The Preschool Podcast, brought to you by HiMama, is a platform for learning from leading professionals in early childhood education. If you work in a daycare, childcare or preschool setting, The Preschool Podcast will provide you with both practical advice for managing your organization, center or classroom, as well as thought provoking content and insights about the field of early childhood education.Each week, we chat with leaders in early childhood education, from teachers and educators in the classroom with innovative curriculum approaches, to directors who are excelling at empowering their team, and leaders outside of the child care environment that are passionate about making a positive impact on outcomes for young children.Our goal with The Preschool Podcast is to provide knowledge and inspiration to the future leaders of early childhood education by speaking with experienced and insightful leaders in the world of preschool and early learning today. At HiMama, it is our belief that leadership within early childhood education is crucial to the future of the child care sector and, of course, the future of our most important asset in this world, our youngest children.
Play is how children learn and develop in their early childhood years. In this episode, we interview Dr. Elanna Yalow, Chief Academic Officer at KinderCare, on how teachers can support children as they learn through play. She highlights how play and academics are not separate from each other. Instead, it is the instinctive way that young children learn how to problem solve and develop skills. We discuss some strategies that educators can use to incorporate play into their practice.
Owning and operating a child care business is highly entrepreneurial. In this episode, Tony D’Agostino, CEO and Founder of Inspire Care 360, shares the importance of setting a strong operations foundation in order to build a sustainable business. We talk about the key elements that child care business owners need to pay attention to and why making the investment in developing business savvy on your team is worth it.
As much as early education is all about working with kids, it is also about supporting young parents in their journey of raising their child. In this episode, we interview Mary Muhs, the Department Chair of Early Education at Rasmussen College, on how to build a strong family culture at your program. She shares how family relationships can influence the quality of your work with the kids in the classroom and strategies on communicating with parents that center on relationship-building.
Early education has been getting more public attention as parents become more informed about the importance of quality early education for their children’s development. In this episode, we chat with Laura Fallsgraff, Co-Producer and Campaign Director of No Small Matter, about the impact of their documentary about the urgency and possibility of making quality early education a reality. She shares tips on how local advocates for child care can use the resource and involving communities in the conversation.
Bringing some playfulness into the daily routine of our early educators can be a great way for early learning leaders to build a team that will grow with your business. In this episode, we interview Glory Ressler, Director of Education, Training & Data at Mothercraft about the importance of having fun at work and maintaining a sense of playfulness. She shares actionable tips on what child care Directors and Owners can do to prioritize some fun at work and build meaningful connections between staff.
Child care can be an isolating field where professionals are siloed in their work. In this episode, Lisa Guerrero, Co-Founder of Positive Spin, shares her work on systems thinking to bring more connection between professionals in the field. She talks to us about shifting from a mindset of being subjected to the system with no agency, towards seeing each person as part of a system of leaders that can have an impact and lead positive change.
Financial health directly impacts the ability for a child care business to provide quality programming and grow. In this episode, Kathy Ligon, CEO of Hinge Brokers, shares her top 5 elements that child care business owners should monitor to achieve good financial health - occupancy rates, tuition rates, discounting, expenses and rent. She also talks about the benefits and challenges that child care owners might face when growing the business.
Child care is an entrepreneurial field. In this episode, Anne Douglas, the founding Executive Director of the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation, talks about the concept of entrepreneurial leadership and how it applies to all levels in the sector. She shares the goals of the Institute, the mindset required to become an entrepreneurial leader, the skills to develop, and concrete steps that early educators can take to improve their programs!
Early childhood is an important time for kiddos to develop the fine and gross motor skills needed for a healthy life ahead. Mary Lynn Hafner, Physical Therapist and author of The Joy Of Movement, shares her passion for movement and strategies for age-appropriate activities to support physical development. She explains how to incorporate exploration, discovery, selection, repetition, and imitation when working with young kids as well as how patience is key as each individual will develop at their own pace!
Continuous professional development is so important, especially now as the sector is going through a labor crisis. In this episode, we chat with Susan Macdonald about her upcoming book, Inspiring Professional Growth. She shares some pointers on vision-focused professional development, professional accountability, supporting the growth of different staff members and achievable goal-setting.
