Countdown to the Conference








We are pleased to host the 2023, virtual Interior Early Years Conference
Grow your skills ~ Grow your mind ~ Grow your passion

We are excited to share and learn from each other through this virtual conference platform that can bring our vast region together.

We are delighted to offer two special keynote addresses as well as a variety of workshop sessions to choose from. We hope that you feel inspired and rejuvenated throughout the conference and continue to share your knowledge and expertise with your colleagues as well as the children and families you support.


You will receive an email with the links to access your zoom sessions:

  • one Zoom link for the morning Keynote presentation
  • the lunch networking session will stay in the same room as the morning keynote (if you register)
  • one Zoom link for the workshop session you choose
  • one Zoom link for the afternoon Keynote presentation

If you have not received an email by Wednesday, March 1, 2023, make sure to check your junk/spam folders!

If you are still unable to find the links please contact

IMPORTANT: You must click the links sent to you to access the Keynotes and Workshop session.
Your Eventbrite ticket is not required to access zoom conference links.

Connect With Us!

Join the Conference Facebook Group:
Learn more about the conference, presenters and engage with participants! Watch for draw prizes leading up to Conference Day


A special thank you to the Interior Region Child Care Resource and Referral programs for partnering on this amazing learning opportunity.

A huge thank you to the Provincial ECE Professional Development Bursary Fund. This fund has had a huge impact on reducing our conference fee. Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre (WCCRC) is administering the BC Professional Development Bursary Fund in BC. This funding is part of the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the Government of Canada.

Thank you to the conference planning committee for their dedication, skills, time, and knowledge and for making conference possible.

Conference Planning Committee
















Saturday, March 4, 2023,

8:30 am – 4:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

** All times are Pacific Standard Time**

8:30: Log in/Housekeeping items

Please ensure you are settled and ready to go for 8:45am.
Open the conference email and click the link to join the morning session and Keynote.

8:45 – 9:30 AM: Indigineous welcome 

9:30 – 11:30 AM: Morning keynote with Chief Willie Sellars

Presenter: Chief Willie Sellars
Williams Lake First Nation Chief and award-winning author, Willie Sellars will share the importance of storytelling, as well as celebrating culture, family and community.  Participants will have the opportunity to consider community values, supporting and teaching children while enjoying action packed stories.  Chief Sellars invites us to consider our role in community and in understanding Truth and Reconciliation.   

11:30 – 12:30 PM: Lunch break

Optional breakout session for connection and social time.

12:30 – 2:30 PM: Workshop sessions (Participant Choice)


Workshop Session A: Ashleigh Davies

Critical Literacy: Inclusion On The Bookshelf
What power do books hold? Through this workshop educators will discuss topics of social justice and diversity, considering how all children can feel represented. We will focus on understanding the importance of representation in children’s day to day lives and on the power books can hold. This involves looking at how books can uphold ideas of colonization, gender stereotypes, one type of family and white-centric voices. We will look at how the literacy we use can work towards anti-racist & anti-bias practice, as well as create a welcoming environment where all children are able to feel represented. Not limited to cultures, but also consideration of children with exceptionalities, various family structures, LGBTQ2S+, and looking outside of the gender binary & stereotypes. Focusing on the critical literacy theory, educators will have a chance to discover new authors and books that will help to diversify their bookshelves and develop skills that allow them to critically assess and choose books within their classroom.

Workshop Session B: Christine Yu

Helping Young Children with Anxiety and Emotional Regulation: Connection Before Intervention
This workshop will help people working with children in the early years understand anxiety and learn to differentiate between developmentally appropriate and problematic anxiety. Discussions will focus on building and enhancing growth-promoting relationships to support children with anxiety. Attendees will also learn practical, evidence-based skills to help young children manage anxiety and develop emotional regulation skills.

