The Preschool Podcast

By HiMama

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: Training

Open in Apple Podcasts

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 36
Reviews: 0


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.

Episode Date
How This Committee is Changing the Way Early Childhood Educators are Supported in their Profession

In this episode, we talk with Karina Langevin, RECE and Co-Founder of the Early Childhood Education Committee of Ontario (ECEC-ON). She gives us some insight into the future of child care in Ontario and how the ECEC-ON organization is working to change the field of early childhood and help solve a worldwide problem of providing educators with resources and assistance in the field.

Find out more about the Early Childhood Education Committee of Ontario and how they can support you on their website.

Jan 19, 2021
How to Adopt a Lasting Change to Support Children's Emotional Intelligence

Working with children and their emotions can be a challenge. In this episode, Alyssa Blask Campbell, M. Ed, CEO and Found of Seed and Sew LLC, shares with us how you support children's emotional needs as an educator or parent. Alyssa breaks down the different areas adults can focus on with children and themselves in order to achieve a successful and continuous habit through habit stacking.

Learn more about the Seed and Sew program and how it can support families and educators on their website or, check out one of their many free resources through their Instagram page and their free emotion coaching guide.

Jan 12, 2021
Implementing Virtual Learning in a COVID World

Stephanie Gomes, RECE and director and co-founder of Play To Grow shares with us her journey on launching her new company that provides at-home learning experiences for children. Stephanie gives us a few easy techniques to incorporate technology in the classroom and start virtual learning in your own center or classroom.

Learn more about Play To Grow and book a virtual learning session through their Facebook or Instagram pages.

Jan 05, 2021
Overcoming Educator Burnout and Rediscovering your Passion for Education

Burnout has been top of mind for a lot of educators over the last year. In this episode, Anisha Grossett, RECE, BASc shares with us her experience in helping educators rediscover their passion for early childhood education in the classroom and how fellow educators can do the same. Anisha gives us a glimpse into her new book Zoey Has an Allergy- a great resource for young children, parents, and educators who are navigating a severe food allergy. 

Learn out more about Anisha, her services and, her book on Anisha's website

Dec 22, 2020
Successful Behavior Management Strategies to use in the Classroom

Getting children to listen can be a difficult task, especially in a classroom full of young preschoolers. In this episode, Ron Shuali, M.Ed, and author of "Building the 21st Century Child" shares with us his insight on his award-winning behavior mastery program. Shuali shares his secrets on getting young children to listen in the classroom and discusses in-depth his behavior management strategies in the classroom for success in children and adults. 

Learn more about Ron Shuali's techniques on his website.

Dec 15, 2020
Teaching Young Children About Growth Mindset Through Books

Story books are amazing tools to build relationships with and teach young children. In this episode, we chat with Rachel Robertson, VP of Education for Bright Horizons Family Solutions, about why story books are ideal for teaching life skills to young children. She shares the inspiration behind her writing and how she incorporates important life skills like growth mindset into her books. 

Learn more about Rachel's books on her author profile at Redleaf Press. 

Dec 08, 2020
How To Promote Problem Solving Using Technology

The role of technology in early learning has always been hotly debated. In our conversation with Ann Gadzikowski, Director of Early Learning at Encyclopaedia Britannica, we discuss the difference between being active users and passive consumers of technology. Ann shares why blocks are an amazing medium to promote STEM learning at a young age. 

Dec 01, 2020
Childcare Insights & Outlook For 2020

In this special episode, Ron gets interviewed on the findings of the childcare benchmark report and his learnings from conversations on the podcast in 2020. This episode offers a rundown of what trends we're seeing in the sector and an overview of key highlights from the only report of its kind in the industry.

Don't forget to download the report at

Nov 24, 2020
Tools To Manage Social Stress In The Early Years

This episode is all about social stress and young children. Allen Croxall, President of Tools For Life, shares how his team has adapted and developed their trauma-informed materials for the early years classroom. Drawing on 9 core concepts, the Tools For Life Early Years Resource, provides parents and educators with a tool that can meet young children where they are in their socio-emotional development. 