How is your child care business doing relative to your peers? This year, HiMama partnered with Kris Murray from The Child Care Business Success Company on the report. This is the fourth consecutive year that labor is listed as the biggest organizational risk in the industry. We discuss the impact of leadership, culture, and how to have and live your core values.
Socioemotional skills are developed when children are young. Positive relationships have a big impact on how children grow into productive adults. In this episode, Christine Schmidt shares the 7 Cs of social competency which are curiosity, control, conflict resolution, coping, confidence, communication and community building. She also offers some practical tips on how to create an environment that encourages children to build their skills.
Making Lemonade is a book that teaches optimistic thinking in an early learning context. We had the opportunity to chat with Laura Colker and Derry Koralek, co-authors of the book, about their belief that learned optimism is key to helping young children grow into healthy and well-rounded individuals. They share their passion for the subject and some practical activities that educators and parents can incorporate into their routines.
Getting accredited is becoming the standard as parents are getting more knowledgable on the importance of early childhood education. In this episode, Storm Webb, Executive Director of the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA), talks about different things that providers should be thinking about before getting accredited, how the accreditation process works and shares trends that she’s noticing in the field.
Teaching young children should be a fun and creative process. In this episode, Stuart J Murphy, children’s author, shares his experience developing his book series, Math Start and I See I Learn. He gives us tips on combining and engaging storyline, illustrations and the learning material through visual learning. Stuart emphasizes that children learn through contextualizing their experience and why he’s passionate about using stories as a teaching tool.
The Yale-China Program on Child Development is a cross-cultural program that promotes exchanges and cooperation between China and the US in early education and child development. In this episode, Dr. Tong Liu, the Executive Director of the program shares her belief that all children, no matter where they are in the world, deserve to have access to quality early education. She talks about both countries can benefit from exchanging best practices and the trends that she’s seen in recent years.
Burnout is a common challenge for early childhood educators and a lot of teachers are leaving the field entirely because they are overworked and underpaid in the profession. In this episode, we talk to Ellen Drolette, author of the book Overcoming Teacher Burnout in Early Childhood, about different ways to prioritize making time for self-care, establishing balance and overcoming burnout as a child care provider.
Socio-emotional development in early learning builds the foundation for emotional awareness and communication. In this episode, we chat with Allen Croxall and Dr. Regina Rees about Tools For Life, a resource that was developed to teach children how to process and express their emotions. They share their passion for the approach and the benefit of having a common language to talk about and work through emotions for adults and young children.
As the demand for quality child care increases, parents often find themselves starting their own child care businesses to fulfill their needs. In this episode, Bernadette Testani, Head of School at Atelier Kids, shares her experience opening and running her Reggio-inspired centers. We talk about how she developed her passion for the Reggio Emilia philosophy and how she built a collaborative environment that balances the needs of her teachers and families
Working with young children with developmental disabilities is both a challenging and rewarding experience for child care professionals. In this episode, we interview Lynette Klejka, Assistant Director of Inclusion at the Summit County Board of Developmental Disabilities in Ohio about the Community Partnerships for Inclusion (CPI) program that she runs. She talks to us about the importance of seeing a child first and the diagnosis second when supporting children of varying abilities in the classroom.
Child care in aboriginal communities are conserving their cultures through early education curriculum. We chat with Lori-Ann Paige, a First Nations Mohawk who is also the Coordinator of the Indigenous Early Learning Program at Cégep de Saint-Félicien in Montreal, Canada. Lori-Ann shares her experience working in child care. We talk about culture, heritage and adapting early education frameworks to reflect their tribes’ cultures by incorporating language, traditional meals and activities.
Being a child care business owner comes with its unique set of challenges. In this episode, we interview Sholom Strick, CEO of a franchise of centers under Daycare Team and founder of a scheduling app called HoppingIn. We talk about his experience growing his business and how he maintains culture at his centers in order to stay true to their mission of contributing positively to the community that they serve. He also gives his take on where he sees the market moving with the rise of millennial parents.
Young children build their handwriting skills in preschool as it combines fine motor skills and cognition. In this episode, we have a conversation with Nikki Wilson, creator of the Rhythm and Writing program that supports children in learning how to write by combining hip hop tunes with letter formation. She shares her story and method as well as the importance of making learning fun for the kiddos from an early age!
