leave this session hardly able to wait for winter’s arrival and have LOTS of fun ideas, a copy of the WinterKids GOAL and the opportunity to register for the WinterKids Challenge.

Workplace Wellness, Casey Marcotte: Join Casey Marcotte from the York County Let’s Go! Program and dig deeper into Staff Wellness. Whether you work as a team of 1, 2, 10 or 50, your wellness is important! Casey will share information about the new Small Steps program for adults and resources from the Let’s Go! Workplace Wellness toolkit. Participants will also learn how to set SMART Goals, techniques on how to handle stress, and ways to establish a healthier work environment, one small step at a time. You’re sure to leave feeling motivated and excited about your personal wellness as well as in your workplace.