Nov 17, 2020
Understanding Baby Speech Development with Babbly

Speech and language is a big part of early learning development for young children. In this episode, we chat with Maryam Nabavi, Co-Founder of Babbly, an app to understand babies' speech and language development by quantifying the different milestones of babbling and connecting parents and educators with speech coaches if necessary. Learn more about how this app is pushing the envelope and empowering the early learning process!

Nov 10, 2020
How To Help Kids Adjust to COVID-19 Safety Measures

Adapting to new COVID-19 procedures is especially challenging when working with young children. In this episode, Rebecca Reid, head therapist at Willow Occupational Therapy, shares practical tips that parents and educators can use to help children with things like wearing masks, increased hygiene routines, and social distancing while learning.

Nov 03, 2020
How To Create Fun Learning Experiences For Young Children

The global pandemic has changed the way childcares can operate. In this episode, we chat with Chazz Lewis (aka Mr. Chazz) about how to bring authenticity to the early learning process by turning teaching into fun experiences, whether it's virtually or at home. Whether you're an educator or a parent, this is a fun one to get back to the basics and make learning fun again!

Oct 27, 2020
How To Practice Mindfulness For Anxiety

Everyone is feeling more anxiety during the current pandemic climate and mindfulness is a useful tool to process difficult emotions. In this episode, we chat with Rachel Moline, PhD and child and adolescent therapist, about how to include mindfulness in your day to day as a parent or ECE. She shares her tips and strategies to start noticing and responding to stressors in a way that helps you become more present when supporting young children.

Oct 20, 2020
Intentional Inclusion For Multicultural Early Learning Classrooms

Multicultural classrooms are quickly becoming the norm across North America. In this episode, we chat with K'Sandra Earle, Associate Director of Early Learning Neighbourhood Collective (ELNC), about how to be intentional about reflecting the diversity of our early learning classrooms. She shares tips on empowering teachers and involving parents to build a space that celebrates young children and their unique cultural backgrounds.

Oct 13, 2020
How To Support Children With Anxiety During A Pandemic

Supporting a child's education during a global pandemic is no easy feat. In this episode, we chat with Lissarette Nisnevich - early educator, child care entrepreneur, and mother - all about managing anxiety for parents, educators and young children during this challenging time. She shares her experience and strategies on how to approach providing a safe environment for young children so that they will be ready to learn. 

Oct 06, 2020
How To Lead With Impact During COVID-19

In this episode, we talk about how to lead with impact when navigating the challenges of COVID-19. Our guest, Chanie Wilschanski, is the Founder of the Early Childhood School of Excellence. We talk about compassion fatigue, how to set boundaries, and how to simplify your school's process and get through change with your team.

Sep 29, 2020
Abuse-Prevention Strategies In Early Childhood

Early childhood education is also young parent education. In this episode, Sharon Hirsh, CEO of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, shares how we can work upstream to profoundly impact early educators and their work with helping parents build resilience, supporting families during times of crisis, and delivering early education that supports socioemotional development in young children. 

Sep 22, 2020
How To Raise Race Conscious Children

Teaching children to be race conscious can start as early as when kids are babies. In this episode, we chat with Sachi Feris, founder of Raising Race Conscious Children, about how to talk to young children about race, how to cultivate a more critical lens towards “whiteness” that is normalized as better, and what we can do to educate ourselves as adults in our own learning process about systematic racism and how to reduce it.

Sep 15, 2020
Continuous Learning For Early Educators

Tune in to this episode where we talk about why continuous learning is so important for ECEs with Joni Levine, founder of Child Care Lounge. She shares her journey growing her community and knowledge on trending topics in the field.

Sep 08, 2020
Nature-Based Learning For Real World Skills

Young children are now taught to focus more on academic performance and less on play - this is a problem. In this episode, Peter Dargatz, nature kindergarten teacher, shares his passion for nature-based programs and his journey in creating one at the public school where he works. We talk about why it’s important to slow down to catch up and how to go back to the basics to set our next generation up for success.