Leadership in child care has evolved and become a hot topic of conversation in the field recently. In this episode, we chat with Lori Buxton, Managing Director of Early Learning Leaders, about how good leadership in child care directly impacts program quality. She shares her view on trends in the space as well as strategies for current and aspiring child care leaders on how to develop their talent personally and within their team.
We often think about early childhood education in the context of our own geographical area. In this episode, we step outside North America into West Africa with Patricia Falope, founder of the Early Childhood Development Initiative (ECDI). Patricia works to make the play-based approach accessible to the child care community in Nigeria by adapting the method to be culturally relevant in West Africa.
As classrooms become more culturally diverse, teachers now face the question of how to teach diversity. In this episode, we have a conversation with Jordana Shakoor about shifting perspectives from seeing diversity as a requirement, to seeing diversity as an exciting learning experience for both the kiddos and the teachers. She talks about how genuine curiosity when learning about new cultures makes celebrating cultural differences cultures a more natural process.
Building real parent-teacher relationship is so important at a child care center. In this episode, we get personal with Amanda Munday, owner of The Workaround, a coworking space in Toronto that supports working parents and author of Day Nine: A Postpartum Depression Memoir. We talk about her journey into motherhood and her experience with postpartum depression.
Finding, hiring and retaining talent is something that is a top priority for any child care director or owner that cares about their team. In this episode, we chat with Caroline Jens from Childcare Biz Help about how a good team is built on the foundation of strong culture at the center. She gives us pointers on the different things to pay attention to when building your team culture. We also talk about how upholding culture as things change and grow over time.
Minimalism is gaining popularity with the rise of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up series and the move towards a more simple way of living fits really well with the Montessori philosophy. In this episode, we chat with Simone Davies, author of The Montessori Toddler about how to apply a montessori approach when working with young children. She shares her tips and tricks for balancing variety with focus when working with younger age groups and applying the philosophy in daily life.
Teaching pre-K can sometimes be isolating. In this episode, we talk to Vanessa Levin, creator of Pre-K Pages. We talk about bridging the gap between pre-K and K-12, as well as raising awareness around the importance of pre-K as a foundational part of education. She also speaks to her creation of The Teaching Tribe as a community for early educators to share resources, best practices, and tips.
Belonging and inclusion is a huge aspect of creating a successful preschool classroom. In this episode, we talk to Dr. Pretti-Frontczack, a speaker, researcher and play advocate with a mission to reimagine the way we’re approaching early education. She speaks to the implementation of blended programs that draw on different philosophies to create a practice that works. We also talk about the importance of developing emotional intelligence as teachers in order to support children in the classroom.
Teaching preschool can be challenging. In this episode, we chat with Catarina Peterson, author of Golden Sparkles, researcher and certified trainer in the Mindful Schools Curriculum. She tells us about how she turned an overwhelming teaching experience into a positive one by incorporating mindfulness in her daily work with the children. We also talk about the correlation between practicing mindfulness in order to teach it to the children and how that contributes to a calmer and more organized classroom.
The ECE of the Year Award celebrates individuals who are inspirations in the field. We had the pleasure of interviewing Halle Rubin, the 2018 ECE of the Year and Director at Children’s Creative Center in Chicago. In our conversation, Halle shares her passion for the field, her professional journey, and her leadership approach with us. She also talks about the global pen pal program that she runs at her center that has a big impact in connecting her teachers and kiddos with different cultures.
Resource and referral agencies are key to supporting child care providers in running their businesses, connecting with families and meeting state requirements for program quality. In this episode, Mary Smicklas and Erin Holleran, tell us about the impact of good business practices on the quality of care. We also talk about the importance of hard and soft skills in managing the business side of child care and what to look for in business training programs.
Leaders in child care wear many hats - from running the business operations to ensuring that the children are well cared for. In this episode, Jacquelyn Ward, Director of Pleasant Time Child Care in Wisconsin, shares her experience opening her center in 1992 and growing her business from 8 children to 85 children. She talks about overcoming challenges as well as the importance of finding a community of like-minded peers, making practical business decisions, and expressing gratitude towards your staff.
