The Childhood Development Center at Missouri Southern State University will host an Early Childhood Conference from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, in Billingsly Student Center.

The conference – which is geared toward area childcare providers and early childhood professionals – was last held at Missouri Southern in 2005, said Nikki Tappana, director of the Childhood Development Center.

“We’ve had a lot of questions about bringing it back, and the United Way is no longer doing any early childhood training in town,” she said. “We thought it was our place to step up and start offering training for professionals in the area.”

Among the speakers will be Don Monopoli from the Learning Station, which emphasizes music in early childhood education. Learning Station has presented more than 500 keynotes and workshops worldwide and is accredited by organizations such as the NAEYC, NCCA, Head Start and CCR&R and their affiliate organizations across the country. Sessions will also be offered by Derak Krogh of Lakeshore Learning Materials; and Mad Science from Kansas City. Vendors will be on hand to offer demonstrations and information about their programs.

“We want participants to come away with a better knowledge of early childhood practices and also have a chance to network with one another,” said Tappana, adding that the center hopes to offer the conference every other year.