Sep 01, 2020
What If We Taught The Way Children Learn?

The COVID-19 pandemic has left a lot of educators and parents in lurch when it comes to early learning. In this episode, we chat with Rae Pica, about her new book, What If We Taught the Way Children Learn? We talk about coming back to the basics, the factors that motivate children to learn, and why it’s important not to lose sight of having fun when working with young children. 

Aug 25, 2020
Teaching Race & Inclusion In Child Care

Teaching about race starts in child care. As a leader in ECE, you are in a unique position to be a resource for your staff, the parents that you support, and the children in your care. In this episode, we interview Re’Shaun Webb, Founder of Rainbow Institute of Childcare Education, about different strategies to educate all the stakeholders that are part of her center’s social ecosystem. She shares her tips and advice on how to create a safe and racially inclusive space for everyone to learn in.


Aug 18, 2020
Alternative Care & COVID-19

COVID-19 has put a lot of independent child care owners in a problematic position. In this episode, we talk to Amanda Munday, CEO and Founder of The Workaround, a co-working space that also offers quality child care. She talks about the challenges she's facing with reopening her business and the financial reality of running a child care business during the pandemic. 

Aug 11, 2020
Teaching & Parenting Young Children In A Crisis

Teaching and parenting young children is the hardest and most important job in society. In this episode, we interview Richard Biegel, Founder of MindEDU about the free science-based course that is taught by researchers from top education institutions to support early childhood development even in a crisis. 


Aug 04, 2020
How To Pivot Your Family Child Care Business During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has created opportunity for family child care providers to pivot their businesses by offering smaller group care for parents looking for accessible care in their neighbourhood. In this episode, Jerletha McDonald, CEO of Arlington DFW Child Care Professionals and entrepreneur shares her experience and tips on how to build a high quality and sustainable child care business that will succeed in the ‘new normal’.

Jul 28, 2020
How The T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Supports Early Educators

The early education workforce is key to providing a solid foundation for the youngest in our society. In this episode, we interview Marsha Basloe, President of the Child Care Services Association (CCSA) about the state of the workforce and learn more about the TEACH Early Childhood Scholarship program and WAGE$ program that supports educators in levelling up their own education as well as provides financial incentives for doing so. 


Child Care Services Website

Jul 21, 2020
Learnings From Running A Child Care During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge challenge for child care providers. In this episode, we talk to Tirusha Dave, Owner & Director of Ellie’s Academy in New Jersey about her experience during the entire pandemic. She shares her experience with reduced enrollment, increased costs, and her journey since March from the start of lockdown to phase 2 of reopening. 

Jul 14, 2020
The Future Of Play

The COVID-19 pandemic puts forward a real challenge for play-based learning methods in childcare. In this episode, we chat with Tob Hobson (aka Teacher Tom) about his thoughts on how early educators can work together to face the challenges of reopening, while maintaining the engagement that children get from learning through play. We talk about the Play First Online Summit that he is hosting on July 20, which is a gathering of the brightest minds in play to figure out where to go from here.


Jul 07, 2020
Recruit, Train & Retain Childcare Staff

Recruiting and retaining staff in child care has become even more challenging during the pandemic. In this episode, we interview Dr. Thomasa Bond, author, consultant and early childhood advocate, about the realities of staffing in childcare during this time. She offers strategies on how to collaborate with other centers in your local community and how to take a proactive approach towards building your professional network to find the right people to work with on an ongoing basis. 


Jun 30, 2020
Child Care Finances Tips During COVID-19

Strong finances is key to providing quality care. In this episode, we interview Rachelle Calina, Managing Director of Honest Buck accounting services, on key things to pay attention to when managing your childcare finances, how to get creative about reducing costs through collaboration, and practical steps to take to be proactive about your finances during and beyond the pandemic.


