These organizations provide valuable information related to our field, and many also have information about conferences and professional opportunities, such as jobs and graduate programs. If you have additional ideas for this list, please send them.
Zero to Three (ZTT)
I have always loved this organization. It provides great information about promoting the development of infants and toddlers. There is an annual conference with well-known speakers and lots of professionals who are passionate about early development. The conference is NOT cheap, but you can apply for a scholarship through the organization to attend. The event focuses mostly on workshops for practitioners and professionals who work to improve public policies that help families of young children.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
This is a great organization to connect with if you are interested in working in early childhood education as an educator, researcher, or policy professional. NAEYC provides standards for early childhood education quality.
Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)
To use a term used by my former major professor in graduate school, you will find all of the "rock stars" in the field of child development research here. This is an amazing biennial (every two years) conference that would be of interest to students who want to be researchers in the future.
National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)
This is the largest national professional association dedicated to family studies and promoting family policy. They provide credentialing to become a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE), offer NCFR membership to students and professionals, and host an annual conference that focuses on researchers and practitioners who work directly with families. In addition to the national organization, there are several smaller regional/state branches (i.e., Southeast Council on Family Relations, Texas Council on Family Relations) that provide great opportunities for local conferences and networking.
Society for Research in Human Development (SRHD)
I have attended this conference, and it is a friendly group of researchers interested in various aspects of human development. It is easy to get to know faculty members and graduate students.
Society for the Study of Human Development (SSHD)
This organization focuses on the study of various aspects of human development (physical, emotional, social, and cognitive). The group provides regular professional education in the form of research webinars. They also host a biennial (every two years) conference that is great for networking.