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Early Childhood Conference Held at SCC Raises Money for Local Childcare Programs

early childhood conf

The Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (IECE) program at Somerset Community College recently hosted an early childhood conference that not only helped provide education to local childcare providers, but also raised nearly $2,000 to invest back in Pulaski County early childhood programs.

Donna Eastham, coordinator of the IECE program at SCC, said that the Lake Cumberland Valley Regional Conference, part of the Kentucky Association for Early Childhood Education (KAECE), was held in Somerset this year. The conference was a collaborative effort between SCC, KAECE and Lake Cumberland Early Childhood Councils. As part of the event, more than $1,900 was given back for local childcare councils to invest directly in area programs. The money was raised through donations and the conference attendance fees, said Eastham.

The college is dedicated to shaping the lives of all students, said Eastham. Through the IECE program, we can impact not only those who are learning to become outstanding early childhood teachers, leaders and administrators, but also those children who are enrolled in these programs. Giving back is another way we can say thank you for their involvement in the IECE program and let them know that what they do matters in our community.

Currently, the IECE program at SCC works with the following early childhood programs in Knox, Laurel, Whitley, Wayne, Pulaski, Casey, Adair, Clinton and Rockcastle Counties: Lynn Camp Elementary, Laurel County Child Development Center, in-home certified childcare programs, Walker Early Learning Center, Hope Way Head Start, Memorial Education Center, Shopville Elementary, Liberty Head Start, Phillips Child Development Center, Adair County Head Start, Little Learners, Clinton County Head Start and Mt. Vernon Elementary.

To find out more about the program, contact Eastham at (606) 451-6779 or donna.eastham@kctcs.edu. The entire IECE program is held online, with the exception of one hybrid course and observation activities. Those already working in public preschool or child care may qualify for a scholarship to offset tuition costs. Contact Eastham for details.

In photo: Conference organizers include, from left Michelle Lowe, Rachael Corriveau, Angela Woodrum-Cooper, Maria Rutherford and Donna Eastham. Lowe, Corriveau and Cooper all work with programs in the Governors Office for Early Childhood. Rutherford is president of the Kentucky Association for Early Childhood Education and Eastham is the IECE program coordinator and faculty at Somerset Community College.