Jun 23, 2020
Learning About Different Cultures Through A Second Language

Teaching young children to celebrate cultural differences is key to raising a racially conscious society. In this episode, we interview Sarah Farzam, CEO and Founder of Bilingual Birdies, a program that uses music, movement and puppetry to teach children a second language. We talk about how learning a new language can be a great first step to engaging with a new culture and why it is important to have age-appropriate conversations with young children about race. 


Jun 16, 2020
How COVID-19 Has Changed The Childcare Conversation

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments all over the world to rethink how to reopen the labor force and economy and how childcare services fits into the picture. In this episode, we interview Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director of Child Care Now in Canada. We talk about how conversations around childcare have changed because of the crisis and how the field will be impacted as different governments plan on reopening non-essential businesses.  


Jun 09, 2020
How To Adapt Your Child Care Program To COVID-19 Changes

In this episode, we interview child care veteran Dennis Vicars about what it would take for child care programs to survive through the changes that come with the pandemic. Tune in to learn more about how you can be proactive and get creative when taking on the challenges that will arise as we learn how to live with COVID-19.  


Connect with Dennis at  

Jun 02, 2020
Preparing Young Children & Families For Reopening During COVID-19

In this episode, we interview Meghan Fitzgerald, Chief Education Officer of Tinkergarten, a program that supports parents and educators with play-based learning at home. We talk about how to set children up for success when returning to a post-quarantine life where social distancing is the norm, reframing the idea of developmental regression, as well as how to cope with the stressors of parenting and educating young children during this time.


May 26, 2020
The Importance of Child Care To The COVID-19 Economy

The COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on child care. In this episode, we interview Lucy Recio, Senior Public Policy Analyst at NAEYC, about the state of childcare as a result of the pandemic, the relationship between childcare and the economy, and the importance of providers sharing their stories to advocate for support from legislators.  


May 19, 2020
How The National Head Start Association Is Finding Opportunity In Crisis

In this episode, we interview Yasmina Vinci, Executive Director of the National Head Start Association, about how Head Start programs are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. We chat about the dedication of educators serving their communities and the hidden opportunity behind the crisis. Tune in to hear how the NHSA is supporting educators in their programs.

Connect with Yasmina on Twitter and LinkedIn.

May 12, 2020
Child Care Marketing Tips To Recover From COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has really challenged the child care community. In this episode, we talk with Julie Wassom, child care marketing expert, about the opportunities that lie beneath the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. We cover areas where business owners can focus on rebranding and remarketing their services to families in order to hit the ground running when programs are ready to reopen again.


May 05, 2020
COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness Plan for Child Care Centers

Join us as we talk about how to build an actionable emergency preparedness plan with Andrew Roszak, Executive Director of the Institute for Childhood Preparedness. He shares his experience on the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic across the states and best practices on how to build out a plan that works in times of crisis. We also talk about steps to take if your center is also open as an essential service to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


Apr 28, 2020
Navigating COVID-19 As A Multi-Location Child Care Center

In this episode, Kindercare's Dr. Elanna Yalow shares how the childcare giant is navigating this unprecedented situation. We cover everything from safety procedures for centers that are still open at this time, to maintaining a connection with families, as well as what the “new normal” might look like for the industry after lockdown is lifted.

Kindercare’s social media:

Apr 21, 2020
Keeping Your Child Care Community Connected While Closed During COVID-19

Community is so important, now, more than ever as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, we chat with Michele Smith, Director of the West Valley Christian Academy Preschool about how her team has adapted to connecting remotely with their families during the crisis. She shares the different things her center is doing to keep connected with families, as well as her team's process of adapting to the changing situation. 


Apr 14, 2020
How To Make Learning Super Fun To Engage Young Kids

Keeping up with the energy of young children during the COVID-19 pandemic can challenging for parents. In this episode, we interview Shawn Brown, creator of the Super Fun Show and owner of Role Model Productions about his fun-loving attitude towards working with young children and how he translates that in his performances and professional development. He shares his philosophy on working with high-energy children and some advice on how to work with them. 


