Annual Fall Conference

Our annual fall training conference is going virtual this year!

We’ll be using the Zoom platform to bring you a one-of-a-kind, interactive and educational event you won’t want to miss! Taking place over two days to accommodate everyone’s busy schedule, this year’s conference is titled We’re All in This Together: Caregiving During a Pandemic, and will feature training workshops covering topics that have been on everyone’s mind lately, including building resiliency within ourselves, health & infection control, active play and so much more. Conference attendees will earn 1 hour of training credits for each workshop they attend in full – those who attend all the workshops will earn a total of 7 credit hours of training!

Click here to download a copy of our Fall Conference 2020 registration flyer. 

Registration Information

We offer three convenient ways to sign up:

  1. Click here to visit our training calendar and register online. 
  2. Call us at (315) 446-1220 and register over the phone. 
  3. Print the conference registration form, and mail the completed form with payment to 6724 Thompson Road, Syracuse, NY 13211

Additional Information

In order to attend the virtual conference, you’ll need a working email address, an Internet connection, and access to a device that runs Zoom. Zoom is a free application available on laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. We recommend visiting this website,, for a list of compatible devices and installation instructions. 

If you haven’t used Zoom before, their website has a number of incredibly helpful how-to videos and other resources for new users: 

Those who register for the conference before November 11th will be mailed a “conference kit” - please include your current mailing address when completing your registration. Those who register after November 11th may pick their conference kit up at our Syracuse office during normal business hours. You’ll also receive an email reminder before the conference; this email will contain the Zoom meeting link. On the day of the conference, simply click the Zoom meeting link or type the link into your search bar. If this is your first time joining us on Zoom, we recommend logging on 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time in case you have any technical issues or questions. 

Financial Assistance

Most providers qualify for financial aid to cover the cost of attending our annual conference through either the CSEA/Voice Professional Development Program or EIP (Educational Incentive Program). For more information about these programs, visit our financial assistance for training webpage, or give us a call at (315) 446-1220!

Conference Schedule

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

  • 5:00 PM - 5:15 PM: Welcome! 
  • 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM: Building Resiliency
  • 6:45 PM - 7:45 PM: Puppet Power!
  • 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM: Infection Control

Saturday, November 21st, 2020

  • 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM: Welcome!
  • 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: SACC Bullying and Guiding Behavior
  • 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM: Infant Toddler Exploration
  • 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM: Lunch
  • 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM: Active Play: Embedding Physical Activity Into Your Preschool Day
  • 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM: Building Healthy Eaters
  • 2:30 PM: Conference Wrap-Up

Workshop Descriptions

Below are the descriptions for the training workshops we'll be offering at this year's conference. You will earn on 1 hour of training credit for every workshop you attend in full. Those who attend all conference workshops will earn a total of 7 credit hours! Training certificates will be mailed after the conference. 

Building Resiliency: Do you feel like you have been walking the plank since COVID-19 hit? Even though we may not feel like it sometimes, we all possess the power within ourselves to harness our protective factors to aid us in bouncing back! This thought-provoking training consists of a personal assessment for you to complete as well as a guide through the assessment drawing out your strengths. Not only will you walk away feeling like you can conquer the world, but you will also have fun while doing it!

Instructor: Casey Miner & Aishah Rudolph, CCS Infant Toddler Mental Health Consultant

OCFS Categories: 7

Puppet Power!: Kids love seeing puppets in action and there are many benefits to using puppets in an early childhood setting. Are you using puppets with the children or are your puppets sitting on a display stand in the corner? You don’t need to purchase the fancy puppets you see in the store; you can make puppets with simple materials you have in your program. In this session you’ll have the chance to make some different types of puppets and learn how to use everyday materials to make fun and creative puppets for the children to enjoy.

Instructor: Lisa Potter

OCFS Categories: 1 , 3

Infection Control: Preventing disease and illness in child care programs is a major concern at the moment. It is the responsibility of child care staff, the children who attend, and the families entering the facility. Infection control, hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfecting are key factors in limiting and preventing the transmission of infectious disease. We will discuss how to implement strategies based on state regulations, current state, and federal guidance during this current pandemic, and evidenced-based best practices from child care experts.

Instructor: Tiffany Zappala, CCS Health CareConsultant

OCFS Categories: 2, 4 , 7

SACC Bullying & Guiding Behavior: Now that many programs are having the addition of school-age children in their programs throughout the week some providers may be seeing an increase in behavior issues. Today’s training will give us an opportunity to create a definition for bullying, as well as time to discuss successes we have had addressing bullying and other behaviors. Participants will be able to share ideas and talk about challenges around caring for older children in program during this time of change.

Instructor: Kristi Cusa

OCFS Categories: 1 , 3 , 4

Infant Toddler Exploration: This training will focus on the importance of allowing infants and toddlers to explore their world using their whole bodies. During these uncertain and stressful times, we may automatically think to put our young ones in a “bubble” in all aspects of their lives. However, it is crucial that we make sure the exploration with our infants and toddlers doesn’t disappear, but rather is done in a safe, healthy and age-appropriate way.

Instructor: Tessa Bolia

OCFS Categories: 1 , 3

Active Play: Embedding Physical Activity into Your Preschool Day: Gather training ideas for leading early childhood physical activities that are developmentally appropriate and inclusive of children with disabilities. These activities use only inexpensive equipment, work in small spaces, and can be enjoyed in home-based and center-based childcare settings as well as by families in their homes.

Instructor: Kristy Sherman

OCFS Categories: 1 , 2 , 3

Building Healthy Eaters: Picky Eating: How can we get children to eat healthier? How can we involve children in making healthy choices? How can I design snack options that are healthy AND appealing to children? Let’s explore all of these questions and more as we unravel the world of picky eaters and the science of snack menu planning.

Instructor: Melek Yavuz, CCS Registered Dietitian 

OCFS Categories: 1 , 2 , 3