SUNY Cobleskill’s 2nd Annual Infant-Toddler Conference Features Brazelton Touchpoints Approach

SUNY Cobleskill and DOCS Infant Toddler Leadership Circle have joined together to host the 2nd Annual Infant Toddler Conference—Tending Tiny Roots: Touchpoints and Supporting Relationships—on Saturday, April 13, at SUNY Cobleskill's Bouck Hall ballroom from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. District 102 Assemblyman Pete Lopez will make opening remarks on the importance of the first three years in a child's life.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Jayne Singer, will focus on the Brazelton Touchpoints Approach. Dr. Singer is an Assistant Professor of Pediatric and Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Clinical Director of the Child and Parent Program, Division of Developmental Medicine at Children's Hospital in Boston. She leads the Early Care and Education Initiative and has adapted the work of Dr. T. Berry Brazelton for implementation across diverse disciplines within the field of early child development. She also chairs the Brazelton Early Care and Education Working Group, and is the primary author of the Touchpoints Reference Guide for Early Care and Education, published by the Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC) of Children's Hospital.

BTC offers a training model that emphasizes the building of supportive alliances between parents and professionals around predictable periods in a child's development (Touchpoints) that can disrupt family relations but can also provide an opportunity for practitioners to connect more closely with parents. By understanding each of the Touchpoints and working together to anticipate and recognize them, parents and providers can collaborate on responses that will reduce or prevent stress and other problems within the family and foster optimal child and family development.

Dr. Gail Wentworth, co-organizer of the conference and Chair of Early Childhood and Psychology at SUNY Cobleskill, is currently working on a sabbatical project with BTC faculty at Boston Children's Hospital. "Having just completed BTC Community Level Training in Boston, I am excited that our conference will highlight the Brazelton Touchpoints Approach of partnering with families to benefit young children's development," said Dr. Wentworth. "Touchpoints builds on the work of Dr. T. Berry Brazelton's expertise of building relationships with parents in his pediatric practice. It is a strengths-based approach that is applicable to the broad array of professions that provide services to children and families."

Sarah Gould, a co-organizer representing the DOCS group, explained their interest in co-sponsoring the event by saying, "We are a group of professionals dedicated to raising awareness of the significance of the first three years of life. In the spring of 2011, the DOCS group, representing the four counties of Delaware, Otsego, Chenango and Schoharie, came together allied with New York Zero-to-Three Network and have been working diligently to be a voice for babies and their families."

Workshops throughout the conference are designed for early care providers and educators, child and family service providers, students, faculty and parents. Workshop themes include enhancing early care and education, making life changes, pairing babies with consistent caregivers, sensory experiences for infants and toddlers and using positive relationships in identifying, understanding and responding to children's behaviors. Six hours of training is included for child care providers required by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services.

The cost for the conference is $30. Lunch is included. For more information, or to register, visit the Early Childhood Conference webpage.

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