Apr 07, 2020
How To Work Through Trauma With Young Children

Trauma impacts young children into their adulthood. In this episode, Holly-Elissa Bruno, author of the book Happiness is Running Through the Streets to Find You, which is about using trauma to help children heal. She shares practical tips on how to talk to children about the feelings that come with traumatic experience and building trust in an authentic way.



Mar 31, 2020
How To Keep Your Childcare Business Going Through The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of anxiety and uncertainty for childcare business owners. In this episode, we have an honest conversation with Evelyn Knight, business owner and coach about the changes she has made in running her center in the last couple of weeks. She emphasizes the importance of keeping an optimistic and creative mindset to maneuver through the current moment and continue delivering value to her parents. 


Mar 24, 2020
*SPECIAL* COVID-19 & Kids: Facts, Fiction, Practical Tips

As parents and educators, the COVID-19 virus has caused a lot of change, anxiety and uncertainty in the last week. In this special episode, we talk to Dr. Dina Kulik, pediatric emergency medicine doctor at SickKids and founder of KidCrew about the reality of the virus, the real importance of social distancing, and practical tips to maintain our sanity as we keep updated with the development of the virus. 


Mar 18, 2020
Thriving Kids, Thriving Society

The Early Years Study 4 report revealed that Canada ranks 33rd out of 35 of OECD countries for the number of young children who regularly attend an ECE program. In this episode, we host Mrs. Margaret McCain, author of the report, for a discussion on the socioeconomic consequences of underinvesting in ECE. We also talk about how the early years affect the economy and what an implementation plan would look like to invest enough to get Canada up to the average OECD early years enrolment rate.



Mar 17, 2020
Insights From Rebranding A NFP Child Care

Rebranding an existing child care has its challenges. In this episode, Melaina Drissell, who has been in the shoes of different stakeholders at Columbia Montessori School, shares her experience updating the not for profit school’s brand which has been around for 53 years. She gives us valuable insights into her process of taking input from different people on her team and in the community and turning them into action.


Columbia Montessori School Website

Mar 10, 2020
Global-Minded Early Education For Better Future

The world is becoming more global in this day and age. In this episode, Cennydd John, CEO of Hatching Dragons, the first bilingual early years program in the UK, shares why he started his school and how creating the opportunity to start the global conversation at the early years level could change the face of education as we know it.


Mar 03, 2020
Encouraging STEAM Thinking In Early Childhood With Language

The developmental domains in early learning are all interconnected. In this episode, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek shares how capable young children truly are and how adults can encourage development in the early years through being curious with children. She also shares some real-world examples of how she applies her research when working with children to give them a rich learning experience.


Feb 25, 2020
Transformational Coaching for Early Childhood Educators

Teaching and coaching might sound like the same thing, but they can actually be quite different in their approaches. In this episode, Constant Hine from Horizons In Learning explains how she uses transformational coaching to help ECEs bring the best out of themselves, who can then go on to do the same for the children in their care!


Feb 18, 2020
How to Cultivate A Learner's Mentality Using STEAM in Preschool

Activating a young child’s curiosity and creativity can have a huge impact on how they approach their learning when they are older. In this episode, we interview Sheng Lan, Co-Owner of a unique family-run center called Zida Academy that focuses on music, arts, and sports. Sheng shares his belief that exposure to a variety of activities at a young age will develop a strong sense of internal motivation to learn and lead to better outcomes beyond preschool. 


Zida Academy Website

Feb 11, 2020
How To Equip Children With The Skills To Stop Bullying

Bullying amongst young children can be hard to identify and address. In this episode, Jeremy Rubenstein, CEO of Box Out Bullying, shares why it’s important to define bullying correctly and how to use age-appropriate strategies to equip children with the socio-emotional skills to call-out bullying. He also shares practical steps on how teachers can establish areas in their classroom that children can use to process their emotions.


