About the Webinar Series

The California Department of Social Services, Child Care and Development Division (CDSS-CCDD), in partnership with WestEd’s Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC), is providing the webinar series: Exploring Themes from the 2021 CDE publication, Best Practices for Planning Curriculum for Young Children: The Powerful Role of Play in Early Education. 

This free webinar series explores the importance of play as a right of childhood and the roles of teachers, providers, and administrators to support authentic play as the foundation for learning in early care and education programs. In addition to highlighting research and policy, practical examples for providers and teachers are included to develop a deeper understanding of the importance of play in supporting optimal learning and development.

Faculty joining PITC for this event include: Mary Jane Maguire-Fong, Professor Emeritus and Author, Denisha Jones of Sarah Lawrence College, Marie Jones of American River College, and Elizabeth Crocker of WestEd's PITC. The panelists bring the perspectives of work with young children, mentoring and teaching of early childhood professionals, and research on play and early learning creating strong connections between research, policy, and practice. Their voices both challenge and support us to embrace play as the center of learning and curriculum.

Part 1: Play Matters

Moderator: Mary Jane Maguire-Fong
Panelists: Denisha Jones and Elizabeth Crocker
June 8, 2022

All children are born hardwired to play. Through play, children notice what goes on around them and experiment with, and joyfully investigate, objects and people.

In play, they seek to discover new things and to figure things out. Play is essential for young children’s learning; yet despite this, play is disappearing from childhood and early learning settings. This session introduces, The Powerful Role of Play in Early Education, an exciting new CDE publication that invites us to reflect on what is needed to reverse this alarming trend. Join us as panelists discuss why play is so important to children’s learning and what each of us can do to re-center play as the primary context for early learning. 

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