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The Washington State Family Child Care Association’s annual Early Learning Conferences bring early childhood professionals from all around the Pacific Northwest together to experience an invaluable educational and networking opportunity.  If you are involved in the care and education of young children you do NOT want to miss our conferences! 






Foundational Quality Standards Conference
"Preparing for the WAC Update" May 18, 2019  CLOSED

If you are registered to attend the May 18th Foundational Quality Conference please read HERE for more information.  
Location:  Green River College, 12401 SE 320th St, Auburn, WA 98092  (Grand Hall - Located in the Student Union)

Email [email protected] to be added to the wait list. 


WSFCCA Annual Early Learning Conference
September 14, 2019

The WSFCCA Early Learning Conferences provide learning opportunities that are grounded in the ECE Core Competencies providing a foundation for quality. We encourage all family child care providers/staff, child care center directors/staff, and all others involved in the care and education of young children to attend.  


Jeff A. Johnson opened Explorations Early Learning, a family child care program, in 2003 with his wife, Tasha, after spending 16 years directing a child care center and community center for a large non-profit agency.

Their program focused on supporting emergent learning in a play-based and child-centered environment. 

Jeff advocates for child-led play and caregiver self care.  Jeff presents regularly at early learning conferences across the United States, Canada, and Australia and has keynoted an international conference in Cork, Ireland.  He produces a number of early learning podcasts that currently have over 250,000 downloads a year!    

Jeff is also the author of ten books: "Do-It-Yourself Early Learning" (Redleaf Press, 2006), "Finding Your Smile Again"
(Redleaf Press, 2007), "Everyday Early Learning" (Redleaf Press, 2008), "Babies in the Rain" (Redleaf Press, 2009),
"Keeping Your Smile" (Redleaf Press, 2010), "Let Them Play: An Early Learning (Un)Curriclum" (Redleaf Press, 2012),
"Let's Play (Un)Curriculum Early Learning Adventures" (Redleaf Press 2013), "Let's All Play: A Group-Learning (Un)Curriculum"
(Redleaf Press 2015), "The Child Care Alphabet Book of Early Learning" (Explorations Early Learning LLC,2007),
"The Child Care Alphabet Book of Manipulatives" (Explorations Early Learning LLC, 2008)

​​Allie Bishop Pasquier is an early childhood educator whose work focuses on curriculum, play, and childhood. 
She has taught children 0-8 in a variety of settings, from museums to gardens to classrooms, and teaches playful,
hands-on workshops for early childhood educators around the globe. 

Allie is the founder and director of Play Lab, which curates interactive, open-ended play events and after school enrichment. 
Allie is based in Bellingham, WA and travels domestically and internationally to talk about childhood play and curriculum.
Paul Figueroa is an award-winning speaker, trainer, mentor and author.  Paul served as a police officer with the King County Sheriff’s Department in Seattle, Washington for over 12 years.  In 1998, he left law enforcement and has been helping people, young and old, to live happier lives ever since. 

Currently, Paul travels all over the country providing workshops and keynotes at conferences that support children and those that work with them. Paul also  provides parent support workshops, staff, manager and leadership trainings for Head Start, Early Head Start and Child Care organizations all over the United States. 

In recognition of his work with children and families, Paul received "The Governor's Child Abuse Prevention Award." He’s appeared on Radio Disney and the Today Show. Paul is an author of two books:   “Listen, Your Life is Calling -The Journey Home” and “Listen, Your Life is Calling - The Journey to Purpose” which are now available on his website and at

DCYF Trainers, Debbie Groff, Jodi Hitchings and Debbie O'Neil, will present a WAC Update training.

Conference Schedule & Topics


8:00 AM - 9:45 AM       MT OLYMPUS ROOM        


Presented by Jeff Johnson "Attack of the Snoterpillars"    Learning Environment and Curriculum (1.50)
Welcome - 8:00 - 8:15
Maintaining strong relationships with the children is the cornerstone of any quality child care environment, but such relationships are hard work when times are good and downright difficult when you are being attacked by snoterpillars.

