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IHSA Annual Conference

46th Annual IHSA Conference Call for Proposals

Share your experiences, creativity, best practices, and passion with the Head Start/Early Head Start community of Illinois. The Illinois Head Start Association invites you to submit a proposal to present at the 46th Annual IHSA Conference in Springfield, Illinois on March 12 - 13, 2024

The conference will be held at the Wyndham Springfield City Centre - Springfield, Illinois.

This is a great opportunity to gain experience and recognition for presenting to a statewide Head Start & Early Head Start audience. We anticipate approximately 300 to attend the general conference; approximately 90% of attendees will be female and 10% male. Attendees will primarily be Head Start & Early Head Start administrators, staff, parents, and early childhood professionals, as well as home visitors, health specialists, and special education staff.

If you prefer a .pdf document or .doc document file to complete, you can download them here. .PDFor .DOC

Be sure to save when you finish completing the document and then attach the completed document to an email addressed to Cathy Welsh, For assistance contact Cathy Welsh at 217-381-5007 or email.


Conference Overview

Every year the Illinois Head Start Association gathers professionals and parents from across the state of Illinois to attend our Annual Conference. The conference  will provide deep, innovative training and professional development opportunities and an excellent forum for exploring best practices and connecting with your colleagues.

These professional development opportunities allow Directors, Staff, Parents and Head Start Friends to get the most current approaches to materials in their respective areas. Join us for our Annual Training Conference that houses the IHSA Component Meetings & Elections, IHSA Business Meeting, Directors Forum, Awards Luncheon, Trade Show and Exhibit Hall and Powerful Inspiring Keynote Presentations.

Don’t miss this time to come together to reflect, network, learn, and discuss solutions for the success of young children and families during this critical and challenging time in early learning education.

Conference General Schedule-At-A-Glance

Tuesday, March 12, 2024
7:30 am - 6:00 pmConference Service Desk Open & Exhibit Hall Opens
7:30 am - 10:00 amMorning Mingle w/Exhibitors
10:00 pm - 11:30 amOpening Remarks & Opening Keynote
11:30 am - 1:00 pmLunch/Component Meetings & Election
1:00 pm - 3:00 pmBreakout Sessions
3:15 pm - 3:30 pmRefreshment Break w/Exhibitors
3:45 pm - 5:15 pmBreakout Sessions
5:30 pm - 7:00 pmWelcome Reception/Exhibit Hall

Wednesday, March 13, 2024
7:30 am - 8:30 pmConference Service Desk Open
7:30 am - 5:00 pmExhibit Hall Open
8:30 am - 10:00 amBreakout Sessions
10:15 am - 11:45 amBreakout Sessions
12:00 pm - 2:30 pmLuncheon/Award/Keynote/Raffle Winner Announcement


***Tentative Schedule - Times and activities subject to change***

Conference Information 

This year's conference will provide high-quality educational sessions for Illinois Head Start/Early Head Start Directors, Managers, staff, and parents! Attendees will have opportunities to engage in a variety of in-depth educational sessions that focus on various subjects of interest to the Head Start and Early Head Start community.

Full Conference Registration Fee Includes:

  • All sessions including general and  keynotes
  • Entry to the IHSA 2024 Exhibit Hall
  • Opening Welcome Reception on Tuesday afternoon
  • Wednesday Awards Luncheon
  • Refreshment Breaks and Beverages

Interested in Sponsoring or Exhibiting - Vendors also Welcome

Exhibitor-Sponsor Interest Form form

Any questions about the vendor tables or trade show space? 

Need to forward your logo to Mitch?  Send your specific inquiries to or call 217-241-3511

Registration Information

Hotel Information

The IHSA Annual Conference will take place in the Wyndham Springfield City Centre - Springfield Hotels, Illinois, 700 East Adams Street, IL 62701, Springfield, Illinois.

Individual reservations may be made by calling 217-789-1530 and pressing 1 for reservations.

Mention that your are part of the  IL Head Start Conference to ensure you and/or your group receive the conference group rate. Deadline to book your room to take advantage of the special conference pricing is on or before February 19, 2024.