The Annual Nova Scotia Child Care Association Spring Conference and Trade Show

“Broadening and Deepening Our Professional Practice”

Friday, May 24th & Saturday, May 25th, 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 101 Wyse Road, Dartmouth, NS

Presented in partnership with the Certification Council of Early Childhood Educators of Nova Scotia and the support of the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Welcome to the Nova Scotia Child Care Association’s (NSCCA) 2019 Provincial Early Childhood Educator’s (ECE) Conference and Trade Show, Broadening and Deepening Our Professional Practice.  As an ECE you have chosen to work in a profession that can be as challenging as it is rewarding.  The conference goal is to explore our profession, strengthen ties and expand collaborations among fellow professionals. It is our hope that participants will be inspired to reflect on their values, beliefs and their practice.

Keynote speaker, Marc Battle, is both inspirational and motivating and Saturday’s four breakout sessions are equally engaging, inspiring and informative. We look forward to seeing you in May. Please register now, seating is limited.



2019 SPRING CONFERENCE “Broadening and Deepening Our Professional Practice”
Friday, May 24th & Saturday, May 25th, 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton

Conference Program Schedule

Friday, May 24, 2019 (4.25 PD Hours)
8:00 Registration and Networking
9:00 Opening & Welcome
9:15 Feature Presenter – Marc Battle
10:15 Nutrition Break
10:45 Feature Presenter – Marc Battle
12:00 Lunch
1:30 Feature Presenter – Marc Battle
2:15 Coffee Break
2:30 Feature Presenter – Marc Battle
3:30 Trade Show Viewing
7:00 – 9:30 Awards & Recognition Gala (Please note this is not a dinner. Hot and cold hors d’oeuvres will be served.)

Saturday, May 25th, 2019 (4.75 PD hours)
8:30 Registration and Networking
9:00 Opening & Welcome
9:15 Key Note Presenter – Marc Battle
10:00 Nutrition Break
10:30 Breakout Sessions
12:00 Lunch
1:30 Workshop – Marc Battle
2:30 Coffee Break
2:45 Workshop – Marc Battle
4:00 Closing

Friday, May 24th ~ Marc Battle
9:15 – 10:15, 10:45 – Noon and 1:30 – 3:30

4.25 Professional Development Hours

Marc Battle is an Early Childhood Education Instructor at Red River College in Winnipeg

“The most important thing is to think about why you are interested in the field and to be aware of your values, and then you can’t go wrong. You tend to do good work when you live by your values, and you get rewarded for that.”    ~ Marc Battle

Marc Battle is an Early Childhood Education Instructor at Red River College in Winnipeg

“The most important thing is to think about why you are interested in the field and to be aware of your values, and then you can’t go wrong. You tend to do good work when you live by your values, and you get rewarded for that.”    ~ Marc Battle

Saturday, May 25th ~ Marc Battle
9:15 – 10:00 & 1:30 – 4:00

3.25 Professional Development Hours

Breakout Sessions (1.5 Professional Development Hours)

Saturday May 25th, 2019 ~ 10:30 – 12:00

Sexual Health in the Early Years (SHEY)

Presented by Blair Hill, Karen Jacobs and Heather Plumridge

Sexual Health in the Early Years (SHEY) is a collaborative network working to create safe communities, consistent and accessible resources, recognize sexual health across the lifespan and honor a child’s natural development, all while letting kids be kids.  SHEY is dedicated to open-honest conversations, regular exchanges of ideas, the emergence of champions, shared and shifting leadership.

The SHEY team utilizes innovative practices such as needs assessments, surveys, evaluations, and the development of resource toolkits, to ‘make the case’ for policy development, professional development, resource acquisition, parent resources and communication tools that will benefit early childhood practitioners, families and children address topics which include:

  • hyper sexualization;
  • preschoolers’ questions and curiosity (e.g. where babies come from);
  • children who may be self-exploring/masturbating during play or nap time;
  • reducing and challenging gender role stereotypes and promoting diversity;
  • understanding gender identity;
  • speaking with and supporting parents re: sexual health
  • sexual health terminology and
  • appreciation for sexual health as vital/developmentally appropriate.

A broader goal of the SHEY team is to build the critical foundation for consent conversations, healthy relationships and interactions with others (boundaries) which, in time, will contribute to the reduction of sexual violence in society.

Participants will hear about the work that has been happening in Cape Breton on Sexual Health in the Early Years.  Findings of a survey with early childhood educators and their comfort level around this topic will be shared along with an overview of the Fall 2018 Conference “Sexual Health in the Early Years – it’s Natural”.  Participants will be given some resources they can use in their daily work.


Blair Hill has worked in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years in a variety of settings including, Licensed Child Care, Part-time Preschool, Autism Society, Family Resource Centre and Director of Children and Youth at the YMCA of Cape Breton.  Currently he is a faculty member with the School of Health and Human Services at NSCC Marconi Campus teaching Early Childhood Education.  Blair holds diplomas in both Early Childhood Education and Adult Education and is working towards his Bachelor of Arts Community Studies (BACS) degree at Cape Breton University.

Karen Jacobs has been involved in the fields of early childhood and adult education in both the private and non-profit sectors for over 20 years in Canada, Central America and abroad. She holds undergraduate degrees in Child Studies and Education, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instructional Design (minor in Early Education 0-8 years) and a certificate in Adult Education. Karen is the Coordinator of the Early Childhood Development Support Centre with NSCC (Marconi Campus) where she networks with and supports colleagues in the area of ongoing professional development.