This session looks at the significance of child-caregiver relationships in building age-appropriate early learning environments and how provider stress and burnout can impact those relationships. Providers will leave this session with useful tips for dealing with their stress, validation as early care and education professionals, and a smile on their faces.  

Attendees will understand how their stress impacts their relationships with children. Attendees will understand the importance of Emotional Environments and leave the session with simple ideas for managing their stress.

*Based On Our Books Babies In The Rain, Keeping Your Smile, and Finding Your Smile Again  

8:00 AM - 9:45 AM     MT CONSTANCE ROOM   


Presented by Allie Bishop-Pasquier "The Secret Life of Materials"    Learning Environment and Curriculum (1.50)

Welcome - 8:00 - 8:15
Participants will learn about sourcing free – and low-cost materials for their settings and deepen their understanding of the endless potential of materials.  This session will include conversations around room set up and clean up time, as well as how to help children dig deeper in their play.

We will focus on choosing developmentally appropriate materials for 2 - 8 year olds for open ended exploratory play and will address the value of play in all aspects of curriculum and child development.  This is a hands-on, play centered workshop where participants use materials in an open-ended way to gain an understanding of what the experience might be like for a child in their care.  Participants will receive a list of resources to help them further their learning and dive deeper into the parts that are most relevant to them.


10:00 AM - 11:30 AM       MT OLYMPUS ROOM     


Presented by Jeff Johnson   “Trusting Kids As Learners”     Environment and Curriculum (1.50)

Children are wired for learning--they are good at it, eager to do it, and driven to it--yet too often we adults get in the way and take control of learning. We expect kids to learn what we want, when we want, how we want, and where we want. This session is about trusting kids as learners and creating environments where they are free to lead their learning. 

Attendees will understand why we should trust children to guide their own learning and will understand the 4 T's.  Attendees will leave with easy to implement ideas for trusting kids as learners,
*Based On Our Books "Let Them Play and Let's Play"

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM       MT CONSTANCE ROOM    


 Presented by Paul Figueroa   “Mastering Change”     Professional Development  (1.50)​​

Change happens in every organization and can lead to positive, or negative results. Participants in this course discover what the different responses are to change. You’ll see how you can actually choose your response rather than be a victim to the situation. Also, learn the indicators of people having difficulty with change and gain new skills in how to maximize their positive potential instead.


12:30 PM - 2:00 PM       MT OLYMPUS ROOM    


Presented by Jeff Johnson   “Cows in The Basement”    Learning Environment and Curriculum (1.50)

A child’s life should be full of whim, fantasy, imagination, and goofiness, but all too often kids are forced to grow up too soon. This session will look at how caregivers can feed their need for fun and fantasy...and have a good time while doing so.  

Outcomes/Goals Attendees will leave with ideas for supporting fantasy and imaginative play Attendees will practice using their imaginations Attendees will see the relationship between fantasy play and learning 

Based On Our Books "Let Them Play" and "Let's All Play"

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM       MT CONSTANCE ROOM     


 Presented by Allie Bishop-Pasquier   "Tinker Time"  $5.00 Material Fee     Learning Environment and Curriculum (1.50)

There is nothing more engaging for young children than the process of play, especially when they get to solve exciting problems.  The world is a puzzle just waiting to be solved, and getting our hands into things that move, light up, and buzz is an exciting way to engage kids – and adults – in the process of play and exploration.

In this hands-on workshop, participants will play with circuits, take-aparts, LED lights, and more.  Rather than focusing on products to make and take home, this workshop helps you think about offering children engaging materials to explore.  You’ll learn about the logistics of sourcing these materials and bringing them into your setting, as well as some basics on documenting their play to share with families.  Watch children’s creativity come alive with simple materials!

Participants will receive a list of resources to help them further their learning and dive deeper into the parts that are most relevant to them.