Beyond labels, envisioning the strong and competent child is the 2019 theme for the annual New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children (NMAEYC). In this episode, Baji Rankin, Executive Director of NMAEYC, shares her professional journey with us and speaks to the importance of supporting early educators in their role within the context of the cultural and socioeconomic diversity that is found in New Mexico.
Working with children with challenging behavior can be, well, challenging. In this episode, Amy Huebner, Faculty Instructor of Early Childhood and Family Studies at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio shares her experience identifying children who are on the spectrum, communicating this to parents, and creating an environment that is structured, consistent and has access to the right tools to work with special needs children more effectively.
The farm to table movement has been on the rise in recent years and influencing the way society views food consumption. In this episode, Meagan Shedd, Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University, shares the benefits of implementing a Farm to ECE program, from better nutrition habits, creating a tighter sense of community and practicing a more sustainable lifestyle.
Relationships have always been at the core of raising children. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood is a children’s program that emphasizes authentic interactions when working with children. Dr. Junlei Li, former director of the Fred Rogers Center, reminds us that we all have the capacity to provide children with the support they need to grow into individuals with self-worth and confidence.
Did you know that close to one in four children come from households with substance use disorder? Despite this statistic, few resources are available for early educators to tackle this very important reality of working with our youngest and most vulnerable children. In this episode, Stephanie Goloway, Professor of Early Education at the Community College of Allegheny in Pennsylvania, shows us the importance of storytelling to nurture resilience in young children.
Physical fitness in an early childhood setting is key to supporting cognitive and affective development from birth to five. What can you do as an educator to structure a space that encourages preschoolers to move while learning? In this episode, John Ozmun, Professor of Physical Education at Indiana Wesleyan University and founder of Preschool Athlete, explains physical development in the frame early education and shares some practical tips on how to create a classroom environment that supports it.
Creating an equitable classroom environment for young children regardless of their socioeconomic background can be challenging. How can you ensure that your classroom is a safe space for every child under your care, especially if you work with families that are living in poverty? In this episode, Kenya Wolff, Director of the Willie Price Lab School, talks to us about the steps educators can take to create a more mindful preschool classroom.
A multicultural classroom is becoming an increasingly common thing in this day and age. How would you create a classroom that helps families from different cultural backgrounds encourage the development of positive self-identity in young children? In this episode, Zeynep Ercan, Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education at Rowan University in New Jersey, offers some strategies to support immigrant families in matters such as sharing their culture with the preschool community.
Episode #136: Making your voice heard when advocating for young children and families can be challenging given the divisiveness of opinion in the current political climate. How would you navigate a space where “alternative facts” or “fake news” is touted in mainstream media and disseminated through social media? In this episode, Cathy Grace gives her two cents on how to engage with different levels of advocacy, staying true to the facts and why geography specific needs can have a huge impact.
Episode #125: We are always trying to provide our little ones with quality outdoor time, but this is usually just a small part of their day. What would it look like to take this to its most extreme and provide a preschool that is ENTIRELY outdoors? Yes, you read that right — 100% outdoors, all year long. In this episode, we discuss what outdoor preschool looks like, the benefits it provides, and efforts underway to create proper licensing to bring the outdoors to more families across the world.
Episode #124: While most people would agree that they would like all children to be properly included in the classroom, it takes careful attention to successfully integrate children with special needs. The way that educators treat these children will influence the way that their classmates will act towards them for years to come. In this episode, Pamela Brillante shares why it’s so important to properly include special needs children in the classroom and provides practical tips on how to do so.
Episode #123: In this episode, Julie Travaglini, Education Program Director at Allegheny Land Trust, teaches us how to incorporate nature into early education classrooms. From risk-taking to motor skills to empathy, nature can be one of the most effective - and least expensive - teaching tools available. Plus, since we need nature to survive, it’s crucial to get the next generation excited about nature from an early age. Learn how in this week’s episode of the Preschool Podcast!
