5th Annual National Dialogue with Nurse and Child Care Health Consultants

Opening Minds Early Education Health & Wellness

Series of Continuing Education Courses

Opening Minds Early Education Health & Wellness Series: As we are all aware, human development begins long before birth. Intergenerational trauma, genetics, exposure to substances, the health of the mother, culture, socio-economic levels and a whole lot more impact an infant’s development and capacity to learn long before birth and entering our classrooms. 

The 2019 Series will dig in to the Opioid Epidemic and the knowns/unknowns about exposure to opioids; precautions to consider now that marijuana has become a legal substance in a growing number of states as well as the ethical and legal responsibilities of mandated reporting; Nutrition; Physical Growth and Development; Play as well as resources and tools. Questions or suggestions for caring for the children? Include our 5th Nurse and Child Care Health Consultants Annual National Dialogue on your conference calendar.

Preview of Sessions Planned

5th Annual National Dialogue with Nurse and Child Care Health Consultants

Kim Clear Sandor, BSN, MSN, FNP Education Development Center

Together we will consider how you may use these resources in your work as a CCHC. From webinars, online communities to interactive consultation skill building modules, we will explore how to strengthen your knowledge base and consultation skills to successfully assist ECE programs to improve their health and safety practices.  Child Care Health Consultation: Skill Building Modules is a series of learning activities developed for child care health consultants (CCHCs) by the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (NCECHW). The activities incorporate realistic scenarios to help CCHCs understand the early care and education environment and strengthen their skills in building trusting and collaborative relationships with ECE providers. Strong relationships are key to effective consultation.

Kimberly Clear-Sandor is passionate about leveraging her understanding of health, families, and early childhood settings to advance children’s health, safety, growth, and development within educational settings and the home.

Clear-Sandor is a member of the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness team. In this capacity, she provides evidence-based tools and techniques, and training with a special focus on children’s health, children with special health care needs, and safe environments. She also supports child care health consultants and professional networks for Head Start health, nutrition, and mental health managers, and works with health partners at the American Academy of Pediatrics in collaboration with Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, and Health Care Institute at the University of California Los Angeles. 

Clear-Sandor is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Nurses’ Association, a state affiliate of the American Nurses’ Association. She also provides private health consultation to early childhood programs and offers trainings and technical assistance to increase awareness of the role of health in early childhood environments.

A published author, Clear-Sandor reviewed the environmental standards in Caring for Our Children, 3rd Edition. She collaborated with the Connecticut State Department of Education to update the Education Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Lead Poisoning in Children. She has also been a contributor/reviewer for other Connecticut State Department of Education publications, including Action Guide for Child Care Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies.

Clear-Sandor received her BSN from Boston College and her MSN as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Columbia University.


Dr. Michael Yogman, M.D.

Play is not frivolous: it enhances brain structure, promotes executive function and supports social emotional development. This session will discuss the role of play in early brain and child development. Participants will build strategies for enhancing their classrooms and providing more opportunities for play throughout the program day.


Dr. Yogman is a pediatrician in practice in Cambridge, Mass and Chief of the Division of Ambulatory Pediatrics at Mt Auburn Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Currently, he is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Boston Children’s Museum and Immediate Past Board Chair, Chair of the Massachusetts American Academy of Pediatrics Child Mental Health Task Force and Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health where he has authored policy statements on fathers role with children, perinatal depression, the power of play, trauma, toxic stress and resilience and addressing early childhood behavioral problems.

He serves as a legislative appointee to the Massachusetts Advisory Board on Child Mental Health and a gubernatorial appointee to the Massachusetts Special Commission Relative to Postpartum Depression. He also consults to a number of child care centers. He is a trustee of the Franciscan Children’s Hospital and the Landmarks Orchestra, a member of the advisory board of Fathers Uplift, and on the Board of Advisors of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard.

He is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics part time at Harvard Medical School where he teaches and does research on the father -child relationship, developmental interventions including the RWJ randomized intervention of home visiting and center-based care for LBW preterm infants, nutrition and behavior, and behavioral health integration in primary care. He has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 1973 and was one of the first pediatricians to be board certified in Developmental Behavioral pediatrics in 2002.

Previously, he has been Associate Chief of the Division of Child Development and Director of the Infant Health and Development Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is the editor of several books (In Support of Families, published by Harvard University Press; Affective Development in Infancy; and a biennial series Theory and Research in Behavioral Pediatrics) and author of numerous articles and chapters on the father-infant relationship, infant diet and sleep, and parent infant play.
He received the outstanding children’s museum award on behalf of the Boston Children’s Museum at the White House in 2013. He was awarded the Simms Mann Foundation National Whole Child Award in 2015 and the AAP Senior Child Health Advocacy Award at the 2016 AAP NCE for his work on postpartum depression and the Richmond/Coleman award at the AAP in September of 2017 for outstanding contributions to the field of child development and behavior through advocacy, public service, scientific endeavors and literature.

Dr Yogman received his undergraduate degree from Williams College and his medical degree from Yale University. He holds a M.Sc. degree in Maternal and Child Health from Harvard School of Public Health. He is married to Dr Elizabeth Ascher, has two grown daughters and four dogs.

TWO SESSIONS by Florence Rivera,

MPH Initiatives Manager at the American Academy of Pediatrics

Nutrition and how it supports early brain development


Allergies and how to develop food allergy plans based on Case Scenarios

Florence Rivera, MPH is an Initiatives Manager at the American Academy of Pediatrics. She began her career as a manager of a Women, Infants and Children clinic developing health strategies with high risk families to achieve healthier lifestyles. She has extensive experience designing and implementing public health programs specifically Early Head Start and home visiting programs. She currently serves as the lead on obesity prevention strategies for the Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight to the National Center for Early Childhood Health and Wellness. Ms. Rivera has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and a Masters in Public Health.

Marijuana & Substance Misuse During Pregnancy: What to Know and How to Help. Presented by Rebecca Parlakian, Senior Director of Programs at ZERO TO THREE

One in 20 women reports using marijuana-or another inappropriate substance-during pregnancy. Substance misuse during pregnancy can cause serious problems for a mom and her baby-yet it can be a complex and challenging topic to address. This session will provide background information on trending drugs like marijuana, opioids and more, and give early childcare professionals-who may be in a unique position to identify substance misuse-the tools they need to start conversations, build relationships, notice red flags, and connect expectant families with the help they need to achieve better health outcomes for all.

Rebecca Parlakian serves as Senior Director of Programs at ZERO TO THREE, a national nonprofit focused on promoting the healthy development of children from birth to three, where she directs a portfolio of federally- and privately-funded projects related to healthy child development and high quality teaching and caregiving for children from birth to age five. Rebecca has co-authored three parenting education curricula and developed parenting resources on various topics and in various formats (including an app, podcasts, and videos). Rebecca’s written work has appeared in a variety of publications including the Zero to Three Journal and the peer-reviewed Young Children, a journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She has also spoken widely, both within the U.S. and internationally, on topics including brain development, early literacy and language development, parent coaching, children and media, and more. Rebecca holds a Master’s degree in Education and Human Development, with a concentration in infant-toddler special education, from the George Washington University, where she is currently serving as adjunct faculty.

This is just a preview of what’s planned. More sessions, descriptions, and presenters will be added, regularly. Follow us on Facebook, to get updates in real time. The full schedule of listings will be available in January.