Conference on the Young Years (CYY)

OOC CYY 2023 Logo


Registration is Closed. 

The Conference on the Young Years (CYY) will celebrate 50 years! 

March 9 – 11, 2023 at the Tan-Tar-A Conference Center in Osage Beach, Missouri.

This year's theme is: CYY’s 50th Anniversary Celebration: Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present, Embracing the Future.


Why Attend

The Conference on the Young Years offers many opportunities for early childhood professionals in Missouri. Conference attendees can:

  • Gather with over 1,000 early childhood professionals from around the state to connect, collaborate, and learn together. 
  • Choose from over 100 presentations and attend the speakers that interest you most.
  • Learn from national and Missouri based speakers along with practitioners who will be presenting on topics relevant to early childhood professionals.
  • Gain information about the resources available to early childhood professionals from vendors in the exhibitor hall.
  • Observe best practices from high quality programs and speak to representatives in the showcase room.
  • Enjoy networking with your peers in early childhood professions.
  • Attend the CYY anniversary bash, sponsored by MOAEYC (free to all attendees).
What to Expect

The CYY conference normally attracts more than 1,500 professionals ranging from teachers, caregivers, and administrators for children birth to third grade. They come from a variety of early childhood settings including public schools, private programs, Head Start, Early Head Start, early childhood home providers, home visiting programs, directors and representation from other agencies who work in the field of early childhood.

Presentations have been chosen specifically for early childhood professionals working in a variety of settings and with a range of ages.

Professional Development Tracks Available at CYY:

  • Home Visiting 
  • Infant / Toddler 
  • Preschool
  • Elementary (Kindergarten-3rd Grade)​​​​​
  • Administration/Leadership

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Brown

Dr. Adolph Brown aka "The World's Greatest Edu-tainer" (the name given to him by friend Doug E. Fresh - "The World's Greatest Entertainer,") is an internationally renowned credentialed master teacher, character education leader, servant leadership consultant, educational & clinical psychologist, author, researcher, entrepreneur, and an influential thinker/practitioner in the fields of education, human behavior, and neuroscience. He was once the youngest tenured full professor in our nation even after his extremely humble beginnings and being the first in his family of 5 to graduate from high school.

Head Start gave Dr. Brown his aptitude for learning and he continues to grow and learn to this very day. Dr. Brown is a graduate of the College of William & Mary with degrees in Psychology, Anthropology, and a minor in Education. He completed his graduate studies in clinical psychology at the College of William and Mary extension of the Virginia Consortium for Professional Psychology (Child & Family and Education tracks). He completed his residency at the Eastern Virginia Medical School.

He writes and teaches from a unique perspective of an experienced passionate & award-winning educator & research scientist, an innovative & effective business leader, and an engaging consultant. Dr. Brown has devoted his life’s mission to positive human development. Adolph loves to receive invitations to present any number of his vast array of master classes. He is not your typical “motivational speaker” or self-proclaimed “guru.” He educates, informs, challenges, and delights with some amusement and a little "show and tell.” Adolph customizes each masterclass or workshop for the audience with lots of audience participation, profound challenges, multiple takeaways, and big fun!

Catch Dr. Brown and Ali Wentworth on their new television show “The Parent Test” on ABC primetime.

Jim Gill

Jim Gill is a musician and author with singular credentials among children’s artists. Jim spent twenty years directing programs in music play for families with children with special needs in the Chicago area. His particular writing style—combining word play and movement opportunities into songs—was developed through this work. Jim completed his graduate studies in child development at the Erikson Institute of Chicago with a special emphasis on the study of play. His work experience and studies have led Jim to create each of his recordings and books as an opportunity for playful interactions between a child and a caring adult.

Jim has released ten award-winning recordings of music play for young children. The songs are now available on all streaming platforms so that everyone can have access to his active musical games! Jim is also the author of two children’s books. Over the years he has received five awards from the American Library Association for his releases.

Jim’s most recent project involves the creation of a series of video books, based on his book May There Always Be Sunshine, with words and illustrations contributed by children from across the country.  Thousands of children have shared their heartfelt wishes and inspiring illustrations in these projects created for schools, libraries, and other community organizations.

Eric Litwin

Eric Litwin is a song singing, guitar strumming, # 1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author who brings early literacy and music together. He is the original author of the Pete the Cat series as well as the author of The Nuts, Groovy Joe, and The Poop Song. Eric's books have sold over 13 million copies, been translated into 17 languages, and won 26 literacy awards including a Theodor Geisel Seuss Honor Award. 