Workshop Session C: Debbie LeeKeenan

Creating Inclusive Communities with Anti-bias Education
Participants will learn about the framework and goals for an anti-bias education approach that is relevant to both children and adults. The session will include practical and integrated strategies for responding to children’s questions about human diversity and bias, as well as the importance of the adult anti-bias journey to understand our own social identities and the impact it has on our work with children and families. Breakouts will include applying the ideas to real life classroom scenarios.

Workshop Session D: Monica Maddison

Honouring the journey
Engage and self reflect upon the past philosophies, stigma, and approaches to educating neurodiverse minds over the years. Together, we will explore the many social perceptions of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other learning differences such as dyslexia and dysgraphia. Philosophies are always growing and evolving with new information, research, and understanding – should the educator seek it. Arguably, all of us have been exposed to out of date language, we’ve drawn incorrect conclusions, and may have acted with false or incomplete information within our care. However, as intentional and inclusive educators it is our responsibility to unlearn the standards of the past and move forward in our journeys towards inclusive education and care. Together, we will discuss the current best practice approaches for engaging with and caring for neurodiverse children, including: active self reflection (with in-moment strategies to respond – not react, to difficult moments), appropriate positive language use, as well as active, respectful listening.

2:30 – 2:45 PM: Break and move

Take a stretch, get some fresh air, refresh your drink and get ready for the last session.

2:45 – 3:45 PM:  Afternoon Keynote with Carol Garboden Murray

Presenter: Carol Garboden Murray
In this provocative Keynote, Carol will ask us to consider a new teaching and learning paradigm – where we shift from a view of care as weak and soft to revealing care as the strong back bone of our teaching practice. We will examine how living care as an educational philosophy and as an ethic has the potential to generate reciprocal power so that as we care for others, we receive care, and we learn to care for ourselves.  With the 7 Lamps of Care, Carol will shine the light on a new path. Together, we will pioneer a practice of care as education, care as a right, care as bodily, care as an art and a science, and care as what makes us human.

3:45 – 4:00 PM: Thank you, draws and announcements

Thank you to everyone for participating! 

Meet Our Presenters

Chief Willie Sellars

Willie Sellars was born and raised in Williams Lake, BC and is a member of the Williams Lake First Nation (“WLFN” or “T’exelc”) of the Secwepemc Nation. Elected to WLFN Council at the age of 24 in 2008. Willie was one of the youngest elected Councillors in WLFN history. After serving 10 years on Council, he was elected as the Chief of the Williams Lake First Nation in 2018 and is currently in his second term.

Chief Sellars is an award winning author of Dipnetting with Dad, which won a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. In his book, Hockey With Dad, community values and cultural wisdom are celebrated through a hockey game brought into focus by the action-packed illustrations of awardwinning illustrator Kevin Easthope. Willie enjoys his family time with his children, playing hockey with the Williams Lake Stampeders, attending community events at WLFN, dipnetting, and playing fastball.

Carol Garboden Murray

Carol Garboden Murray is the author of Illuminating Care: The Pedagogy and Practice of Child Care in Early Childhood Settings (Exchange Press, 2021). Carol lives in the Hudson Valley, New York and her speciality is early childhood development, 0-5.  She has been working with children, families, and teachers for many years as an early interventionist, a toddler, preschool and kindergarten teacher and child care center director.  She is currently the director of the Wimpfheimer Nursery School and Infant Toddler Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY.  



Ashleigh Davies

Ashleigh Davies has worked with children in a variety of roles for the last ten years and currently is a post-basic ECE instructor with Sprott Shaw College.  Ashleigh is passionate about the topic of inclusion and social justice within ECCE settings, running several workshops on the topic within BC.

Christine Yu

Christine has worked extensively in the field of anxiety, both as a researcher and a clinician.  She completed her coursework and clinical training in the PhD program in Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia and her research focuses on exploring parents’ process of seeking and accessing psychological treatment for their children with anxiety. Currently, she is working in private practice at Cornerstone Child and Family Psychology Clinic. In addition to individual and family therapy, Christine conducts workshops and presentations about childhood anxiety for educators and parent-groups in Western Canada and serves on the Anxiety Canada Scientific Advisor Committee.