Feb 04, 2020
The Impact of Real-Time Communication on Parenting

This is a very special episode with Joshua McVey, a HiMama parent and employee. Josh shares his experience using a child care app and how having insight into his son’s activities in child care has supported his experience as a single dad. He also talks about how he’s gained an appreciation for the hard work that educators put in every day from his experience as a parent and working with child care professionals through HiMama.


Jan 28, 2020
A Reggio Preschool At The Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo runs a Reggio-inspired preschool program that uses the zoo as a learning environment. In this episode, we get the opportunity to chat with Anna Ileto, Program Specialist, about what it means to run a program that collaborates with zookeepers. She also shares her experience and tips on how teachers can leverage a child’s natural curiosity about nature as a stepping stone to teach them preschool skills.  



Jan 21, 2020
Turning Passion Into Quality Programming

The Early Childhood Educator of The Year Award recognizes early educators for their hard work and the impact that they have on their communities. Nery Payne, 2019 ECE of The Year, shares her story about being kidnapped with her son in her home country, finding her way to Canada, and how she found her passion for working with children through that experience. She shares how she built her curriculum using online resources and how a can-do mindset is all you need to build a rich environment for children to learn in. 

Jan 14, 2020
Practicing Mindfulness When Working With Children

Early education can be emotional and stressful. In this episode, we interview Richard Cohen, consultant and coach about how he uses his meditation practice to support his professional work. We also discuss how this translates to being more present when playing with kids and why that is important in this line of work.


Jan 07, 2020
Change The Status Quo With Quality Child Care

The Early Learning Neighbourhood Collaborative (ELNC) is making strides in the Grand Rapids community by supporting accessible early childhood education with its model that prioritizes local learning environments, cultural competence, and involving dual-generations in the early learning process. We chat with Dr. Ezeh, CEO of ELNC, about her drive, vision, and strategies to empower low-income communities with the resources needed to support their youngest and most vulnerable.


Dec 24, 2019
Managing Children's Feelings By Understanding Your Own

Early childhood years are formative for emotional development and affect people into their adult years. In this episode, we interview Dr. Tamar Jacobson and explore how our own childhood experiences inform the way we think about children when we discipline them. Dr. Jacobson shares the importance of reflecting on how we react to children as adults and why it’s important to consider the influence of our own childhood experience!  

Dec 16, 2019
Age-Appropriate Preschool Planning

Planning age-appropriate activities is key to having a successful preschool program. In this episode, Cheryl Hatch, founder of the blog Preschool Plan It, shares her tips for working with preschoolers. She emphasizes the importance of contextual learning, scaffolding and supporting preschoolers through this learning stage!  


Dec 10, 2019
Supporting Children And Families With ADHD

Working with children with autism and ADHD often means working intimately with their families. In this episode, we have a conversation with Umesh Jain, child psychiatrist at SickKids Hospital, about the biology and psychology of children with autism. He shares tips on how to identify children with autism in the early years, and how to work with families to support their development. 


Dec 03, 2019
Innovative Business Model To Retain Talent

Turnover is one of the biggest challenges of running a child care business. In this episode, Marnie Forestieri, CEO of Young Innovators, shares how she implemented an innovative business model that encourages ownership, promotes accountability and has improved her staff turnover, program quality, and income. If you’re a child care entrepreneur looking for a new way to improve your business, this is a must listen for you!


Nov 26, 2019
Taming Terrific Toddlers

Caring for toddlers is one of the more challenging stages of early childhood development. In this episode, we chat with Raelene Ostberg, Founder of Thriving Together, about how toddlers are often difficult to work with because they are misunderstood. She shares her tips for reframing our approach of engaging with toddlers to work with them in a constructive way. This is a MUST listen if you’re working with toddlers in any capacity as an educator or a parent!


Nov 19, 2019
Phone Skills To Increase Enrollment

Phone skills are often an overlooked aspect of running a child care program. In this episode, we have a conversation with Jaren Hall, CEO of Intellikid Systems on why training your preschool staff to have good phone skills is so important in making a good first impression on prospective families. 