Episode #122: In this episode, educator, author and consultant Amy Alamar joins us to show how Reflective Practice can help us become better parents and educators. While it is natural to think about what may have gone well (or not-so-well) at the end of a long day with our kids, turning these thoughts into learnings that we can put into action doesn’t always happen. Avoid making the same mistakes over and over again through actionable Reflective Practice techniques in this episode of the Preschool Podcast
Episode #121: The Impact of Preschool on Low Income Kids. Jennifer Pare, Chief Early Learning Officer at Kidango, joins us to show how much of a difference preschool can make on a child's future, particularly for those coming from low-income households. Learn more from Jennifer's first-hand experience in this episode of the Preschool Podcast.
Episode #120: What Should Montessori Look Like? Margaret Whitley, retired head of the Montessori Academy of London, joins us to discuss all things Montessori. With recent news of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos providing one billion dollars in funding for children to access Montessori who otherwise would be unable to, it's now more important than ever to understand what a successful Montessori institution should look like. Find out more about Montessori from Margaret in this episode of the Preschool Podcast.
Episode #119: What is Suzuki Early Childhood Education or SECE? Sharon Jones, one of the first Suzuki students in Ontario and the founder and director of the Thames Valley Suzuki School in Ontario delves into this approach of learning music. Research shows that early learners who participated smiled more, were easier to sooth, communicated better and showed earlier and more sophisticated responses to music. Find out more about SECE from Sharon in this episode of the Preschool Podcast.
Episode #118: In this episode, we sit down with Christina Nigrelli, the Senior Director of Programs at the ZERO TO THREE Western Office to discuss the challenges and state of early childhood education in California. ZERO TO THREE works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. California alone is home to more than 1.5 million children under 3 years old.
In this episode we sit down with Simone Davies, a Montessori teacher of nearly 15 years and a mother of 2 children. Simone is the author of The Montessori Toddler and provides free resources for parents on her website, The Montessori Notebook. She has been running a Montessori playgroup for the last 10 years in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Join us as we dive into all things Montessori!
What is Storymaking and how is it used for oral language development and learning? We sit down with Michelle Kay Compton and Robin Chappele Thompson authors of Storymaking: The Maker Movement Approach to Literacy for Early Learners to learn more about this practise.
What does it mean to inquire? Grownups would say it means to question, to search for information, or to finding out about a topic of interest. For children in an early childhood classroom, the definition is no different. From the time of their birth, children want to know how the world works and actively seek out information. Inquiry-Based Early Learning Environments takes an in-depth look at children’s inquiry. What does inquiry look like in early childhood settings?
Julia Yeary, ACSW, LCSW, IMH-E®, is the Director of Training and Resources for Military Family Projects at ZERO TO THREE and is an expert on the needs of military and veteran families. Julia speaks to how child care and preschool programs can support children whose parents are deployed and/or being reunified after a deployment, and how family separation can impact young children (and be mitigated by early educators).
Maria is an expert in mindfulness and project lead on ZTT’s mindfulness work, www.zerotothree.org/mindfulness. She joins The Preschool Podcast to speak beautifully to the use of mindfulness by early educators and the benefits it offers in terms of provided supportive care to children; a model of emotional regulation; and a calm, nurturing environment.
As many as 17,000 preschoolers were expelled nationwide from private and public preschools in 2016 and 50,000 suspended at least once last year. Scott Moore joins The Preschool Podcast to explain how expulsion happens from as young an age as preschool, and what California is doing about it.
Scott brings over 20 years of education policy and management experience to Kidango.
Every time you reread your child's favorite book you're throwing a pebble in a pond...building foundational reading skills. Reading sets the stage for learning. Maureen Grier is an educational consultant and literacy expert with a proven track record of helping students achieve. Ron and Maureen discuss the connection between listening skills and learning to read, and how parents can support children in learning to read.
Dr. Robin Alter is chair of the Kids Have Stress Too!® committee and a Trustee at The Psychology Foundation of Canada. Dr. Alter co-led the development of this ground-breaking program targeted to parents raising awareness that children do experience stress, and providing parents and caregivers with the tools to help their children identify and manage stress.
Rusty Keeler is a play space designer who has worked over the past 20 years with hundreds of community, school, parks, university, and child care leaders to dream, design, and construct beautiful outdoor environments for children. He has worked in more than 30 states and throughout Canada, Europe, China, Australia, and New Zealand.