Debbie LeeKeenan

Debbie LeeKeenan is lecturer, consultant and author. She has been in the field of early education for over 50 years. She is a former preschool, special education, and elementary school teacher. She was director of the Eliot-Pearson Children’s School at Tufts University from 1996 to 2013. She has been a member of the early childhood faculty at Tufts University, Lesley University and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Debbie is a co-producer of the new award winning film, Reflecting on Anti-bias Education in Action: The Early Years, released in April 2021. Her co-authored books include: From Survive to Thrive:  A Director’s Guide for Leading an Early Childhood Program and Leading Anti-bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change.  Debbie was awarded the 2022 National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Asian Interest Forum Leadership Award for demonstrating professional excellence, integrity and social responsibility to better the lives of many children, families, the ECE workforce of Asian descent and the ECE field as a whole. Debbie is Chinese-American, the child of immigrant working-class parents and is part of a multi-racial family. 

Monica Maddison

Monica Maddison is a Director of Specialized Education and Inclusion, former college instructor, and a professional speaker. She brings her twelve years of experience and extensive education background to educate educators on best practices for supporting and caring for neurodiverse learners. When she isn’t advocating for her students in the classroom , providing one-to-one therapy for home based clients, or public speaking across Canada, she’s a mother to three children herself. Monica uses attainable explanations with actionable strategies within each session to guide educators through self reflection and greater understanding of all children. Her company, Bloom Behaviour, is creating a movement of inclusion driven practices for intentional educators.. because as we already know; we’re better when we’re together.

Registration Information

Registration Open

January 23 to February 6, 2023

Registration opens to Interior Region participants 

Feb 7 to Feb 24, 2023

General registration opens 

Note: The first 250 registrants will be mailed a self care gift package!


Registration Cost

Only $25/person plus processing fee!
Thank you to the ECE Professional Development Bursary Fund for keeping this cost low!


Registration Online At


Connect With Us! Join the Conference Facebook Group:

Learn more about the conference, presenters and engage with participants!
Watch for draw prizes leading up to Conference Day



You will receive a certificate if you join from your personal invite link.
Certificates will be sent to the email address used to register for the conference.

If you are attending with a group, you must enter your full names of all of the participants in your group into the chat for each session you attend. If your name is not listed, you may not receive a certificate.


Give Us Your Feedback!

Feedback always welcome and helps us plan for the future. We look forward to your feedback and comments, please complete the evaluation provided at the end of the conference.

Additional Information

Conference Tips

  • Check for Zoom updates prior to the conference to ensure your computer is ready.
  • Note that there are separate Zoom links for the morning keynote, afternoon workshop selection and afternoon keynote.
  • Join early! Join up to 15 minutes before the start time to ensure you are connected and ready.
  • Please mute your microphone.
  • Ensure your display name is the same name used on your registration.
  • Groups: Ensure you add the names of all participants in your group into the Chat to ensure that certificates can be created for each individual.
  • Please keep your video on as much as possible to support the presenter in engaging with you.
  • Use the Chat feature to ask questions/make comments.
  • Gallery View allows you to see up to 25 participants on your screen.
  • Speaker View allows you to see a larger tile of the person speaking.
  • Use the ‘Reactions’ button to raise your hand, give applause, love a comment or give a thumbs up.
  • Do the survey! Your responses help us plan. Let us know what you liked. Let us know what changes you would like to see.
  • Stay for the draw prizes after the afternoon keynote! Great prizes provided by each Child Care Resource and Referral Program!

Zoom Support on March 4th:

Self-Care Checklist

  • Water
  • Tea
  • Healthy Snacks
  • Yummy Lunch
  • Walking shoes for a break