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About Early Impact

Early Impact is coming to the East Coast, to help strengthen your early childhood program impact.  The conference starts with a pre-conference training and is organized around a two-day, plenary style Summit. The event focuses on the tools and resources you need to move from traditional compliance to one of measurable program outcomes. For Head Start programs, it is a unique opportunity for stepping up to Performance Standard requirements around data and continuous quality improvement. At the first Early Impact Summit, held in 2018 in Long Beach, California program leaders from 26 states attended. It is now being offered on the East Coast, by popular request.

A Gathering of Leaders

The Summit is a gathering of early childhood leaders who are working to transform their programs, discovering opportunities to improve, grow and learn from one another. At the Summit, you will learn from the success and missteps of smart practitioners who are creatively using data to improve the lives of at-risk children and families. You will come away inspired and with immediate, practical strategies that you can apply to your own program.

This unique gathering brings together a special group of leaders distinguished by their shared commitment to close the achievement gap. Together, they are paving a new path for the field of early childhood. Through the training, presentations, table discussions and networking, you will be energized and supported as you meet colleagues with a vision for positive change.

What You will Learn

Directors and managers attending Early Impact will acquire critical insights and tools for incorporating improvement science into their programs:

  • Data techniques for predicting problems before issues arise
  • New tech tools that are strengthening measurement and lightening staff loads
  • Ways to tabulate across child and family data, producing better understanding
  • Organizing child and family data into tiers, for tailored interventions
  • Strategies for tackling issues like enrollment and chronic absence
  • Visuals such as heat maps, that transform child and family data
  • Data strategies for boards and policy councils
  • Behavioral psychology that supports continuous quality improvement

Top Level Training

Continuous quality improvement is a process that demands new competencies and resources.  Our presenters will address key topics, with a focus on the unique needs of early childhood programs:

  • Performance Standards requirements for data and improvement
  • Leadership strategies
  • Creating a culture of inquiry
  • Measurement and Assessment
  • Data Science
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Facilitated Peer Exchange
  • Psychology of Improvement Science

Showcase of Solutions

Emerging tech based, early childhood resources are lightening program burdens while offering better data and stronger outcomes.  Our curated showcase features new tools in a fast paced format where program managers can learn about new resources and quickly get questions answered.  Products and services include:

  • Analytics resources for supporting program managers
  • Gamified, direct child assessment to lighten classroom loads
  • Streamlined school readiness screens
  • Evidence based texting and parent engagement apps
  • Innovations in program management software
  • Cloud based software for federal monitoring
  • and much, much more

 Who Should Attend? 

Continuous quality improvement is a team effort and this event is designed for the leaders on your team:   Program Directors, Executive Directors, and Mangers of Data, Education, Family Services, ERSEA, Health, Disabilities and Fiscal.  Every manager with responsibility for measuring performance will benefit from this event.

June 18-20, 2019 in Atlantic City, NJ
Early Impact: Quality Improvement Summit


Tues, June 18 – Pre-Summit Training

12:30 Registration/Check In

1:00 Data Utilization for Decision Making and Continuous Quality Improvement

Trainer: Andrew Krugly
In this interactive, hands-on training, participants will explore different types of data, the levels and purposes for data use, and the data cycle. Participants will have the opportunity through applied learning activities, to be a part of data interpretation dialogs and move into action planning for continuous quality improvement. The session will also explore what it means and how to evaluate action plans. The session will address a range of program data: classroom, family, health and attendance and examine how they can come together to support program quality. This session will address a range of program data, e.g. student outcomes, family, enrollment and attendance data, and how different types of data can come together to support program quality.

5:00 Training Concludes

Wed, June 19 – Summit

8:00 Registration, Coffee & Tea

9:00 Welcome

Opening Panel: Learning from Top Performing Programs
Hear the findings of a just published, multi-year study of five exemplary Head Start programs. This in-depth project examined programs that achieved outcomes demonstrably higher than typical Head Start programs. All five programs deploy deliberate strategies for their data use and are leading the country incorporating continuous improvement methods as envisioned in the federal Performance Standards.