"We need to embrace the experience of parents, who bring unique strengths and unique challenges." Rebecca Parlakian is ZERO TO THREE's Senior Director of Programs. If you are the parent of a young child aged zero to three, don't panic if you haven't spent time thinking about how to develop your child's STEM skills - this episode will set you up with the right train of thought, and give you the tools to consider as you learn together with your child.
Loose Parts is all about inspiring creativity and inviting learning variables. Miriam Beloglovsky is a professor of early childhood education in Sacramento, California, where she has taught as full-time faculty since 2000. She has been advising, guiding and supporting college students for the past 25 years. She is a keynote speaker, and presents numerous workshops on child development, loose parts, play, play equity and social justice, and early learning.
No Small Matter is a feature-length documentary film and national engagement campaign that brings public attention to this vital question by sharing powerful stories and stunning truths about the human capacity for early intelligence and the potential for quality early care and education to benefit America’s social and economic future. Rachel Giannini & Rachel Pikelny join Ron to discuss why, when the importance of quality early care and education is so widely accepted, do we continue to fail so many?
How can early childhood educators lay a foundation in STEM education? Jean Barbre, EdD, holds a master's degree in child and family studies from California State University Long Beach, a master's degree in counseling from California State University Fullerton. She joins us to discuss the 'baby steps to STEM" and why it's important for caregivers, parents, and educators to identify and label STEM learning, to normalize learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Conor P. Williams is a senior researcher in New America's Education Policy Program. His work addresses policies and practices related to educational equity, dual language learners, immigration, and school choice. Williams founded New America's Dual Language Learners National Work Group in 2014. Before joining New America, Williams taught first grade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
Part two of our trauma series. The new Salud America!research review shows that Latino youth (77.8 percent) are more likely than all youth (70 percent) to face “adverse childhood experiences” – poverty, neglect, abuse, or household dysfunction such as parental divorce, violence, substance abuse, mental health issues. Amanda Merck is spearheading our new toolkit, tentatively set for release on June 19, that assists schools in becoming trauma-sensitive.
Many have spoken out on the ethics of separating parents and children at the border. But what is the impact on social-emotional development for children who have already been separated? Dr. Deborah MacNamara has written extensively about emotional sensitivity, anxiety and development of children. She says what children need is strong caring relationships with parents. They need to be anchored with parents.
At a time when U.S. and Canadian trade policy is heavily studied in the media, this week we take a look at the evolution of early childhood education in Canada, the growth in the sector and focus on quality early education.
"It's such a missed opportunity not to just turn it off and engage with your children" - you can be IN the moment. For our 100th episode we welcome Dr. Jean to the Preschool Podcast. Her videos The Banana Dance has 24,267,316 million views on YouTube. Hear why and how Dr. Jean recommends that early childhood educators bring more music into their day.
Should we teach to a child's age or their stage? Daniel identifies why there can and should be attention paid to gender and sex differences in early childhood education. Daniel describes why gunplay, for example, is a symptom of our culture and environment more than an inherent gender difference. "It's ok not to focus on gender but it's not ok not to focus on individual differences."
"We are not deliberately developmental with our teaching staff. We need to be creating plans and visions that help teachers to grow and evolve".
Susan MacDonald is the founder of Inspiring New Perspectives, a consulting group focused on empowering school leaders and educators to create learning environments that deeply respect and nurture the possibilities that lie within each teacher, child, and parent.
Episode 97 - Urban Thinkscape, a program working with Frontiers of Innovation that transforms public spaces by infusing them with activities that challenge the mind while encouraging joyful interactions between children and caregivers. Dr. Brenna Hassinger-Das describes her research on how kids learn best and how the thinkscape helps children play and learn.
Our daily lives are filled with layered complex legal decisions, yet our teachers aren't trained on these core competencies. If you are going to prepare educators the way we could prepare any other professional field (like lawyers, doctors, judges, etc), then we need to include compliance as part of our professional development training. Unfortunately, what is valuable to child care owners may not be aligned with what is important for parents and families.
