I've had the privlege of teaching in the past for WIFYR back in 2009 and 2010 and let me just say that this is one of the best conferences for writing and illustrating in the country! People fly in from all over to attend and space is still available. In past years the conference has sold out so it's not too late! I've talked with quite a few editors about this conference and many applaud it as one of the best in terms of quality of teaching as well as atmosphere. Their dedication to bringing you relevant and current information is really the key to their success.
There is a direct correlation to those who attend children's book conferences and those who get published. You simply can't do it on your own. You need to immerse yourself in the culture and expose yourself to the methods being taught by professionals. Think of it as a crash course in exactly what you need - not something you're likely to find at your local college. If you can swing it this is well worth your time! Here's the link - click.