Nov 12, 2019
Running a Home-Based Military Family Preschool Program

In this episode, Tessie Ragan from Perfect Start Learning joins us to shed some light on the unique advantages and challenges of providing child care to military families in a home. Without many of the resources available to larger centers and restrictions specific to military providers, Tessie has many lessons of resourcefulness and perseverance that all child care providers can be inspired by.

To learn more about Tessie's program, visit

Nov 05, 2019
Advancing Professional Growth with the CDA Credential

In the 45 years since Council for Professional Recognition was founded, A LOT has changed in the field of early childhood education. The Council's CEO, Dr. Valora Washington, joins us in this episode to discuss these advancements and ongoing efforts to support early childhood educators in their professional development, including the Child Development Associate Credential.

To learn more about the CDA Credential and how it can help your career, visit

Oct 29, 2019
Avoiding Behavior Challenges Before They Begin

Are kids really 'misbehaving' or are we simply setting unrealistic expectations for them? In this episode, Rae Pica returns to the podcast to discuss her new book, "Acting Out!: Avoid Behavior Challenges with Active Learning Games and Activities," and provide actionable techniques for you to use to harness children's natural behavior into activities that will make everyone happy.


Oct 22, 2019
Employee Onboarding, Retention & Development

Onboarding a new employee isn't just a quick tour of your center and calling it a day — it starts from their first interview and takes anywhere from 6 months to a year to get them fully assimilated into their new environment. In this episode, Carla Rogg, President of ProSolutions Training, explains how to properly onboard a new teacher so they are happy — and stay that way!


Oct 15, 2019
Supporting Play-Based Learning For Young Children

Episode 169 - 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.


Oct 08, 2019
Business Savvy For Independent Child Care Centers

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. 


Oct 01, 2019
Family Engagement In Early Childhood Settings

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.



Sep 24, 2019
It’s No Small Matter To Make Your Voice Heard

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. 



Sep 17, 2019
Adult Play To Sustain Your Team

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.


Sep 10, 2019
Systems Thinking For Positive Outcomes

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.


Sep 03, 2019
Financial Health for Child Care Businesses

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.  


Aug 27, 2019
Entrepreneurial Leadership In Early Education

Child care is an entrepreneurial field. In this episode, Anne Douglass, 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 of 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 childcare programs!


Aug 20, 2019
The Joy Of Movement For Young Kids

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!  


Aug 13, 2019
Inspiring Professional Growth

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.


Aug 06, 2019
2019 Child Care Sector Risks, Priorities & Outlook

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.



Jul 30, 2019
Developing Social Competency In Young Children

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. 


Jul 23, 2019
Learned Optimism In Early Childhood

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. 


Jul 16, 2019
Demystifying Accreditation For Child Care Programs

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. 


Jul 09, 2019
Visual Learning As A Teaching Practice

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 story, illustration 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. 


Jul 02, 2019
Yale-China Program on Child Development

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.


Jun 25, 2019
Overcoming Teacher Burnout In Early Childhood

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 and establishing balance as a child care provider. She shares tips on managing workflow, shifting mindsets and creating an environment that sets you up for success and overcome burnout.



Jun 18, 2019
Tools For Life & Socio Emotional Development

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.


Jun 11, 2019
Reggio-Inspired Space For Teachers and Families

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 implements it for both programming and teacher training. She gives us tips on building a collaborative environment that balances the needs of her teachers and families.


Jun 04, 2019
Supporting Children With Developmental Disabilities

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 and shares some strategies for the classroom.


May 28, 2019
Adapting Curriculum for Local Communities

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 for her entire career. We talk about culture, heritage and adapting early education frameworks to reflect their tribes’ cultures by incorporating language, traditional meals and activities.


May 21, 2019
Giving Back Through Child Care

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.  


May 14, 2019
Rhythm & Writing for Preschool

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!


