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46th Annual IHSA Conference Call for Proposals - Illinois Head Start Association
Share your experiences, creativity, best practices, and passion with the Head Start/Early Head Start community of Illinois. The Illinois Head Start Association invites you to submit a proposal to present at the 46th Annual IHSA Conference in Springfield, Illinois on March 12 - 13, 2024

The conference will be held at the Wyndham Springfield City Centre - Springfield, Illinois.

This is a great opportunity to gain experience, increase recognition and expand your network among a statewide Head Start and Early Head Start audience. We anticipate approximately 300 to attend the general conference; approximately 90% of attendees will be female and 10% male. Attendees will primarily be Head Start & Early Head Start administrators, staff, parents, and early childhood professionals, as well as home visitors, health specialists, and special education staff.

Conference Educational Breakout Sessions:  We are looking for:  Presenters interested in providing longer than 1.5 hour of intensive training, please contact Cathy Welsh at

UPDATE - BY POPULAR REQUEST - DEADLINE EXTENDED!  Workshop Proposals are due by close of business Tuesday, November 21, 2023. Presenters with successful submissions will be notified on or before Friday, December 8, 2023 for those who submitted already.  Once notification is received, selected presenters will be required to confirm their participation.

Parent and Family Engagement
  • OHS Family Engagement Framework 
  • Cultural Competency 
  • Active Lifestyle/Health/Nutrition for Families & Staff 
  • Male Involvement 
  • Gang Activity at Home. What is a program to do? 
  • Strength based teamwork-staff/families 
  • Center based literacy with focus on family 
  • Family Literacy 
  • Family Violence
  • Intergenerational Parenting 
  • Effective Communication between staff and families 
  • Competencies for Family Service Workers 
  • Parents as Leaders 
  • Successful Policy Council meetings 
  • Self-Care 
  • Services for pregnant women 
  • Family Outcomes: Measurement and Tracking 
  • Financial Literacy
  • Child Care Partnerships, Community Partnerships that Support Families Transitions to School 
  • Technology Applications 
  • Family Services Partners 
  • Staff Development 
  • Immigrant Family Services 
Home Visiting
  • Cultural Competence and Diversity 
  • Effective and Evidence-informed Practices in Home Visiting 
  • Engaging Immigrant Families 
  • Fathers and Home Visiting 
  • Reflective Coaching/Supervision/Practice
Education and Child Development (Birth - 5)
  • Approaches to Learning
  • Assessments and Child Outcomes
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Language and Literacy
  • ESL/ELL/Dual Language
  • Math Development 
  • Scientific Reasoning 
  • Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development 
  • Early Intervention
Family Engagement Outcomes
  • Cultural Competence and Diversity 
  • Effective and Evidence-informed Practices in Home Visiting
  • Engaging Immigrant Families 
  • Fathers and Home Visiting 
  • Reflective Coaching/Supervision/Practice
  • Family Partnerships    
  • Family Well-being 
  • Positive Parent-Child Relationships 
  • Teaching and Learning Partnerships       
  • Fathers and Male Involvement
Health and Safety
  • Family Wellness 
  • Abuse and/or Neglect 
  • Mental Health 
  • Stress Factors 
  • Resiliency 
  • Nutrition and Obesity
  • Food Access 
  • Oral Health 
  • Physical Fitness 
  • Technology 
  • Community Safety and Injury Prevention 
  • Disaster and Crisis Management
Agency Leadership
  • Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment and Attendance (ERSEA): Using Data to Assess Program Progress 
  • Relationship-Based Practices 
  • Innovations 
  • Grant Writing 
  • Staff Development 
  • Program Governance 
  • Family Leadership Strategies 
  • Poverty and Education 
  • Advocacy and Civic Engagement
  • OHS Family Engagement Framework
  • Behavior Management
  • Cultural Competency
  • Child Development 
  • Active lifestyle/health/nutrition for families Personal Wellness / Stress Male involvement Transitions 
  • Strength based teamwork –staff/families Advocacy 
  • Center based literacy with focus on family Kindergarten Readiness
  • Family Literacy
  • Financial Literacy 
  • Family Violence Successful Meetings 
  • Intergenerational parenting Parents as Leaders 
  • Effective communication between staff and families
  • Home School Connection Teamwork and communication 
  • Governance

What Do Attendees Want From a Workshop?  Submissions will be evaluated and selected according to the following criteria:  PRESENTER INFORMATION, REQUIREMENTS, GUIDELINES, AND DEADLINES 

Deadline to submit proposals is on or before Tuesday, November 21, 2023UPDATE - BY POPULAR REQUEST - DEADLINE EXTENDED! Contact Cathy Welsh for information @

Honorarium, Lodging, Travel, and Marketing Materials & Expenses: As a non-profit educational association, IHSA does not award workshop presenters an honorarium. Lead presenters are offered a complimentary full registration. Presenters are responsible for their own lodging, travel and other transportation and any physical handout copies. Digital copies of all handouts should be submitted to Cathy at the below email address no later than one week prior to the event  so that they may be added to the online conference program.

Presenters representing vendors or consulting firms are asked not to sell or market items within the training session. They may provide more of their product/service information by renting an exhibit booth in our exhibit hall. IHSA provides conference exhibit space and offers advertising space in the conference e-program. Interested presenters and others may visit our Call for Exhibitors web page  or contact Mitch Wood at to secure exhibit or ad space.

A screen and AV cart will be provided in each breakout session room by the IHSA. Projectors will be set up for either VGA or HDMI input. Please bring any  necessary adapters for your presentation device. Presentations should not be contingent on internet access.

February 21, 2024 - All handouts must be received for each presentation and they will be posted on the IHSA website prior to the event. 

February 27, 2024 – Any and all edits including description edits, presenter changes etc. should be sent to IHSA via email. Additional changes will not be included in the printed program after this date.

If you are filling out this form for the first time, please click the New Submission button on the left.

If you are returning to edit or complete a previous submission, please fill out the email address and access code you set up previously and click Edit Submission.

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