Registration Open for the 2nd Annual  Home-Based Virtual Mini-Conference

EASTERN MICHIGAN – Licensed home-based providers are invited to attend the 2nd Annual Virtual Home-Based Mini-Conference on Saturday, September 11, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., hosted by Great Start to Quality Eastern Resource Center and the Saginaw Intermediate School District.  Attendees will receive continuing education and professional development while collaborating with peers and industry experts.  The conference focuses on multi-aged group settings and meeting the social-emotional needs of all children.

Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., early childhood expert, will present ‘Making the Most of the Mix’ and the many benefits of mixed-age groupings.  With over 20 years of early childhood education experience, Lisa has taught and worked with children in various settings including Head Start, kindergarten, private preschools, family childcare, park and recreation centers, group homes, and child care centers.  Holding a Master’s in Education Degree with a focus on early childhood education from Champlain College in Vermont, Lisa has authored four books and produced dozens of teacher training materials.  She hosts the annual UNConference, and is a popular keynote speaker at hundreds of domestic and international educational conferences and workshops.  Lisa also has a podcast, Child Care Bar and Grill, that attracts global listeners.  As the Founder and CEO of Ooey Gooey, Lisa is committed to transforming the industry of early childhood education.  Ms. Murphy is known for her ability to link hands-on activities to educational standards, her outspoken advocacy, and her commitment to creating child-centered, play-based early childhood environments. 

Conscious Discipline, founded by award-winning author and educator Dr. Bethy Baily, will provide trauma-informed social and emotional learning practices based on four essential components that are scientifically and practically designed for success.  Conscious Discipline is recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and received high ratings in 8 of 10 categories in a Harvard analysis of the nation’s top 25 social-emotional learning programs.  The Harvard study’s authors stated, “Conscious Discipline provides an array of behavior management strategies and classroom structures that teachers can use to turn everyday situations into learning opportunities.”

Kristine Walko, Quality Improvement Consultant, said, “Last year, there was a strong emphasis on developmentally appropriate play and running a successful business.  In reflection of this past year, there is a strong need to focus on supporting the social and emotional needs of children at all age levels.  By learning how to properly meet the needs of multi-aged children in group settings, we can begin to build safe environments conducive to positive social and intellectual benefits.” 

The Home-Based Mini-Conference is presented by the Great Start to Quality Eastern Resource Center and the Saginaw Intermediate School District.  Great Start to Quality helps families find the best early learning settings for their children and helps educators improve the care they give to children.  The Eastern Resource Center supports over 500 childcare programs throughout Arenac, Bay, Huron, Lapeer, Saginaw, Sanilac, St. Clair, and Tuscola counties.  Funding from the Office of Great Start within the Michigan Department of Education supports the implementation of Great Start.

Online registration costs $15.  To register, visit and select the “search training” icon.  

About Saginaw Intermediate School District Saginaw Intermediate School District (SISD) is an educational service agency that provides effective and innovative leadership, services, resources, and programs throughout Saginaw County, Michigan.  Saginaw ISD serves 12 local school districts, 5 public school academies, and 22 non-public schools, with a total enrollment of approximately 27,000 students.  Public school districts supported include:  Birch Run Area Schools, Bridgeport-Spaulding Community School District, Carrollton Public Schools, Chesaning Union Schools, Frankenmuth School District, Freeland Community School District, Hemlock Public School District, Merrill Community Schools, Saginaw Public School District, Saginaw Township Community Schools, St. Charles Community Schools, and Swan Valley School District.  Saginaw ISD provides career and technical education, early childhood, finance, human resources, instruction, pupil accounting, special education, technology, and transportation services.  In addition, SISD operates multiple educational programs to meet the unique needs of students ages birth to 26 across Saginaw County, including: Hartley Outdoor Education Center, Head Start/Early Head Start and Great Start to Readiness Programs, Great Lakes Bay Early College, Saginaw County Juvenile Detention Center School, and Special Education Center Programs.  Learn more about Saginaw ISD by calling (989) 399-7473 or visiting