Ron Shuali, M.Ed. has been called the “Messiah of the Mind”, the “Behavior Master” and the “Bad Boy of Early Childhood". His laughter-filled keynotes, workshops, and assemblies are always full of eye-opening experiences as audiences have multiple “Ah-HA!” moments. He is the creator of the internationally acclaimed Yogarate and Behavior Mastery systems. Ron holds a Master’s of Education specializing in Early Childhood, is a best-selling author, motivational speaker, and most importantly…he is funny. His background of martial arts, yoga, reiki, professional wrestling, and improv creates hilarious and educational experiences focusing on mindfulness and connecting with fellow humans and their inner-child.

Josh Varner

Josh Varner is a trauma informed speaker and a school mental health professional with a PASSION for helping individuals to support children who have been impacted by childhood trauma.  Josh has presented over 200 high energy, informative, interactive presentations to audiences all over the country.  Along with speaking, Josh has been a mental health professional, school counselor, and coordinated an at-risk student program. Josh has experience in working with traumatized children and knows what will help them recover from their trauma and thrive

Featured Speakers:

Same Bommarito

Dr. Sam Bommarito has a 51-year career in education, teaching every grade from K through graduate school. He has served as chair of both the St. Louis and the Missouri ILA affiliates. He's made numerous presentations at ILA (formally IRA) conferences, including national conferences. In spring 2022, he was a featured speaker at the LitCon conference. He is presenting at LitCon again this year and is scheduled to be the main speaker at the Albany New York areas' upcoming ILA conference. Most of his career was spent working in Title 1 buildings as a reading specialist and/or staff developer. He has a weekly blog about literacy

Sharron Krull

Sharron Krull is a passionate, playful, and inspiring early childhood educator. She has a B.S. in Education from Miami University (Ohio) and a California Community College Lifetime Early Childhood Teaching Credential. Sharron's teaching experience spans over fifty years, encompassing nearly all areas of early childhood education. She is a veteran preschool teacher, having taught and directed at parent co-operative preschools for 20 years, with 12 years as an Outdoor Teacher. She has been a child development instructor at several California community colleges. Sharron is the co-author of two teacher resource books, "Circle Time Activities for Young Children" and "Play Power: Games and Activities for Young Children." She is currently a "Teacher of Teachers" through her company Play Power at and an Educational Consultant for Discount School Supply. With her down-to-earth approach and hands-on teaching methods, Sharron speaks at early childhood conferences nationwide conducting workshops and staff trainings.

Jill Molli

Jill Molli has the uncanny ability to help people laugh and learn at the same time. Her past position in a Title I elementary school offered her opportunities to apply Dr. Bailey’s Conscious Discipline® in a school setting and her own family offers her constant real-life experiences to share with her audiences. Jill was selected as a Loving Guidance Associate because of her no-nonsense ability to get to the heart of a situation and her commitment to living Loving Guidance principles at school and at home. She is an entertaining, motivating, and heart-felt presenter.

Jill is a “connector” for family needs. She began her teaching career in a behavior disabilities classroom, moved into a regular third grade classroom, and then completed her requirements as a guidance counselor.

As the guidance counselor, Jill helped implement Conscious Discipline® school-wide using the 3-year implementation plan. She has a Master’s Degree in Counseling, a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, and 20+ years of working with children with challenging behaviors. Since 2003, she has been the owner and operator of Connecting with Kids, a business whose mission is to build connections in families and classrooms. In an effort to stay current and up to date with recent issues in the classroom, Jill volunteers weekly in preschool and elementary settings and quarterly in an alternative high school.

Ernesto Rodriguez

Ernesto Sandoval Rodriguez, Jr. is a gifted presenter and specialist specializing in Early Childhood and Early Literacy Development. He has had an impact on schools and children for over 25 years. He is a three-time Teacher of the Year award-winner and was a certified Master Reading Teacher in the State of Texas.

As an educator Ernesto worked extensively with children and teachers on best practices tied to Early Childhood Education and Early Literacy.

Ernesto completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin and then completed a Master of Arts in Education at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

At Scholastic his expertise with Early Childhood and Developmentally Appropriate Practices has also been at the core of many Early Childhood Initiatives as well as Curriculum Development at Scholastic Education.

Due to his extensive experience with Early Childhood and Early Literacy Ernesto is also given the charge at Scholastic to conduct presentations on research based best practices at National, Regional and State Level Early Childhood Conferences while representing Scholastic as Director of Early Childhood.

Vladimir Sainte

Vladimir Sainte, LCSW has more than 10 years’ experience as a therapist and has made an invaluable impact on the Kansas City community through his work as a social worker, crisis clinician, child therapist, and children’s book author. As a committed equity and justice advocate, he provided counseling support to not only children, but to their families and the broader community through a holistic partnership. Sainte graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Social Work from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is a proud parent of two biracial children.

