Workshop Application Overview


The BUILD Initiative and the QRIS National Learning Network are now accepting workshop proposals for QRIS 2018: Sparking Solutions and Sharing Systems Strategies. The meeting will be held in San Diego, California from July 16-18, 2018.

Share your wealth of knowledge and experience! Submit your proposal for the conference by December 1, 2017.

Meeting Theme:  The focus of the meeting will be on a whole child/cross-systems approach that is designed from an equity perspective to meet the needs of each and every child and family. In submitting proposals, consider how QRIS fits into the overall early childhood system and strategies for weaving together early learning, health, and family support as part of an innovative and equitable approach at the program, local, regional and/or state level.

Meeting Goals:  The goals of this meeting are to provide QRIS and early childhood systems leaders (at the state, regional and local levels) with opportunities to:
- Learn the latest innovations related to QRIS and early childhood systems building;
- Think strategically with peers as to how high quality early learning is interwoven and aligned with other “whole child” needs such as health and developmental screenings, early intervention, support to families, etc.;
- Learn strategies for assuring the QRIS and early childhood systems you are building are one based upon equitable distribution of resources and access to the system;
- Discuss what is needed to create a system that is highly inclusive, promotes equity, and meets the needs of our multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural population of young children and families;
- Engage with colleagues about supports that help programs improve services and move to a sustainable cycle of continuous quality improvement; 

- Consider how best to engage families and to allow their voices to inform the approaches in developing and revising your QRIS and early childhood system;
- Discover evidence-based, cross-sector (e.g., child care, preschool, health, early intervention, early childhood special education) approaches to supporting each child’s learning and development within the context of a QRIS.
- Learn from the latest research and the experience and lessons learned from peers in other states; and
- Discuss cutting-edge ideas and innovations and to think about the “what if” possibilities.
Proposals must be submitted no later than 8 pm ET on December 1, 2017. Applicants will be contacted no later than March 1, 2018 regarding the status of their proposals.

Key Points to Consider for your Proposal:  Below are some key points to consider prior to submitting a proposal:
- What is important, unique or innovative about the topic that you want to share?
- How does your proposal contribute to the theme of the meeting?
- Every topical session should give at least two points of view or experiences about a topic unless you can show that the work in your state or area of expertise is innovative and justifies a session on its own.
- We want session designs that promote interactivity.  Emphasize discussion and not talking heads.
- Reflect on your topic from a racial equity perspective. Does your approach take this into consideration in creating a high-quality system that is for each and every child and responsive to the diversity of their abilities, race, culture and language?
- Does the innovation you are proposing to share take a cross-system or cross-sector approach?

- Diversity of presenters is a high priority. Do your proposed presenters include presenters of color?
- If you are considering a panel, don’t include too many speakers – 2-3 should be the maximum.
- We seek sessions that incorporate the experience of multiple states. If you are including just one, let us know if you are open to being paired with another state or why you think the one-state story is important to share as a standalone session. Given how many proposals we generally receive, your best chance of success is if you are incorporating a multi-state perspective.
- We offer one free registration per session. All other presenters will need to pay the registration fee to attend. (Persons leading a poster session would not receive a free registration.)
- Diversity of Perspectives – Presentations that offer effective approaches to cross-sector collaboration (e.g., early childhood-early childhood special education, child care-preschool, health-education), within the context of a QRIS, are strongly encouraged.

Other Considerations
- NO products should be "sold" or "marketed" as part of your session.
- Would you like to create a consultancy session in which you share a challenge and work with others to solve or exchange ideas? Submit a separate proposal for a consultancy if that is of interest. For the consultancies, people are asked to sign up for appointments of 30 minutes. Three consultancies of 30 minutes each are arranged in a 90-minute time slot for each consultant. 
Target Audience:  The 2018 meeting will be designed to bring together a range of leaders from the local, state and national levels including state child care administrators, QRIS administrators, Head Start state and local leaders, state and community systems leaders, technical assistance providers and coaches, quality improvement specialists, advocates, evaluators and researchers, funders, and higher education faculty.
Session Formats/Times:   We are incorporating some different session designs in our format this year. Consider these options as you plan for what you’d like to propose.
  • Pre-Conference Session (3.5-hour format) - To be held on July 16 from 8:30-12:00. Participants sign up for these sessions in advance so you know who will be coming and can tailor the session to your participants. Topics for the pre-conference should be ones that require a deeper discussion and be very interactive.
  • Hot Topics Session (60-minute discussion format) - Is there a hot topic discussion that you want to lead on a topic that everyone is struggling with these days or should be thinking about and where a quick interactive discussion that you would lead would be helpful for everyone in the group to weigh in on the topic? This is NOT a presentation session. It is a discussion session so think about that if you are proposing a topic you would lead.
  • Poster Session (60-minute session) - Do you have an innovative or promising practice that you would like to share in a "poster" session? All poster sessions would be set up simultaneously in a large room with your poster used as a visual to share your approach and gather ideas and feedback. Participants would stop by your poster to ask questions and get details from you as to your innovative or promising practice. These would NOT be full presentations and there would be no audio-visual equipment. Consider a creative way to share your innovation or promising practice. It takes many good ideas and efforts coming together to build a system!
  • Intensive Topical Session (2 and 3-hour format) - These sessions allow extra time to focus on a specific topic and assure time for interactive discussion.
  • Topical Breakout Session (90-minutes) - These sessions are 90 minutes in length and should be structured to provide research/practice/discussion over the course of this time. 
  • Role-Alike Sessions (90-minutes) - Participants are asking for more opportunities to talk with their peers in similar positions. If you would like to lead a discussion with a group of peers on a specific topic, choose this approach. This is NOT a presentation. You would facilitate a discussion of your choosing for a group of peers in similar roles and allow them a chance to share what they are struggling with on the topic, lessons learned, successes, etc.
  • Consultation Sessions (30-minute time blocks/90 minutes in total for up to 3 consultations) – If you would like to provide short consultations with individuals and small groups, this is the category you should choose. This is NOT a presentation. Individuals/groups will sign up in advance to speak with you. You'll be offering your advice/experience to fit their particular needs.  In this proposal, share the expertise that you would like to offer.