Call for Proposals

Welcome to ZERO TO THREE's Annual Conference Call for Proposals!

ZERO TO THREE'S Annual Conference is the premier destination for professionals from across the multidisciplinary early childhood field to learn about current research, best practice, and policy topics and network with one another. Proposals are being accepted for presentations relevant to work with or on behalf of children under 5 years of age (including the prenatal period) and their families.

Deadline for proposals is February 18, 2020.

  • Submission Overview
  • Online Submission Process
  • ZERO TO THREE P-5 Competencies
  • Presentation type Guidelines
  • Sample Proposal
Submission Overview

To ensure a blind review, no presenter names, titles, agencies, affiliations, or organizations should appear anywhere except where requested. Submissions on a particular program may not name the program, location, staff members, or affiliate organizations involved with the program. However, a description of the type of program, range of services, and length of time in the field is allowed.


ZERO TO THREE utilizes an initial blind review process.Reviewers from among ZERO TO THREE subject matter specialists and Fellows who have specific expertise in the ZERO TO THREE Competencies for Prenatal to Age 5(P-5) Professionals™ domain identified for each proposal read and score proposals without identifying information on the specific source of the presentation. Their scores are based on criteria that take into account the interest areas and learning levels of the Annual Conference audience, the relevance of the content to current work in the field, as well as the innovativeness of the work described in the proposal. A secondary review by Annual Conference Program Staff is made to ensure that all review processes were followed and that the overall program content is well-balanced in the ZERO TO THREE P-5 Competencies and to the Annual Conference audience.

Each year ZERO TO THREE receives several hundred responses to its Call for Proposals with a limited number of slots available for accepted presentation proposals. We are pleased to be able to feature the valuable work being done in the infant-family field as much as possible at the Annual Conference.

Criteria for Selection

· Relevance to the Annual Conference audience;

· Relevance to the ZERO TO THREE Competencies for Prenatal to Age 5 (P-5) Professionals™ domain identified;

· Demonstration of the relationship of the work detailed in the presentation to knowledge in the field and/or emerging areas of interest; and

· Clear identification of strategies for effective/best practices.

Prospective presenters should carefully consider their ability to prepare and deliver a session that employs a lively and varied format and uses audiovisual and other materials to enhance learning (presenters who read their presentations or strictly lecture have not been well received in the past).

Participation Information

A/V: Presenters will be required to bring their presentation on a flash drive to be used with the laptop, LCD projector(s), and /screen(s) provided by the Conference. Poster presenters will be supplied with a poster board, table, and sign indicating the poster number and title. All other A/V needs will be at the presenter's expense and should be indicated at the time of acceptance.

Registration: All presenters, including those with posters, will be required to pay the full registration fee and will be responsible for all of their own expenses related to attendance. There are no 1-day or reduced registration fees. Accepted lead presenters are responsible for ensuring that all participants in their session are registered and have paid in full.

Scheduling: Persons whose presentations are accepted must participate at the time scheduled by the Annual Conference Program Staff. Any special scheduling requests should be made at the time of acceptance, but we cannot guarantee that all requests can be accommodated.

Disclosure: All presenters, including those with posters, will be required to;

· Verify that all reference materials that will be used are up-to-date and education materials are accurate and current;

· Verify that all of the materials to be used, including handout materials, are free of any liens or encumbrances, or that all

necessary permissions and/or licenses have been secured for their use; and

· Disclose any proprietary interest in products, instruments, devices, services or materials discussed in the session.

Learning Goals: All presenters will be required to review Learning Goals/Objectives at the beginning and end of the session to ascertain participants' mastery of them.

Online Submission Process

Submitting your proposal on-line will take approximately 30-60 minutes to complete. This program will walk you through each step of the submission process, prompting you for all required information. If you cannot complete the entire process at one time, the program will allow you to save a draft, exit the system, and log back in before the deadline to complete or amend your submission. You will log in using your unique Submission ID and Password. The online system includes error checks for missing information and shows you a complete draft of your submission before you finalize it.

Please note that no edits may be made after the deadline of .

