2020 Conference, Trade Show and
Awards & Recognition Gala Reception

Collaborative Practice Cooperative Spirit

Friday, May 29th – Saturday, May 30th at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Dartmouth, NS

Welcome to the Association of Early Childhood Educators NS (AECENS) 2020 Provincial Early Childhood Educator’s (ECE) Conference and Trade Show, Collaborative Practice – Cooperative Spirit.  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 professional practice.

Keynote speaker, Sonya Hooper, is a champion of ECE’s, raising the bar for quality and increasing the professionalization of the sector in Prince Edward Island. You will find Saturday’s three breakout sessions engaging, inspiring and informative. We look forward to seeing you in May.  Please register now, seating is limited.



Collaborative Practice Cooperative Spirit – Conference & Trade Show May 29 – 30, 2020 | DoubleTree by Hilton, Dartmouth, NS

Conference Program

Friday, May 29, 2020 (4.25 PD Hours)
8:00 Registration and Networking
9:00 Opening & Welcome
9:15 Keynote – Sonya Hooper
10:15 Nutrition Break
10:45 Keynote – Sonya Hooper
12:00 Lunch
1:30 Keynote – Sonya Hooper
2:15 Coffee Break
2:30 Keynote – Sonya Hooper
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 30th, 2020 (4.75 PD hours)
Registration and Networking
9:00 Opening & Welcome
9:15 Keynote – Sonya Hooper
10:00 Nutrition Break
10:30 Breakout Sessions
12:00 Lunch
1:30 Workshop  
2:30 Coffee Break
2:45 Workshop
4:00 Closing                                 



Administrator’s Professional Development

Friday, May 29th ~ Sonya Hooper

9:15 – 10:15, 10:45 – Noon and 1:30 – 3:30

4.25 Professional Development Hours

Saturday, May 30th ~ Sonya Hooper

9:15 – 10:00 & 1:30 – 4:00

 3.25 Professional Development Hours

Sonya Hooper, Executive Director Early Childhood Development Association of Prince Edward Island

“Sonya is an educator, activist, professional speaker and supports increasing the professionalization of the sector by raising the bar for quality, recognition and inspiring government policy.”

Saturday May 30th, 2020 ~ 10:30 – 12:00 Breakout Sessions

(1.5 Professional Development Hours)


Understanding and Implementing the Learning Goals of the Nova Scotia Curriculum Framework has identified well-being; discovery and invention; language and communication; and personal and social responsibility as learning goals and objectives intended to support an integrated approach to early learning and a more holistic approach for children. 

In this workshop we will explore how learning goals provide a structure which guides decision making in early learning settings through discussion, story telling and hands on activities.  There will be opportunities to expand our understanding of the connection between learning goals and programming for children, environment, relationship building and intentional teaching.  Consideration will be given to the Educator’s image of children as it relates to the framework’s learning goals and their own vision for early learning. 

Cathy Ramos is an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) who has worked in the sector more than 20 years.  Her experiences include working with children of all ages; supporting children and families in inclusive childcare programs; team building and supporting ECEs in an administrative role; and currently supporting childcare programs as an Early Childhood Development Consultant.  Cathy has been on faculty at the Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education and served on the boards of both the Association of Early Childhood Educators (AECENS, formerly the Nova Scotia Childcare Association (NSCCA) and the Canadian Child Care Federation.

Sarah Silver is an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) who has been active in the field for over two decades. She has worked with children of all ages, their families and other educators in a variety of capacities including respite care, early childhood education, as a program coordinator and as executive director. Most recently Sarah has been supporting educators and ECEs in administrative roles as an Early Childhood Development Consultant. Sarah holds an Early Childhood Educator diploma as well as a Child and Youth Degree. 


We’re All in This Together! Reframing Our Images of Self and Others

Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) research is gaining momentum around the world. Based on our cultural historical child rearing practices, many adults experienced and live with the effects of Childhood Toxic Stress (CTS) as a result of early life adversity. Understanding ACEs and their impact on us and others, inspires us to practice self-compassion, empathy, inclusion and humility, through a trauma informed, sensitive, and preventive lens. When we see ourselves in a more positive light, we are more easily able to see our colleagues, parents and children more compassionately.

This workshop will include an introduction to ACEs and an informal self-assessment. Behavior, attitudes, and beliefs that often result from ACEs will be identified along with helpful responses to support self and others in transforming the way we interact. Deeper, more understanding, compassionate, empathetic healthy relationships with self, other adults and our children are the goal of this lens shifting exploration.

Elizabeth Perry has always been a passionate advocate for seeing children as vital, meaningful, precious members of society. She began her career in Early Childhood Education (ECE) in the 1970s and for the past 15 years has been training adults in topics that support personal development, health and wellness.

Since 2014 she has been an advocate for universal knowledges after learning about Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Science, hosting online communities of ACEs advocates. She provides peer support and counselling to individuals seeking to transform their self-image through deeper understanding of the effects of their early life experiences on their development. She writes about and offers training on ACEs, Trauma Informed Consciousness, and Resilience.

Elizabeth holds a Level 3 ECE, a Master’s Degree in Education, and is a Registered Professional Counsellor Candidate.


Collaboration and Childhood Trauma

It was once thought that children were not affected by trauma.   They were seen as uncomprehending and naturally resilient.  While children can display much resilience, there are many ways that they are impacted by trauma.  Some are similar to the way adults are impacted and some are unique to the child’s developmental stage.

In complex cases involving children who have experienced trauma there are often a number of services involved.  There is value in seeing ECEs as a central figure in a child’s life and an important part of a collaborative process for child wellness. 

It is important for anyone working with children to understand how children experience and cope with trauma, how trauma can impact child development and behaviour, and what steps can be taken to minimize the negative consequences of trauma.  Concepts like trust, attachment and positive relationships are important protective factors when predicting the long-term outcomes for children who have experience d trauma or adverse childhood experience (ACE). I will present an overview of this information and talk about the opportunities that exist when working with children.

Danya O’Malley has over 12 years experience in the social work field specializing in mental health, trauma, and gender-based violence. She is a key participant in social justice work throughout her province of PE and currently in her fourth year as Executive Director of Prince Edward Island Family Violence Prevention Services.  Danya is a Registered Social Worker and holds a Masters in Social Work from Dalhousie University.

Friday, May 29th, 2020 ~ 7:00-9:30

Awards and Recognition Gala Reception

Please note this is not a dinner. Hot and cold hors d’oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be open.

The Association of Early Childhood Educators of Nova Scotia 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 April 30th)
  • Early Childhood Education Commitment to Care Service Award Deadline (Deadline April 30th)
  • The Caring at Work Award
    (Nominations are accepted anytime throughout the year)
  • The Early Childhood Learning and Care (ECLC) Award of Excellence for Practice sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada or Program (Deadline April 9th)

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

Nomination packages and application forms are available here.



Book your stay at the DoubleTree early and save!

The Hotel has reserved a limited number of rooms at a special rate of $179 + HST per night (single/double) for our conference guests and exhibitors.  Once this block of rooms is booked the regular rate will apply.

You may make your reservation on line now or call the hotel at 902-463-1100

(Please identify yourself as an Association of Early Childhood Educators of Nova Scotia conference participant).

Special Draws and Raffles!

There will be raffles and 50/50 draws in support of the AECEN 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 29th 10:15 – 10:45, 12:00 – 1:30, 3:30 – 6:00
Saturday, May 30th 8:30 – 9:00; 10:00 – 10:30; Noon – 1:30

Public Viewing

Friday May 29th 1:30 – 6:00
Saturday, May 30th 10:30 – Noon



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(Formerly known as NSCCA)