2:15 PM - 3:45 PM       MT OLYMPUS  ROOM                      


Presented by Jeff Johnson  "Finding Your Smile Again"        Professional Development  (1.50)

Many caregivers spend so much time focusing on the needs of others that they fail to take care of themselves, which often leads to stress and burnout. This session looks at how burnout impacts caregivers and ways to deal with that impact.  
 Attendees will understand how stress and burnout impacts them and will understand the causes of stress and burnout.  Attendees will leave with simple and doable ideas for managing stress and burnout.

Based On Our Books "Finding Your Smile Again", "Keeping Your Smile", "Babies In The Rain", and "Let Them Play". 

2:15 PM - 3:45 PM       MT CONSTANCE  ROOM               


Presented by DCYF  -  WAC Activities (Interactive Stations)     Program Planning and Development (1.50)

This session will encourage all participants to engage in active learning through a hands-on approach found in a variety of adult learning styles.   These activities can be used for early learning programs submerging their own staff into the rules through creative and fun methods.

Learning these hands-on styles will inform new ways to assimilate licensing standards and use practical applications. At the end there will be questions and answers to have a better understanding of what is required.




YOU HAVE A CHOICE!  There are eight classes scheduled this year (two classes for each session). Please indicate your FIRST CHOICE when registering.   All of our trainings are exceptional but we encourage you to sign up early to have a choice of class selections. 
*There is an additional $5.00 Material Fee for the fun HANDS-ON "Tinker Time" class.  Please include your fee when registering. 


General Conference and Registration Information

If Purchasing Lunch Indicate Box Lunch #
If Paying For More Than 1 on PayPal Indicate Name
WSFCCA Member? Y/N
Affiliation? Family Child Care, Center, etc.
*After completing the online registration press SUBMIT.  After submitting your registration please go to the WSFCCA STORE   (above) and submit your payment through PayPal.  You are NOT registered until payment has been received in full.

*If you prefer to use a credit or debit card instead of PayPal please call Joan Aarts, 360-790-4211 and she will process your payment. 

*Groups of 6 or more must complete the mail-in registration form for each attendee and mail the group registrations together with one check made payable to WSFCCA to 561 Burnaby Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501.  MAIL IN REGISTRATION FORM.  
*If you are purchasing LUNCH  please indicate your selection and add the additional cost. Attendees are welcome to pack a lunch or dine out at an area restaurant if they choose.

*Please include the $5.00 material fee when registering for "Tinker Time". 

*STARS credit is earned for each session attended. In order to receive credit you must provide an accurate STARS ID number and SIGN IN to each session attended.
Participant hours are entered into MERIT within 30 days post conference. 

*While we all care for and about children, this event is for adults.  Children will not be allowed in or around the conference sessions.  Nursing infants are welcome, however, if your infant begins to cry during a session, please leave to soothe your baby. A nursing area will be available. 



EARLY BIRD  -  Ends July 31st  

$50.00  -  WSFCCA Member
$70.00  -  Non-Member
$60.00  -  Groups of 6 or more
$15.00  -  Box Lunch
Material Fee for "Tinker Time"  $5.00


$65.00  -  WSFCCA Member
$80.00  -  Non-Member
$65.00  -  Groups of 6 or more 
​Material Fee for "Tinker Time" $5.00

No Refunds - Attendee may, however, transfer their registration.  Contact Joan Aarts to process transfer.  [email protected], 360-790-4211 


Lunch Selections - Purchasing Lunch is Optional.  

​Attendees are also welcome to pack a lunch or dine at a local restaurant. 
​11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


Highline Community College, Bldg 8
2400 S 240th St
Des Moines, WA 98198

Campus Map   Look for Bldg 8
​Parking is free. 

Mail-In Registration Form 
Groups of 6 or more must use this form to register.

Email:  [email protected]

Registration:    Joan Aarts, 360-790-4211
​                          Tekla Frederick, 360-448-7310