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Gesell Institute Executive Director draws laughter, applause at Childcare Resources educator seminar

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

VERO BEACH – Nearly 150 early childhood educators spent a recent Saturday exploring child development at a Childcare Resources professional development workshop. The seminar, funded through a grant from Indian River County’s Children’s Services Advisory Committee, featured Dr. Peg Oliveira, child development expert and Executive Director of the Gesell Institute of Child Development. The Gesell Institute, established in 1950, studies and promotes child development.

“What we’re running into is this problem of a mismatch between ability and expectation: what kid’s brains can actually do, and what we are expecting them to do” said Dr. Oliveira, highlighting the importance of developmentally-appropriate curriculum. “You, everyday, are the training wheels to allowing kids the experience of doing that next-level thing that they can’t quite do by themselves yet.”

A woman stands in front of a crowd
The Gesell Institute’s Dr. Peg Oliveira shares information about stages of brain development.

For educators that would like more instruction on curriculum or developmental milestones, the Childcare Resources coaching program, now in its fourth year, provides technical assistance with information explored workshops. In the coaching program, a preschool teacher looking for one-on-one assistance is paired with an experienced educator certified through the University of Florida’s Lastinger Center. Together, the teacher and coach determine and implement strategies that address the teacher’s needs.

Registration for November’s professional development workshop, Emergent Literacy featuring Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center’s Cynthia Raso and Meredith Osborne, is currently open at


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