Cast Your Vote! Get Early Learning on the Agenda at SXSW 2024

By Robin Hood

We’re excited to share that Chances for Children, ImmSchools and our own FUEL team are part of five proposals in the running for SXSW 2024. Centering infant and maternal mental health, the child care workforce and more, each of these panels will help us change the early childhood conversation – but we need your help to make them happen!

Help us get on the SXSW agenda by voting for and sharing our proposals by Sunday, August 20th. 

Voting is easy! Register for a free SXSW PanelPicker account and then click the “Vote Up” arrow to support as many panels as you’d like. You can search in the PanelPicker or come back to this post – we’ve included links for each proposal below.


1. Early Education Equity & The Family Child Care Workforce

While public attention on pre-K in schools and centers has grown, the vast majority of low-income families still rely on providers working in a home-based setting. Family child care providers (FCCs) often fill gaps in nontraditional hours, proximity and cultural and linguistic relevance – and attention on the FCC ecosystem is critical to an equitable agenda for early care and education access. Drawing on work to support vulnerable families in New York City, this panel will share new research insights on the FCC workforce and programs and public policy that can lift up this vital sector.
Vote for this panel!


2. Early Learning in Unlikely Spaces: Shelters, Jails & More

In their critical first years, every second of a child’s life is spent learning from their environment. For the millions of children affected by homelessness, incarceration and other hardships associated with poverty, that means an experience shaped by institutions that are often punitive and rarely consider their needs. If we’re serious about equity, we must take on these spaces’ role in early learning. Hear how creative programs are centering children in spaces routinely barren of resources and why philanthropy should be committed to creating positive environments for child development.
Vote for this panel!


3. Maternal Mental Health Injustice & Socially Responsive Care

In pursuit of health equity, we must fight systemic injustices in maternal mental health. Mothers of color experience double the rate of postpartum depression but are far less likely to receive treatment, and programs often fail to meet the cultural, social, and linguistic needs of mothers in poverty. We must meet mothers where they are. Hear from innovating maternal mental health leaders working closely with underserved communities and learn how to implement community-partnered program design, do inclusive research and embrace community assets to close the equity gap in maternal mental health.
Vote for this panel! 


4. Supporting Undocumented Communities in Our Schools
Workshop by ImmSchools

Through an interactive and hands-on 90-minute workshop, educators will deepen their understanding of policies, opportunities and experiences of K-12 undocumented students and students in mixed-status families. Educators will be equipped with strategies and best practices in order to address the holistic needs of our students. This workshop is aimed to increase the capacity of educators while supporting their efforts in fostering an inclusive and safe school culture for immigrant students.
Vote for this panel!


5. Why Prioritize Mental Health from Age Zero?
Workshop by Chances for Children 

A child experiences powerful emotions and relationships long before they take their first steps – and attention to their mental health cannot begin too early. While stress, adversity and human connection shape their development, strengthening parent-child bonds and sensitivity can help the child build a protective shield as they learn and grow. Learn about the science behind relational health and development, explore playful exercises that promote relational attunement, and be challenged to rethink how your programs and teaching tools can support mental health and family connectedness.
Vote for this panel!