State of the Young Child 2019: Connecting for Missoula’s Children

SOTYC 2019 FB Banner

State of the Young Child is Healthy Start’s annual event designed to raise awareness about emerging issues in early childhood, provide professional development opportunities for early childhood professionals, and to honor everyone involved with strengthening our early childhood systems.  Community leaders, business professionals, service providers, and other interested Missoulians are all welcome to attend.

Location: Phyllis J. Washington Education Center at the University of Montana

Date/Time: Thursday May 23rd, 9 AM – 3:15 PM

Cost: $25, including lunch

Full Agenda:

Morning Training: Understanding the CONNECT Referral System

 Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Learn about the CONNECT Electronic Referral System, and ways to integrate it into your organization.  For information about CONNECT, check out this website:

Early Childhood Resource Fair
11:00 – 11:30 AM, 1:00-1:30 PM
Organizations that serve young children will have information available about their programs and services.
State of the Young Child Luncheon
 Time: 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
This year we have many reasons to celebrate successes in early childhood, as funders, employers and others are putting their heads together on ways to improve our early childhood systems.  We have three great panelists that will help connect the dots between early childhood efforts in different sectors.
Clint Burson, Director of Government Affairs with the Missoula Chamber of Commerce will address business interest in child care access, survey results from their recent child care survey, and innovative business approaches ot increasing child care availability.
Dr. Bonnie Stephens, neonatologist from Community Medical Center will provide an update on successes in adddressing perinatal substance use.  This is a follow-up to her presentation three years ago which brought this emerging issue to our attention.
Caitlin Jensen, director of the Zero to Five Statewide Initiative will discuss recent funding dedicated to early childhood systems, and the statewide work that is emerging because of this funding.
Afternoon Trainings (choose one)
1:15 – 3:15 PM
Making Child Care Work: Innovative Business Solutions to Missoula’s Child Care Shortage
Facilitated by Grace Decker, Zero to Five Strategic Collaboration Coordinator at the United Way of Missoula County
Missoula has a critical shortage of child care slots, especially for infants and toddlers. Businesses say that finding child are that works is a key challenge facing their workers. Missoula area business leaders are tackling the challenge by exploring a variety of new partnerships, business models, and employee benefits that may all be part of solving this complex problem. This session will include innovators sharing their solution stories, and small group roundtable discussions for in-depth exploration of their strategies.
Basics of Perinatal Mental Health: Risks, Symptoms and How to Help
Led by Melinda Cline LCSW, PHM-C, CLC at Community Medical Center
While many women experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 15 to 20% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety.Women of every culture, age, income level and race can develop perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth. There are effective and well-researched treatment options to help with recovery. Learn to recognize symptoms and signs of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and ways that you can provide support.
So You Think You’re Trauma Informed?
Let by Jessica Mayrer, Policy coordinator at Vision 21: Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth in Montana and Teresa Nygaard, Executive Director of the Parenting Place

Learn about strategies organizations can take to become not just trauma informed, but also trauma responsive. Nygaard will share insights about how toxic stress affects developing brains and mechanisms child-serving providers can employ to help young people manage feelings related to adversity. Mayrer will talk about specific policies and procedures organizations can adopt to become trauma responsive.