2016 Early Childhood Education Design Conference

2016 Early Childhood Education Design Conference

Designing for High Performance Learning and Development

April 29, 2016
Denver, CO
Auraria Campus
Tivoli Turnhalle

ECE Design Partners, in collaboration with the Association for Learning Environments (formerly cefpi), is excited to announce its 4th Annual Early Childhood Education Design Conference to be held April 29, 2016 in Denver, Colorado at the Auraria Campus, Tivoli Turnhalle. The 2016 Conference will continue its tradition of bringing together nationally recognized experts and thought leaders to highlight best practices and cutting edge research in designing, developing and managing high performance learning environments for early childhood education. We are currently accepting Conference speaker proposals. If you would like to submit a proposal or have a suggestion for a speaker in this field, please email us at info@earlychildhooddesign.com.

Conference registration is open!

We hope to meet you soon in Denver!

2014 Early Childhood Design Conference

2014 Early Childhood Design Conference

Thank you to all who attended this year’s conference.  The event was a great success, and we had some fantastic, thought provoking and inspirational speakers!

DSCN0721 for web

And for anyone that wants to recreate the delicious bars shown and made by Cathy Schmelter in oneof our 6×10 presentations, we have posted the recipe below.

Blueberry Oat Granola Bars (Serves 9)


Mix together dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats, not quick cook
  • ¾ cup dried blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon


  • ¼ cup sunflower, safflower or coconut oil
  • ¼ cup honey and ¼ cup brown rice syrup (after the age of 1)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pinches sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9×7 inch square baking pan.
  2. Line baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Place oats, blueberries, ground flax seed and cinnamon into a large bowl and stir until combined.
  4. Add in oil and stir.
  5. Add in honey and brown rice syrup and stir again.
  6. Add vanilla extract and salt and stir until all the oats are coated.
  7. Pour into the greased baking pan and press and level with leftover parchment paper.
  8. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden and it feels slightly crisp to the touch.
  9. Let cool in the pan completely (cooling overnight is best).
  10. Slice into 9-12 bars.
  11. Bars will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature for 4 days.



Don’t forget to sign up for the Green Schools Summit next Friday, November 14th!


 FREE KEYNOTE! The 2014 ECE Conference is now      partnered with the USGBC Green Schools Summit to offer  registered attendees an additional benefit!   

 Your ECE Conference registration will now entitle you, at no additional  charge, to attend the closing keynote by the internationally recognized  brain scientist and author, Dr. John Medina, at the Green Schools  Summit on November 14, 2014 at Denver University. 



And a big thank you to all of our sponsors and exhibitors for the 2014 Conference!

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Last but not least, thank you to all of the speakers, attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors who made all three of our past conferences informative and valuable experiences, enabling attendees to design and develop high performance early learning environments.

We would also like to thank attendees for all of the feedback we have received.  We will be working to make future conferences even more valuable and inspiring for everyone.  Here are a few testimonials from past conference attendees:

 In 2013 I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Early Childhood Education Design Conference.  To the best of my knowledge, this conference (in its third year) is the only conference devoted to bringing architects/designers and early childhood development specialist together to discuss best practice and model examples of the design of early learning facilities. It is an unique gathering of professionals dedicated to better understanding the design needs of our youngest learners, and it was a delight to attend.

-Walter S. Gilliam, PhD
Associate Professor
Director of Edward Zigler Center
Yale Child Study Center

“As a public children’s library manager, I learned so much at the Early Childhood Design Conference in October 2012.  I was gratified to see so many architects and designers interested in best practices for working with very young children.  Judy Harris Helm, as keynote speaker, set the stage by filling us in on how young children’s brains work and how we can help shape intellectual ability using the right environment.  Speakers were knowledgeable and presented a wide variety of information about contemporary early childhood spaces.  I enjoyed being a part of the thought provoking discussions that followed the sessions.  As our library transitions to an emphasis on parental involvement with very young children, we plan to take a lot of the ideas gleaned from this conference and turn them into reality!”

-Lesley Clayton
Manager of Children’s Library Services
Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library

 ”I enjoyed delivering a keynote at the first annual ECE Design Conference in Denver.  While many offer educational advice, this one-of-a-kind forum fills a great need in the early learning community by providing rich design ideas and concepts for early learning in the 21st Century.   Well-organized and operated, I am happy to recommend it to anyone interested in learning environments for our nation’s youngest students.  Well done!”
-Victoria Bergsagel
Architects of Achievement

“This was a great opportunity for the many key stakeholders invested in ECE design (administrators, teachers, architects, and researchers) to come together and exchange knowledge. I met new colleagues and collaborators with diverse expertise, all with a shared passion for enhancing ECE design. The range of sessions was very comprehensive, and the final tour helped us think about applying lessons learned.  I look forward to attending next year!”
-Meredith Banasiak
Senior Instructor
Environmental Design Program
University of Colorado Boulder

“Thank you for hosting such a wonderful and successful ECE Design Conference. The quality of the speakers and information presented were excellent and the networking events provided an outstanding atmosphere for conference members to interact and to get to know each other.

We are so pleased that this opportunity for learning was presented in Denver and look forward to attending and sharing this information with our early learning community partners at the next conference!”
-Emily Bustos
Executive Director
Denver Early Childhood Council
3532 Franklin Street, Suite F
Denver, CO 80205
direct (720) 644-2564
fax 1 (866) 802-0563

Announcing CEBRA with Dr. Walter Gilliam

Announcing CEBRA with Dr. Walter Gilliam

The 2014 ECE Design Conference is pleased to announce the upcoming collaborative presentation of CEBRA co-founder, Mikkel Frost, and last year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Walter Gilliam!


The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation is investing significant resources in improving early childhood development by building the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Development. In a very innovative move, the Foundation formed a partnership with the early childhood learning experts at the Yale University Child Study Center and an extremely creative and imaginative architecture firm in Denmark, CEBRA.  Their task was to incorporate a full range of developmental science regarding how children develop mentally, emotionally and physically and incorporate that science into the design of the most optimal early childhood learning center. 

Attendees will hear a discussion between last year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Walter Gilliam, Director, Yale Child Study Center and Mikkel Frost, one of the founding partners of CEBRA Architecture regarding their collaboration in designing the Center.  They will discuss how cutting edge developmental science is best used to re-imagine how young children can best achieve their learning potential, in a wide ranging discussion that blends architecture and science.  Design concepts for the Center will be shared-attendees will see what will soon be one of the world’s premiere centers for early childhood learning and development.

Check out the Speakers page for information on the other presenters.


5X10 Speaker Announcement

We are no longer accepting proposals for the 5×10 Speaker presentations and we have made our final selections.  To see our final 5 speakers, check out the Speakers page.  Thank you to all who applied.