What is the state of play in America? Ms. Yudina is spearheading the Association’s consumer-directed The Genius of Play™ movement to raise awareness of play as a crucial part of child development and encourage families to make time for play in their daily lives. Listen and find out why play is so critical to childhood development.
Learn about the Genius of Play and read their report here.
Barb O'Neill is the Owner and Creator of the upcoming conference Transform Challenging Behavior. The biggest risk factor for being suspended or expelled from school is before the age of five. Barb returns to the podcast to discuss how not to approach expulsions and suspensions with blame but with support for challenging behaviour that assists everyone involved - teachers, parents and children.
Janis Keyser, Early Childhood Education Specialist & Author is here to talk about a family-centered approach to early learning. Establishing deep trust between child care professionals and parents is about expanding the relationship of parents in the classroom. How can we bring parents into the early learning experience to create a wholesome experience?
Hear all about the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The initiative (one of the largest funding of early childhood education initiatives in history) focuses on the knowledge, professional learning and collective action necessary to cultivate optimal early learning environments and experiences.
Kepler Academy means "big things". Lynette Ventura describes what prioritizing professional development for staff has done to help children thrive. Hear about the Brain Story - a 30 hour, 19 module course that helps educators certify their skills. Play and professional development are connected at Kepler Academy - Using play to assist children with anxiety and stress has been researched and proved to be an excellent tool.
Tracy Cutchlow says that you can pretty easily guess whether the child is looking for a connection, that sense of belonging or relationship, or an experience with how their bodies work, how the world works, or the need for power to have some control over their own lives. Cutchlow uses a coaching framework "Language of Listening" where the first step is to “Say What You See”. Acknowledging what the child is feeling, saying, doing, thinking to hope you and them cope with intense feelings.
This week, we hear from a parent of a child who experiences behaviour challenges that are linked to a learning disability. Listen to a Pierre Seguin's experience in navigating the education system with a child displaying challenging behavior that led to a special needs diagnosis. As an early childhood educator, you take on a responsibility to serve the needs of each child with their unique needs. Pierre is the Founder of Brili.
We eat with our senses and what appeals to us. For younger eaters, allowing a natural curiosity in exploring food is an ideal way to build strong relationships with food and eating. "Eat it because it's good for you" can backfire as an approach, so Janet Nezon walks us through why having fun with eating, instead of preaching, will help to foster positive relationships with food. "The healthiest ingredient at any family meal is laughter".
Episode #87: "You have to be found and then build trust". Kris Murray of Child Care Marketing Solutions provides valuable concrete tips on how to improve your digital marketing and social media presence to improve enrollment. The landscape for how you need to market your center has completely shifted. We're so thankful to have Kris join us this week to help us navigate the wild world of the web!
Episode #86: Educators, childcare providers, teachers. Language matters. Accountability matters. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) recognizes the important role that early childhood educators play in the development of young children. Power to the Profession is about educators standing together, united in a voice to reclaim the power of the role. Marica Cox Mitchell clarifies the misconceptions about early childhood education.
Episode #85: If you haven't made sense of your environment and found the patterns that apply to your daily activities, you would likely feel unease and anxiety. It's easy to forget that children need help establishing these familiar routines. Why do routines really matter? Higher levels of aggression, lower vocabulary, challenging behaviour, hyperactivity are all connected to chaotic homes and a lack of routine with young children, and Alyson Schafer helps us make sense of it all.
Abbie Lieberman of New America guides the conversation on paying educators a fair wage. It's not an easy solution! Working with young children is highly skilled work - so why do so many people view childcare as babysitting? Abbie Lieberman describes the complexity around the work needed to have early childhood educators earn a fair wage. Public awareness, education, the professionalization of the field are all important and nuanced factors that affect change.
Listen to Johanna Richardson, Lead Teacher at Christian Life Academy in Bensalem, PA describes life as an early childhood professional. She teaches us that early education is not for the faint of heart and that being an early childhood professional is so much more than teaching a letter, or playing. If you have a child in childcare, if you work in early education, this is a MUST-LISTEN episode.
The Game of Mixed Emotions is a fun, simple card game designed to teach kids how to talk about their feelings. Research shows that this type of early emotional education makes children happier, healthier and more successful, now and for the rest of their lives.Research shows that this type of early emotional education makes children happier, healthier and more successful, now and for the rest of their lives.
