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For all educators, planners, architects and stakeholders interested in transforming early childhood education the A4LE Early Childhood Education Conference (ECE 2022) conference is for you!

The annual ECE 2022, held on September 19-20th in Chicago IL, has partnered with Learning By Design magazine to host two interactive days focused on new ideas to engage and stimulate young learners. To support the developmental and academic goals of children, an inspiring lineup of speakers will be sharing their expertise looking through the lens of school design and the built environment.

One of the most inspiring, informative and passionate speakers we know when it comes to creating best outcomes for early learners and their futures, is Ashanti Bryant; and we are delighted to announce he will be the opening keynote speaker at ECE 2022.

Ashanti Bryant, Director of Early Childhood Services at IFF, is an experienced leader with years of community development and school administration service in early childhood education, public, charter and independent private schools. Skills include developing diverse & inclusive communities, strengthening educational programs, empowering & positioning teachers as leaders, and building cultures of success for all students. As a fierce advocate for equitable access to the highest quality, early care and education possible, Ashanti believes in comprehensive approaches to preparing children to be Kindergarten-ready, positioning families to break cycles of poverty and unhealthy life outcomes, and anchoring the ability for families to participate in their community’s economy and workforce.

His A4LE ECE conference keynote aims to explore the following issues; inspire and call field experts deeper into action.


Engaging the community means providing intentional, culturally appropriate pathways and opportunities that prioritize the voices, leadership, participation, and active reflection of the people at the heart of the communities when we are designing and building spaces.


In lower to moderate-income communities, early childhood leaders are passionate about their programs and have dreams for the spaces where they care for and educate young children. These women (predominately) emerge as powerful co-creation partners when relationships and trust are upheld, when there is community will to make the investments in the places and spaces where they operate, and when we value them as vital contributors to the design and development process.


Increasingly in communities across the country, locating programs near where parents live and work is fundamental to their ability to access childcare, allowing them to work and support their families. Unfortunately, too many families lack a safe, inspiring place to send their children for early care and education.

Natural Pod and this community was fortunate to have had the pleasure of learning from Ashanti when he was a previous guest on Natural Pod LIVE. In discussion with Bridgitte Alomes, CEO and founder of Natural Pod, Ashanti shared his extensive knowledge on how high-quality childcare helps communities thrive and the actions leaders can take to improve outcomes for all. You can see the full conversation here.

The Natural Pod team hopes to see you at the conference. In the meantime please reach out to our experienced solutions team members with any questions around creating better early learning environments. We’re here to support and translate your vision into a learning space that truly meets your objectives. To make that happen we have always found that better learning environments and outcomes are achieved through conversation, collaboration and partnership. Contact us here.