10:45 Applying Improvement Science to Education – Catherine Miller

While improvement science is new to early childhood, its practice in K-12 education began over a decade ago. Learn about how improvement science is practiced, how it differs from traditional research and evaluation, and practical ways that schools are using these strategies to improve child outcomes.  The Carnegie Foundation for the Advance of Teaching is leading the way infusing improvement science into education, and Carnegie’s Dr. Miller has been translating this valuable content for early childhood practitioners.

11:45 Break

1:00 Data Science with Flair: Strategies and Tools for Quality Improvement – Stuart Jones

New federal standards are raising the bar for how to work with data. Acorn Evaluation has been supporting Head Start programs nationally to develop new insights that drive continuous improvement. Hear what their clients are finding: ways of approaching data that are creating new insights, do-able strategies for assessing the validity of program data, and visualization tools that convey key information to staff. Stuart will share experience with federal monitoring teams and leave you with inspiration, ideas, and resources.

2:30 Resources for Assessing Community Needs – Andrea Abbott and Peter Huffaker.

The strongest needs assessments are conducted by programs that are intentional about data.  In this session we’ll explore five key public data bases and creative ways to use them for effective planning, including how to look up grant information for neighboring programs and how to calculate a competitive cost per child for your next grant proposal.  We’ll also explore the biggest mistakes programs make on their needs assessments and how to avoid them.

3:15 Break / Snacks

3:45 Solution Showcase

Sometimes it’s easier to see a demo or hear first-hand from the creator of a new product or resource, than just to read about it. The “Solution Showcase” will feature diverse, innovative early childhood data and quality improvement offerings. Speakers have been vetted in advance and will present five minute executive summaries of their particular resource, with opportunities for participants to follow up with offerings of interest.

5:15 Reception

Thurs, June 20 – Summit

8:00 Coffee & Tea

8:30 Opening; Averting Enrollment Shortfalls: Using Predictive Analytics – Kathryn Black

Under-enrollment is one of the greatest fears and stressors for early childhood program leaders. With some creative analysis and testing, however, data savvy programs can anticipate and mitigate enrollment hazards. Learn how pro-active programs are improving their odds for success before school even starts, and then how you can apply the science of predictive analytics to tackle other program challenges as well.

9:10 Chronic Absence: An Early Alarm and a Resource for CQI – Sue Fothergill

Chronic absence is a critical metric and yet many programs don’t even track it (they think they can use average daily attendance instead). In this session, learn how pro-active programs are parsing their attendance data, discovering new insights and applying a public health approach to improve child attendance, creating measurably stronger child outcomes. They are also building their staff’s comfort with data and promoting an agency-wide culture of improvement.

10:10 Break

10:30 Leveraging Family Data to Strengthen Program Strategy – Peter Huffaker

Family assessment data is an often overlooked resource that can provide valuable direction to program leaders.  In this session, CCR Analytics will share what they have learned from listening to over a half million Head Start families, and how programs can better deploy family support staff and enhance their educational strategies, guided by their family data.

11:10 Bringing it All Together as Leaders – Steven Russell

In this panel, Head Start leaders will discuss how they are negotiating the transition from simple compliance to measuring outcomes and improving quality. They will share how they approach management and leadership styles that support a culture above and beyond their particular data systems.

12:10 Luncheon / Table Topics

 1:00 Closing Keynote – Blanca Enriquez

Dr. Blanca Enriquez’s career has exemplified commitment and service to vulnerable children and families.  She played an instrumental role at the federal Office of Head Start, overseeing the completion of the current Head Start Performance Standards which created new expectations for the use of data to drive program quality.   Dr. Enriquez will reflect on the challenges and opportunities for program leaders in response to these new expectations.

