Washtenaw County

Early Childhood Director's Association

The Michigan Washtenaw County Early Childhood Directors Association (ECDA) is a professional organization for the directors, administrators, and leaders of early childhood programs. Our goals are to support directors, to serve as advocates of children's issues, and to provide resource and networking opportunities for early childhood professionals.





OCTOBER 27, 2021

Topic: Nurturing Grieving Children at School and Care
Speaker: Suzanne Bayer

Learn how to support grieving young children by integrating relevant childhood bereavement support theory with best teaching practice. In this session you will gain an understanding of children's developmental grief responses and discover methods of support and assistance.


NOVEMBER 17, 2021

Topic: Work and Purpose
Speaker: Etta Heisler, Executive Director, Apple Playschools

This year has given leaders more than our fair share of challenges. What do we have to hold onto that keeps our schools and ourselves grounded, focused, and ready to respond? Explore a variety of ways that defining vision and clarifying values - on a personal and organizational level - can provide stability and direction. Then, reflect on how your own strengths can carry your vision and values forward. We'll have some story sharing, some reflection, and lots of tools to jump start a visioning or values process for strategic planning, annual reports, or just a personal recommitment to work and purpose.


DECEMBER 2021 - No Meeting


JANUARY 26, 2022

Topic: Media and Kids
Speaker: Jenny Radesky, M.D., a pediatrician and expert on children and media at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

As technology evolves, young children increasingly are interacting with an array of digital media, including video-streaming services, internet-connected toys and devices, and smart speakers. Learn about the long term and short-term effects of media on children and how to best support children and families.


FEBRUARY 23, 2022

Topic: Hot Topics In Early Childhood

This session is designed to allow you to network and problem solve with your peers about the topics most important to you and your work. Guided discussions on topics you help determine!


MARCH 23, 2022

Topic: Gender Identity Development in the Early Childhood Classroom
Speaker: Katrina & Sasha Hamann-Azanov

This presentation aims to provide early childhood educators with the tools to understand gender beyond stereotypes and to analyze their own current teaching practices for the ways that they hinder and/or promote children's ability to safely explore gender in the classroom.


APRIL 27, 2022*

Joint Meeting with the Southern Chapter of MiAEYC

Topic: Teaching Inclusion
Speaker: Katie Andrews, Morning Star Child Care

Join us as we explore issues of implicit bias, marginalized groups, and dominant culture in order to better understand how to promote inclusion in early childhood settings.

*Please note that this meeting ends at 3:00 p.m.


MAY 25, 2022

Topic: Mental Health in Staff • Anxiety and Depression
Speaker: Carly Ly, Mental Health Consultant, WISD

Working in early childhood education can be stressful, and certain types of stress can negatively affect physical and mental health. Preschool teachers face high demands, such as managing disruptive classroom behaviors, completing required paperwork, and ensuring that children are socially and academically ready for kindergarten. In this session, we will address some of the causes of staff stress, coping strategies that staff can use to mitigate the impacts of stress, and specific actions that programs can take to minimize staff stress.



Who attends the trainings?

The trainings are intended for Directors, Administrators and Leaders of Early Childhood Programs.  Twice a year we offer a joint luncheon with WCAEYC that focuses more on teachers and day to day classroom support.

Can I bring my child to the meeting?

Out of respect for the speakers and participants, we strongly discourage you from bringing your child, the meetings are long and there are no 'play areas' to help entertain them.  Exceptions can be made for in arms infants only with permission.  Please contact our current president Carrie Anderson at 734-424-9193 if you have any further questions.

Do I have to eat lunch?  Are there alternative menu options available?

The training fee does include lunch, but you are welcome to come for just the training which begins at noon.  If you do plan on eating please arrive at 11:15AM. There are gluten free and vegetarian options available.  You can request 'special dietary requests' when registering for the training.

If I registered to attend a training and I can't make it what do I do?

We understand that the kids come first and we cannot always get away from our programs.  There is no need to contact anyone but unfortunately you are still required to pay for the training.  You can mail your payment to the treasurer or bring it with you to the next meeting.  If you chose to pay ahead for the whole year there will not be a refund if you stop attending the meetings.  You also have the option of sending someone in your place if you can't make it.

Will I receive a certificate of attendance?

Yes, each participant will receive a certificate that includes their name, the topic of discussion, hours of training and date.


Child Care Network

Child Care Network's mission is to promote the success of children, families and our community through quality child care education, advocacy and family support.  Child Care Network is committed to improving the quality of child care and providing resources to help the community make educated choices about early childhood education.  CCN has been providing services to families and early childhood professionals since 1977.  Child Care Network provides services for six southeast Michigan counties: Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, and Washtenaw.

Learn more... »

Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children (MiAEYC)

The Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children is committed to improving the education and welfare of children from birth through age eight.  MiAEYC works for young children, their families, and early childhood professionals.  MiAEYC supports the professional development of its members through quality training, materials and services.  More than 3,000 early childhood educators and suppliers of children's services belong to MiAEYC in 16 affiliate chapters and 3 local chapters.

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National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Founded in 1926, The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.  The association comprises nearly 70,000 individual members of the early childhood community and more than 300 regional Affiliate chapters, all committed to delivering on the promise of high-quality early learning. Together, we work to achieve a collective vision: that all young children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential.

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ECDA Steering Committee 2021-2022

The ECDA Steering Committee is composed of program directors and representatives from local organizations.

Carrie Anderson - President
Morning Star Child Care
Phone: 734-424-9193

Shannon Peitz - Vice President/ Communications
Gretchen's House - Dhu Varren
Phone: 734-761-7031

Candy Sorensen - Past President
Child Care Network

Sandra Swan - Secretary
Community Day Care & Preschool

Trudi Hagen - Treasurer
Washtenaw Community College Children's Center

Patty Sherwood - Venue/ Lunch
Adventure Center

Debbie Belcher - Joint Luncheon
The Discovery Center

Karin Nowak - Public Policy
Gretchen's House - Oak Valley

Laura Griswold - SBS/QPP WBSICC Liaison
Gretchen's House - Administration

Tammie King - WCSACCA Liaison
Bemis Farms Preschool & Child Care

Kay Retzlaff - Southern Chapter of MiAEYC Liaison
Teddy Bear Day Care

Members at Large:

Chrissy McKiddie
Gretchen's House - Traver

Shannon Peitz
Gretchen's House - North Creek

Tia Garrett
Teddy Bear Day Care

Registration Information:

Annual Membership Fee (Sept-May): $70
To become a member please complete the Membership Registration form here.


For more information, contact us at: contactus@wcecda.com