CD Summit is underway!

Center directors gather in Florida for the 2014 center director summit.

Center directors gather in Florida for the 2014 center director summit.

The 2014 CD Summit is underway, and nearly 2,000 center directors from around the country are gathered to build our business.

“Spark isn’t just meant to be a theme,” said CEO Tom Wyatt during his talk on Tuesday morning, “It’s meant to be the beginning of the rest of your life.”

This morning, Tom and Dr. Elanna Yalow have spent time discussing accreditation, enrollment, growing profit, and the importance of “doing the right thing.” Tom wants to empower center directors to make the best decisions they can for our families and the children we serve.

Elanna’s talk focused on serve and return, or the crucial back and forth communication that occurs between adults and children that helps to develop the brain.

“Serve and return is the fundamental difference between custodial care and high quality early childhood education,” she said. “Make serve and return come alive in your classrooms.”

Aside from reinforcing our five priorities, Elanna also shared some exciting news about our goal of 100% accreditation. As of last week, Missouri joined Maryland and Minnesota as one of our states to earn accreditation across all districts.

Industry wide, fewer than 10 percent of all early childhood education centers are nationally accredited. With 22 centers in Missouri, Knowledge Universe continues to stand out as the national leader in accreditation.

“On tours, talk up our benefit,” said Tom. “Nobody has more nationally accredited centers than we do.”

Studies have shown children who attend high quality programs demonstrate better skills in math, language and cognition, and social and emotional development.

“It is so inspiring to see our commitment to accreditation coming to life across the country, and I can wait to see which state will be the next to reach 100% accreditation,” said Elanna.

NAEYC Deputy Executive Director Barbara Willer spoke to the conference attendees about accreditation and the need to provide high quality service to all children, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds. Participants took part in breakout sessions to further focus on serve-and-return and discuss videos showing examples of teachers interacting with children in centers.

For more exciting news from the summit, stay tuned to ONE, and look for updates and announcements on Yammer. To see photos, visit our Flickr page.

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