To expedite the process, we highly suggest that submitters collect or prepare the following information prior to beginning:

Abstract of the session content: a brief description (max of 50 words) to be used in the program;        

List of goals/objectives for the session (total of 3);       

Selection of the primary competency domain addressed (select from the ZERO TO THREE P-5 Competencies' domains -listed on the next tab);        

Full description/summary (not abstract) of session content (max of 400 words)·        

Description of how specified learning activities will be incorporated into the session (max of 50 words)·        

Contact information for up to 4 presenters (1 lead presenter and 3 co-presenters).·        

Three empirical references dated within the past five years you used to support your scheduled presentation. You are not required to be an author of the references submitted.

ZERO TO THREE P-5 Competencies

The P-5 Competencies consist of eight competency domains. Each domain provides a base for core knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for professionals in all disciplines working with young children and their families. Each of the P-5 Competency domains are equally important, and they build upon and reinforce one another. All of ZERO TO THREE’s professional development is categorized by the P-5 Competencies’ 8 domains.

P-5 1 Early Childhood Development: how development unfolds from conception to age 5 across social, emotional, cognitive, language, physical, and motor development and ways to responsively support it

P-5 2 Family-Centered Practice: why and how to effectively partner with families to support children’s health and development by building positive, supportive relationships 

P-5 3 Relationship-Based Practice: why relationships are central to supporting the development of children, and how to create responsive and productive relationships with children, families, and other service providers 

P-5 4 Health and Development Risk and Protective Factors: how and why multiple factors—including community, economic, political, and cultural influences—support or impede healthy development and the quality of relationships; and ways to work with families to identify strengths and use them as resources to reinforce protective factors, help manage challenges, and reduce risks 

P-5 5 Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness: how culture and language have profound effects on child and family development, ways to raise awareness of our own assumptions about cultural attitudes and values, and strategies to integrate culturally and linguistically responsive methods 

P-5 6 Leadership to Meet Family Needs and Improve Services and Systems: why and how to exercise leadership in advocacy, policy, and sharing knowledge and resources with families, colleagues, and the general public to promote optimal outcomes for expectant parents, young children, and their families and caregivers 

P-5 7 Professional and Ethical Practices: why and how to follow and apply high-quality practices consistent with ethical and legal standards, behaviors, requirements, and obligations; and improving practices based on evidence, emerging knowledge, and promising approaches 

P-5 8 Service Planning, Coordination, and Collaboration: why effective and responsive service provision requires planning, including a coordinated effort with other sectors and service providers; and how to take a strength- and relationship-based approach in partnerships

Presentation type Guidelines

Baby Talks - 15 minutes

ZERO TO THREE's version of a Ted-style talk for a multidisciplinary early childhood audience at any level of expertise. Ideas should be either new or surprising - an idea the audience has never heard about before, or an exciting basic idea from a fresh perspective that challenges what the audience might think about it. The abstract and description should include:        

· A statement as to the origin of the work or idea; and      

· The importance of the idea or issue to the early childhood field.

For tips on creating a Baby Talk, click here.

Field Presentations - 90 minutes

These presentations should focus on building skill and effectiveness in work or on behalf of infants, toddlers, and their families. Abstracts should include:

· A statement of the issue(s) being addressed and its relevance to work with infants, toddlers, and their families;

· Material to illustrate the work or approach in action;

· The research base that supports the effectiveness of the approach;

· A reference list of current and relevant literature on the topic;

· Lessons to be learned from the presentation that will have practical value to Annual Conference attendees; and

· The planned format for the presentation, including the specific strategies that will be used to engage and encourage active

participation by participants.

Clinical Case Presentations - 90 minutes

These presentations, designed for an audience of experienced clinicians, should focus on preventive, educational, or therapeutic work with one infant or toddler and his or her family. Abstracts should include:

· A clear conceptual framework/knowledge base for the clinical approach used;

· The process of clinical reasoning and decision-making used;

· Clinical material to illustrate the case;

· Examples of collaboration and/or the use of a multidisciplinary team, where appropriate;

· Evaluation or assessment of the effectiveness of the approach;

· Lessons to be learned from the presentation that will have practical value to Annual Conference attendees; and

· The planned format for the presentation, including the specific strategies that will be used to engage and encourage active

participation by participants.


