Early Childhood Summit Advances Early Childhood Plan

Over 250 early childhood professionals, child advocates, nonprofit executives, funders, parents, businesses and other community leaders gathered for the St. Louis Metropolitan Early Childhood Summit on October 4, 2017. The Summit was presented by Vision for Children at Risk, the St. Louis Regional Early Childhood Council and Ready by 21 St. Louis. Thanks to our sponsors the Deaconess Foundation (Leadership Sponsor), PNC, Spire Energy, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Commerce Bancshares Foundation.


The Summit featured presentation of the St. Louis Regional Early Childhood Plan, containing strategies for ensuring that all St. Louis-area children are ready to succeed in school. See the Early Childhood Plan.







Featured speakers were Patrick McCarthy, (right), president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Rev. Starsky D. Wilson, (left), president and CEO of the Deaconess Foundation.






A panel of parents discussed how they advocate for their children’s needs with their schools.




Joe Wiley Superstars for Kids Awards were presented by Vision for Children at Risk to Robbyn Wahby, previously assistant to former Mayor Francis Slay and an active part of many child-serving initiatives; and to Pam Mitchell, longtime (now retired) staff member of United 4 Children and its predecessor agency Child Day Care Association and a passionate advocate for children and early childhood programs.

See Twitter postings from participants throughout the day of the Summit at #kidsummitstl

The following breakout sessions explored early childhood topics in greater detail:

  • Kindergarten Readiness: Understanding and Promoting Readiness
  • Quality Early Care & Education: Its Critical Importance and What’s Necessary to Achieve It.
  • Promoting Racial Equity and Reducing Disparities
  • Meaningful Parent and Family Engagement: Are We Ready for It? Why, When, and How to Do It.
  • Using Early Childhood Data Effectively
  • Fostering Healthy Child Development: Addressing Infant Mortality and Accessing Health Insurance
  • Providing for Social Emotional Development: Cultural Competence and Trauma-Informed Practice
  • Promoting Early Literacy in the St. Louis Region: Turn the Page STL and Other Initiatives
  • Children in Stable Families with the Resources They Need: Multi-Level Strategies


See more photos from the Summit


Summit Breakout Session Speaker Slides