ZERO TO THREE: The Growing Brain

When & Where

Date and Time

  • January 16, 2024 | 9:00am - 12:00pm CST
  • January 17, 2024 | 9:00am - 4:00pm CST





$20 per day


Please review registration details before registering.


About This Training

This two-day virtual training will provide a review of brain basics, identify factors that affect brain growth and development, and examine the meaning of behaviors. This series supports participants’ exploration of key concepts, research, and concrete strategies from ZERO TO THREE’s The Growing Brain: From Birth to 5 Years Old curriculum.

The schedule is as follows:

  • January 16, 2024: Factors Affecting Brain Growth & Development
  • 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (CT)
  • Open to all IECMH Professionals
    • This training will provide a review of brain basics. It will look at factors that can affect brain growth and development, the effect of stress on brain development and identify the 5 “R’s” to support healthy brain development. There will be some interactive activities to have participants apply the knowledge they learn.
    • Participants will be able to:
      • Identify factors that affect brain growth and development.
      • Understand the effect of stress on brain development.
      • Learn about the 5 R's for supporting healthy brain development.
  • January 17, 2024: Understanding Children & Families through the Meaning of Behavior, Social-Emotional Development and Play
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CT) A lunch break will be incorporated.
  • Open to all ECMH clinicians only
    • This training will examine the meaning of behaviors, including adult behavior, and the connection between various areas of the brain expressed through behaviors. It will look at how social-emotional development unfolds in the first 5 years, the role of relationships and attachment and the development of empathy. Finally, the training will look at the importance of play, types of play and the core skills children develop through play. Participants will have opportunities to apply this knowledge.
    • Participants will be able to:
      • Understand the connection between the various areas of the brain and how these connections are expressed through behavior.
      • Understand the root causes of challenging behavior and effective strategies for helping children with these difficulties.
      • Understand how social-emotional development unfolds and how to support young children.
      • Understand the role of relationship and attachment on social-emotional development.
      • Understand the development of empathy.
      • Learn about the development of play
      • Learn the difference between free and guided play
      • Learn the core skills that children develop through play and how to promote these skills.

Participants who attend will receive handouts, an agenda, and a certificate of attendance to submit for continuing education credits on their own. 

Registration Cost: $20 per day

This event will not be recorded. 


Gladys Noll Alvarez, MSW, LISW, IECMH-E®
Trauma Informed Care Project Coordinator
Orchard Place/Child Guidance Center

Gladys Noll Alvarez has worked with children and families since 1976 when she was a counselor with the Upward Bound program at Coe College. She earned her BA at Luther College in Social Work and Psychology, her Masters in Social Work at the University of Iowa and has been engaged in 2 separate year-long learning collaborative cohorts through the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.  She is trained in Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) and is rostered nationally in Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP).  In June 2018 she received the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health Endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Mentor – Clinical. In May 2022, she received her Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement –as a Early Childhood Family Specialist.

Ms. Alvarez was a member of the C.A.N. Prevention Council, chairs the Steering Committee for the Regional Child Protection Center, is a member of the Model Court Team in Polk County, was part of the Court Improvement Task Force in 2005/2006, a member of the Zero to Three Safe Babies Court Team in Polk County, Charter Board Member of Shalom Zone Ministries from 1997-2005, a Board member of the Iowa Association of Infant & Young Children’s Mental Health and an active member of her church focusing on children’s issues. 

She has provided clinical therapeutic services for children and families who have experience trauma for over 30 years. In her role as the TIC Project Coordinator, she coordinates the networking of the TIC Project Stakeholder’s group and provides trainings on trauma informed care throughout the state and nationally. Ms. Alvarez coordinates the annual Psychological Trauma & Juvenile Justice conference, bringing national speakers on trauma to educate professionals and promote systemic change.

Ms. Alvarez is the recipient of many awards; the AL Schulte Award in 2000 for her professionalism, dedication and personal commitment to providing services for children and their families, in 2008 Orchard Place presented her with the “Voice for Children” award in recognition of exceptional commitment and service to the children of Orchard Place and in 2011 she received the Michele A. Moore Award of Distinction for her work in child advocacy.  Additionally, she co-authored 2 children’s books on trauma: Grandma Mary Says Things Happen: A guide to help children who have experienced trauma  and Grandma Mary Says Bullies Hurt.

Her passion is providing education and trainings which promote a trauma-informed care approach to interactions with children, families and in the work environment.

Ms. Alvarez Gladys is certified by ZERO TO THREE to train The Growing Brain curriculum.

Registration Details

Registration Cost: $20 per day. Payment is due at the time of registration.

Day 1 is open to all IECMH professionals. Day 2 is open to ECMH clinicians only.

Registration closes January 11, 2024.


Refund Policy

Payment is due at the time of registration. Refunds will not be processed after January 11, 2023.


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