Conference Schedule 

March 9, 2023

March 10, 2023

March 11, 2023

8:00-8:15 Announcements

8:00-8:15 Announcements

6:15-7:45 Breakfast

8:15-9:45 Opening Keynote

8:15-9:45 Opening Keynote

8:00-9:30 Opening Keynote

10:00-11:00 Breakout Session I

10:00-11:00 Breakout Session V

9:45-10:45 Breakout Session IX

11:15-12:15 Breakout Session II (lunch)

11:15-12:15 Breakout Session VI

11:00-12:00 Breakout Session X

12:30-1:30 Breakout Session III

12:30-1:30 Breakout Session VII

12:00-1:00 Book & CD Signing

1:45-3:15 Breakout Session IV

1:45-3:15 Breakout Session VII


3:30-5:00 Closing Keynote

3:30-5:00 Closing Keynote


5:00-6:00 Book signing

5:00-6:00 Book signing



7:30-9:30 Anniversary Bash hosted by MOAEYC



A Conference on the Young Years brochure is available to read the presentation descriptions.

A printable worksheet is available to help you and your team organize your presentation choices.

Registration is Closed.

Registration closed on 2/22/2023.
Three (3) options when registering:

Conference Options

Early Bird Registration Fee

Ends 2/15/2023

Regular Registration Fee

Begins 2/16/2023
Ends 2/22/2023

What is Included?
Thursday Only $115 $125

6.5 clock hours 

Complimentary lunch on Thursday

Friday and Saturday Only $180 $200

10 clock hours

Complimentary lunch on Friday

Complimentary breakfast on Saturday

All Access Pass

All 3 Days
(Thursday, Friday and Saturday)
$270 $290

16.5 clock hours

Complimentary lunch on Thursday

Complimentary lunch on Friday 

Complimentary breakfast on Saturday 


Refund Policy:  All refund requests must be submitted in writing and postmarked no later than February 1, 2023. After this date refund requests will not be accepted, but substitutions will be allowed.

Acceptable Forms of Payment:

Credit Card:  You may submit a credit card for payment at the time of registration.

Purchase Order:  If you are paying with a purchase order you will need to fax or email a copy of the purchase order to the Custom Meeting Planners’ office (see contact info below). Your registration will not be confirmed until the purchase order is received*.  If we do not receive your purchase order within five days of your registration, your registration may be cancelled.

Custom Meeting Planners
Fax number: (573) 445-1831
Email address: 

Make checks payable to Custom Meeting Planners and mail to:
Custom Meeting Planners
Conference on the Young Years
PO Box 30785
Columbia, MO 6520

If we do not receive your check within five days of your registration, your registration may be cancelled.

*Once a registration is complete online, payment will be expected even if a check or purchase order has not been received.


Conference participants are responsible for making their own reservations. The block of rooms that had been reserved for the Conference on the Young Years has been completely booked. Here are some additional lodging options:

Red Roof Inn 573-348-4773
Baymont Inn 573-348-9555
Scottish Inns 573-348-3123
Hawk's Nest 573-348-1741
Inn at Grand Glaize 573-348-4731
Days Inn (Next to Wobbly Boots) 573-693-9373
Quails Nest Inn 573-365-2700
Osage Village Inn 573-348-5207
Holiday Inn Express 573-302-0330


Vendors / Exhibitors

We are pleased to invite you to register for an exhibitor booth. There are approximately 60 booths available which will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. These spaces will fill quickly. Be aware that no on-site registrations will be accepted.

Read more about vendors and exhibitors

If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Jamie Schieber, Custom Meeting Planners at 573-445-2965 or at

Sponsorship Opportunities

New this year – we will be offering many sponsorship opportunities to our exhibitors. If you are interested in getting your company name in front of the many CYY attendees; we have created several opportunities at different price ranges to do so. Sponsorships range from badge holders/lanyards to notebooks and pens. If you have an idea for a sponsorship, we will work with you to customize a sponsorship that works for you.

If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Jamie Schieber, Custom Meeting Planners at 573-445-2965 or at

For More Information

Professional Development Team


Phone: 573-751-6793

Continuing Education Units (CEU)

Moberly Area Community College is offering CEUs for participation in the 2023 Conference on the Young Years.

The CEU certificate is available for $30. The number of CEUs received will be determined by the number of clock hours attended. Participants will receive 1 CEU for every 10 hours of sessions attended.

For questions about CEUs from Moberly Area Community College, please contact the Workforce Development Center at 660-263-5865 or Email address:

Read the flyer for more information.