Colorado is one of many states working to ensure that young children experience an equitable, high-quality continuum of services and supports. Liz Houston, Executive Director at the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) provides a glimpse into how Colorado’s 34 Early Childhood Councils and community organizations work together to ensure families are connected to local resources and services.
The skill in raising children is balancing optimal parenting and the child's personality - both must be taken into account. For optimal education, we need social and economic support - and too often in American culture we don't prioritize the support we need in early education. How much of a child's personality trait is defined by nature and how much is defined by his or her environment?
What does childcare look and feel like in New York City? “We are filling the gap for parents looking for early learning opportunities in a very dense, urban city". Daniel Koffler of Explore and Discover started out by questioning why, in Manhattan, there are persistent conversations about pregnancy and new parenthood, and about preschool admissions (as a future predictor of success in K-12), but not dedicated attention on high-quality infant and toddler programs?
Students in ECE are our future leaders who impact so many channels in early ed; they interact with children in the classroom, connect with parents, confer with their college teachers and professors, interview with center owners and eventually enter the field. Our support and encouragement for early childhood education students are critical to the long-term success of the profession. Dr. Bill's enthusiasm is electric and contagious, this week's episode is a real treat.
How can we professionalize and elevate early childhood educators? "The evidence is clear that to improve childhood outcomes for children, especially those in poverty, that we need highly trained staff". Tulsa is making early childhood education a priority in the city and in many cases is supported financially by the municipal government and by non-profit organizations. The cost of providing high-quality childcare is significant. What makes early childhood education in Tulsa so special and unique?
Roseanne believes blocks are one of the most important materials that should be included in early childhood classrooms. Rosanne Regan Hansel is the author of "Creative Block Play: A Comprehensive Guide to Learning through Building. It brings guidance and inspiration to help you support and encourage children during exploration with blocks. Her book shows how you can use blocks to teach 21st century skills, create inviting spaces, and extend and inspire learning with unexpected materials."
This week we meet Childcare Director Shanda Fitte, (My Intentional Play) who presents her excellent approach to early childhood education used at her rural center in Idaho. Shanda keeps it real with the Preschool Podcast; What are the outcomes that can result from pursuing state rating systems like ECERS or QRIS, or Steps to Quality? How can ratings systems potentially work against play-based and social-emotional learning?
Episode 75 - Should you tell a child "don't cry"? We are born with empathy, yet by the time we are in elementary school signs of empathy begins to fade. Tedi Ware of Empathy Warriors delves into her personal journey to promote childhood empathy programs. Anyone who enrols in the "school of empathy warrior-hood " takes a step to self-empowerment and radical vulnerability. "Empathy is a huge learning process for everyone involved and it takes tremendous courage".
Episode 73 - Why is play-based learning so critical? "One of the interesting things about play, is that you can't fail when you play". Play needs to be truly chosen, self-instructed and self-directed. Liisa Hale, Co-Director of Blue Skies for Children in Oakland, California explores the critical early development that needs to happen at home alongside center care and the history that binds the early education workforce today.
Episode 72 - How can we use approachable language to communicate the importance of early education to parents? Parents don't always have an opportunity to explore the advantages of early learning in the business of working lives. Amanda Morgan explores how approaches in early education can also be applied to parenting. She advocates for creating simple links between teachers and parents and ensuring that parents without a background in early education can still recognize the value of the field.
Myra Jones-Taylor explores why access to quality care is critical, and what policymakers can do today to support child care advocacy now. Without childcare assistance for low and moderate families, we are already harming families before their children are three years old. Jones-Taylor tells The Preschool Podcast audience why it's so critical that families get involved in advocacy work, and includes some examples of practical language you can send to policymakers so they hear directly from experts like you.
Episode 70 -Scott McLeod provides some tactical case studies on what new, innovative school and education approaches look like. There are 4 big shifts that need to happen:
1) A focus on low-level, procedural driven education to deeper higher level learning. 2) Giving kids more agency of their own work. 3) How do we make schoolwork more authentic and connected to the real-world?
4) How do we use technology in robust ways to make the first 3 shifts happen?