2:00 Adjourn


Sarah Rock

Sarah Rock JD is a former child abuse and neglect attorney, now working in prevention and early intervention. Sarah has many years of experience working in early childhood on policy…

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Maritza Lozano

Dr. Maritza Lozano is a researcher and educator committed to the design of environments that support equitable learning for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Currently an Assistant Professor in the…

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Cathe Kuker

Cathe Kuker currently serves as an Early Childhood Education (ECE) Adjunct Professor at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, teaching, guiding, and supporting cohorts of non-traditional students in on-line settings…

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Nonie Lesaux

Nonie Lesaux

Nonie Lesaux is Academic Dean and the Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-director of the Saul…

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Stephanie Jones

Stephanie Jones is the Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and co-director of the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative. Her…

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Catherine Miller

Catherine Miller is Associate for Learning Resource Design and Development at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  She is a researcher and teacher focused on the early literacy…

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Benjamin Cooper

Benjamin Cooper is an Associate for Networked Improvement Science at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  He is an advocate, researcher, and educator who is committed to improving…

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April Morris

April Morris

April Morris is a founding partner of CCR Analytics. Prior to starting CCR Analytics in 2006, April was a Senior Data Analyst at child care non-profits Crystal Stairs and Child…

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Peter Huffaker

Peter Huffaker

Peter Huffaker is a founding partner of CCR Analytics, a company that specializes in helping early education agencies get the most value from the data they collect.  He has a…

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Dr. Blanca Enriquez

Dr. Blanca Enriquez

Dr. Enriquez began her early childhood career as a teacher assistant while completing her undergraduate degree as an elementary school teacher. This experience ignited her passion for advancing young children’s…

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Ashley LiBetti

Ashley LiBetti

Ashley LiBetti is an associate partner with Bellwether Education Partners in the Policy and Evaluation practice area. Since joining Bellwether in 2013, Ashley has developed deep expertise in early childhood…

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Benjamin Cooper

Dr. Benjamin Cooper is an advocate, researcher, and educator who is committed to improving life outcomes for traditionally underserved students. He is currently an Associate at the Carnegie Foundation for…

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Pre-Conference Training – June 18:

Note:  the training is SOLD OUT

Conference – June 19-20:

Regular Registration: $545 (April 23 – June 11)

Late/Onsite Registration: $615 (after June 11, space permitting)

Event registration is being managed by the Pennsylvania Head Start Association. 

Co-hosts also include the New Jersey and New York Head Start Associations.

Exhibitors and Sponsors

Early Impact is a great opportunity to connect with early childhood program directors and managers who are leading the way around data and quality improvement. For details on exhibitor, advertising or sponsorship opportunities, click the button below.


The Summit will be held at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City. The venue boasts a brand new conference area, newly renovated sleeping rooms, a dozen dining options, shopping, live shows and is a quick ride to the beach and boardwalk.

The room rate is $99 per night plus a discounted, $15 resort fee. The hotel’s additional person fee is $20 per person.


Harrah’s Resort
777 Harrah’s Blvd
Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401


Room Reservations:        888-516-2215 (8am-2am EST seven days a week)
Group name:                     Early Impact Quality Summit 2019
Group code:                      SH06EA9 or ask for the “Early Impact Quality“ block

What People are Saying

Participant feedback from the 2018 Summit

“I’ll be sharing a lot with my team about presenting and analyzing data and about chronic absence. Got new and relevant ideas. Very applicable to our work.”

“Learning about various data collection tools was really valuable.”

“Panel discussion and speakers were all excellent! Stuart’s ability to engage and demonstrate examples of how to make data tell a story was so beneficial. Thank you!”

“Examples of real data….it opened my eyes as to what to collect and what to do with what we’ve collected for CQI.”

“The hands on “real” tools and strategies to help us do this work at home is invaluable.”

“Opening panel was full of ah-hah! Moments and it set the tone and expectations for the rest of the event.”

“The topic and the varied speakers were great. Loved the variety.”

“All the information was amazing. I like that I didn’t have to choose which sessions to attend.”


For questions on registration, contact
Carrie Spina
[email protected]

For program and content questions, contact
Marcia Durst
[email protected].

Event Flyer

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