Posters can focus on research and practice in the areas of assessment and observation; child development; intervention; program design, management, and evaluation; systems change and community building; professional development and education; work with parents and families; or public policy or advocacy efforts. Abstracts should include:

· A clear statement of the issue or topic the poster addresses;

· The perspectives, methods, and/or service approaches used;

· Clinical material to illustrate the case;

· The context in which the takes place or the issue is being confronted; and

· The lessons to be learned from the presenter's work that has practical value to Annual Conference attendees.

Sample Proposal

Title: Professional Development Efforts in Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

Abstract of Session (50 word maximum): 

The field of infant/early childhood mental health consultation (I/ECMHC) has grown tremendously over the last fifteen years. This session will orientate participants to the latest advances in professional development including: community, state and national models; use of reflective supervision; policy implications; and how to build an I/ECMHC system.

Learning Objectives:

·  Describes the outcomes of a professional development system in infant/early childhood mental health consultation.

·  Identifies the indicators of professional development in infant/early childhood mental health consultation.

·  Employs increased knowledge of the available resources in professional development.

Adult Learning Principles: This session will use various methods of instruction including didactic presentation, small group hands on learning opportunities, use of video vignettes, and live demonstration using web site materials.

Audience Level: Intermediate

Types of activities or learning experiences: Video, Small Group Discussion, Case Scenarios, Reflective Activity, Brief Lecture and Demonstration

Primary domain from the ZERO TO THREE Competencies for Prenatal to Age 5 Professionals: Service Planning, Coordination, and Collaboration

Summary (400 word maximum:

The field of Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (I/ECMHC) has grown tremendously over the last two decades from simply a Head Start performance standard to a mental health specialization. As the field has evolved and expanded to other early care and educational settings, the need for nationally recognized consensus on consultant knowledge and competencies has also increased.Despite the clear and growing evidence base for I/ECMHC, there is currently very little professional development available to train mental health professionals in the role of a consultant. Individual efforts in several states and communities have moved the field forward by developing individual training programs and local standards or competencies. Recently, the Office of Head Start in coordination with SAMHSA has worked to develop a coherent set of professional development competencies and materials. The National Center on Health, funded by Office of Head Start has also developed a Mental Health Consultation Professional Development Continuum. This project convened a group of national experts in I/ECMHC to establish consensus on competencies, and provide in depth information and practical skills for consultants. This project has numerous components designed to increase the competency and professionalization of I/ECMHC by offering a self-assessment which guides the user in how to best utilize the eight online modules. The modules include interactive activities to allow for "practice" of new skills and prompts for reflection are provided throughout. Knowledge centers provide additional resources and information in each module. The modules cover the role of the I/ECMHC (including the consultative stance and the paradigm shift from clinician to consultant); child/family/classroom/program specific consultation; system building at a local and state level; reflective practice; culture/ecology; and specialized knowledge (mental health, child development, trauma, and screening and assessment).This session will allow participants to work with and see live demonstrations of the recently developed professional development materials for I/ECMH consultants. Participants will learn how states and communities have developed their own professional development materials and have increased the professionalization and effectiveness of I/ECMHC. In addition, participants will have an opportunity to discuss and explore ideas with national experts to develop or enhance mental health consultation services in their local programs or communities. The benefits and outcomes associated with I/ECMHC for very young children and their families are well documented; this session will allow professionals to further develop their knowledge of mental health consultation and learn ways to enhance their professional development.

Type of Presentation: Field Presentation

On which professional role(s)does the proposal focus: Early Care and Education and Mental Health/Infant Mental Health.

Fields that would be most meaningful: Mental Health and Early Care and Education/Child Care.

Content Areas:

· Mental Health Consultation

· Parent Engagement

· Reflective Approaches to Practice

· Social-emotional Development