Greetings LAECA Members!

I am honored to begin my second term as your LAECA president. I feel blessed to be able to meet people from across the state who make a positive difference in young children's lives every day. I truly enjoy mentoring new LAECA members, some of whom are brand new teachers, and others have been in the field for years and have so much to share! I appreciate the power that LAECA gives us to share our knowledge of developmentally appropriate research and practices as we fight for resources to provide quality care and education for every young child in Louisiana. I look forward to what we are able to accomplish together in the next year!

It was a pleasure seeing you and all the exciting events at the annual LAECA conference last October! A heartfelt thank you to our conference committee for the outstanding work they did to make our conference a success. With the theme "Hocus Pocus, Early Childhood is our Focus!" we enjoyed professional development sessions given by Stephen Fite, Mike Artell, and other talented LAECA members. We also congratulated Melanie Bronfin, recipient of the Friends of Children award, along with scholarship winners Sarah Cox, Brittany Founds, Heidi Knight, and Tabitha McDowell. The grant winners were Janie Humphries, Cathy Martin, and Kaylyn Martin.

I hope you gained knowledge and resources you were able to implement in your practice last year, and I encourage you to join us for this year's conference, as well. Please mark your calendar to attend the 2019 annual LAECA conference October 31-November 2 in Alexandria; our theme is "Early Childhood: The Building Blocks of our Future!" I also encourage you to share the wonderful things you are doing in your program by submitting a proposal to present at the conference! The proposal form is available on the LAECA website at http://www.laeca.org/docs/2019ConferenceCallforProposals.pdf.

Finally, I want to thank you for the work you do every day in the field, enriching the young children, families, and communities you serve. Research has long shown the benefits of quality early care and education, and all the effort we invest in young children is an investment in the future of the state of Louisiana.

With best wishes,

Michelle Fazio Brunson
LAECA President