Heather Plumridge is a Public Health Nurse in the Early Years program and has spent the past 11 years working with families to achieve better health outcomes and overall wellness.  Over her time in Public Health she has trained in the scientific concepts of brain development, advocated for families experiencing health inequalities, is a member of the Health Equity Committee within the Eastern Zone of the Nova Scotia Health Authority, as well as the Public Health Association of Nova Scotia.

Becoming a Solution Artist: Understanding the Creative Problem-Solving Process

Presented by Collette LeBlanc

Master painter Vincent van Gogh said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”  With this simplistic logic in mind, this workshop focuses on discovering the four essential steps to mastering the creative problem-solving process.  Of course, just as every artist has an arsenal of tools to produce their masterpiece, you will leave the workshop with practical tools to hone your creative problem-solving abilities.


Collette LeBlanc has focused her career on supporting children, families and French first language early learning and care programs in Acadian and Francophone regions across Nova Scotia for nearly 25 years. She has expertise in multiple aspects of the early years including administration, inclusion, family support, professional development, program development and planning.  Since 2017, she has supported both French first language and English licensed child care centres and family home daycare agencies as an Early Childhood Development Consultant in the Western region of the province.

The Future of Collaboration in Child Care

Presented by Chris Gaulin

In an increasingly connected world communication is becoming key to quality child care. In the past early childhood educators have relied on each other’s skills to deliver quality programming. This workshop will look at what tools will take collaboration in early childhood education into the future, within child care facilities, with families, and even government. We will explore how technology can improve the perception of educators as professionals and change the way we work together daily.


Chris Gaulin is a seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades experience with child care.  He started his career working with young children in Montreal.  In 2012 Chris launched Fastoche, a child care management suite designed specifically for touch devices that brings cutting-edge technology and communications tools to educators and parents in child care centres.

Compassion Fatigue and Self-Care

Presented by Amy Sullivan

This seminar will assist with understanding “compassion fatigue”, recognizing the signs and symptoms and creating a self-care plan. The more we know about ourselves affects our response to situations.  Learning to establish boundaries will help us interact more effectively with others.  We will look at the emotional, physical, behavioral and cognitive impact that compassion fatigue has on our life both professionally and personally.  We will identify challenges we face in our lives and the result stress has on our wellness.  The conclusion of the seminar will be an evaluation of what we do for ourselves followed by developing your own self-care plan.


Amy Sullivan obtained her diploma in Social/Human Services and achieved her designation as a Registered Professional Counsellor in 2017, after 15 years in early childhood education.  She has since co-facilitated Critical Incident Stress Management with Paul MacKenzie and training in Vision Therapy with Dr. Angela Dobson working with patients diagnosed with traumatic brain injury.  Through her private practice, Life Counselling Services, Amy provides individually tailored multidimensional support for her clients.  She developed and facilitates workshops in early childhood education and in compassion fatigue and stress reduction techniques.

Friday, May 24th, 2019 ~ 7:00-9:30

Awards and Recognition Gala Reception

The Nova Scotia Child Care Association and our partner the Certification Council of Early Childhood Educators of Nova Scotia are proud to host an Awards and Recognition Gala Reception to recognize Early Childhood Educators who have demonstrated exemplary practice in their work and service to children and families.

The evening includes a reception with hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, silent auction, raffles, recognition activities and award presentations.


  • Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) 20 + Service Award for Programs (Deadline May 1st)
  • Early Childhood Education Commitment to Care Service Award Deadline (Deadline May 1st)
  • The Caring at Work Award (Nominations are accepted anytime throughout the year)
  • The Early Childhood Learning and Care (ECLC) Award of Excellence for Practice or Program (Deadline April 5th)

Additional awards from other organizations may also be presented throughout the evening.

Nomination packages and application forms are available at the Nova Scotia Child Care Association offices.  If you would like to nominate someone or apply please email info@nschildcareassociation.org and a package will be sent to you.  Submission deadlines range from April 5th to May 1st, 2019.


Book your stay at the DoubleTree early and save! Conference registrants will receive a special rate of $179 if booked prior to April 23rd, 2019.  Please identify yourself as an NSCCA conference participant when making your reservation.

Please click here or call the hotel at 902-463-1100 to reserve your room.

Special Draws and Raffles!

There will be raffles and 50/50 draws in support of the NSCCA and CCECENS throughout the conference.

Silent Auction: A silent auction will be held during the Gala Reception open from 7:00 – 8:30 pm for viewing and bidding.

Trade Show Exhibition

Trade Show Exhibition is always a great opportunity for ECE’s and directors to take a look at new trends in supplies and materials that will be showcased at the conference.  Even if you cannot attend the conference you are invited to drop in during trade show public viewing hours.  There are always lots of draws and give-a-ways so don’t miss out!

Trade Show Hours: Conference Participants

Friday, May 24th                 10:15 – 10:45, 12:00 – 1:30, 3:30 – 6:00
Saturday, May 25th            8:30 – 9:00; 10:00 – 10:30; Noon – 1:30

Public Viewing

Friday May 24th                   1:30 – 6:00
Saturday, May 25th            10:30 – Noon



2019 SPRING CONFERENCE “Broadening and Deepening Our Professional Practice”
Friday, May 24th & Saturday, May 25th, 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton


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(Formerly known as NSCCA)