May 07, 2019
Early Learning Leadership At All Levels

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.


Apr 30, 2019
Supporting Play-Based Learning Globally

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. She does this by finding points of intersection between the curriculum and home cultures through her Partner to Play program and emphasizes the importance of keeping an open mind to learning as educators.


Apr 23, 2019
Celebrating Diversity In Preschool

As classrooms become more culturally diverse, teachers are now facing the question of how to teach diversity. In this episode, we have a conversation with Jordana Shakoor, Founder of JYS Consultants and PosiPower Concepts 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

Apr 16, 2019
Supporting Parents with Postpartum Depression

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 as well as her experience with postpartum depression. She also shares how she challenges her team of educators to be curious and get to know their families on a personal level.


Apr 09, 2019
Reinventing Culture in Childcare

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, from onboarding new team members to engaging existing teachers. We also talk about how upholding culture as things change and grow over time.


Apr 02, 2019
Montessori and Minimalism

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.


Mar 26, 2019
Importance of Community in Pre-K

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.    

Resources mentioned:

Mar 19, 2019
Blended Programs For Inclusion In Early Years

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.

Resources mentioned:

Mar 12, 2019
Using Mindfulness to Organize An Early Years 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.

Resources mentioned:

Mar 05, 2019
2018 ECE of the Year

HiMama runs the annual ECE of the Year Award to celebrate 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. 

Resources mentioned:

Feb 26, 2019
Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies

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, co-authors of the business support system at North Western Ohio YWCA 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. 

Resources mentioned:

Feb 19, 2019
Wisdom From An Experienced Child Care Administrator

Leaders in child care wear many hats, from running the business operations of the center 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 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.

Resource mentioned:

Feb 12, 2019
Beyond Labels, Envisioning the Strong and Competent Child

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.  

Resources mentioned:

Feb 05, 2019
Managing Autism Spectrum Disorder in Preschool

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.  

Resources mentioned:

Jan 29, 2019
From Dirt to Dinner: Farm to Early Care and Education

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. She also offers practical tips and resources for ECEs who are interested in implementing a Farm to ECE program at their childcare. 

Resources mentioned:

Jan 21, 2019
What Would Fred Rogers Do?

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. In this episode, Dr. Junlei Li, Senior Lecturer in ECE at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and 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.Thinking “deep and simple” is arguably more impactful than checking off all the boxes that are prescribed in developmental frameworks!

Resources mentioned:

Jan 15, 2019
Nurturing Resilience in Children Living with Family Substance Use Disorder Through Storytelling

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, gives us insight to the importance of storytelling to develop resilience in young children by building relationships, encouraging initiative and promoting self-regulation.

Resources mentioned:

Jan 08, 2019
Creating Physical Skill Development Opportunities in the Preschool Classroom

Episode #129 - 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.


Resources mentioned:

Jan 01, 2019
Supporting Young Children and Families Living in Poverty

Episode #128 - 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 at the University of Mississippi, talks to us about the common misconceptions that people have of families living in poverty, steps educators can take to create a more mindful preschool classroom and why it is important to advocate for policies that support low-income families.

Resources in this episode:

Dec 25, 2018
Building Positive Cultural Identities in the Preschool Classroom

Episode #127: 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 the retention of their mother tongue, sharing their culture with the preschool community and building leadership in young children as ambassadors for their home culture.


Resources in this episode: 

Teaching Tolerance

Reach Zeynep at

Dec 18, 2018
Advocating for Children and Families in the Current Political Climate

Episode #126: 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, Co-Director of the Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning at the University of Mississippi 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.



Reach Cathy at

Dec 11, 2018
Place-Based Outdoor Learning in Early Childhood Education

Episode #135: 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, Tiny Trees Preschool’s Rachel Franz explains 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.

Resources in this episode:

Dec 04, 2018
Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Preschools

Episode #124: While most people would agree that they would like all children to be properly included in the classroom, it takes careful attention and practice to successfully integrate children with special needs into the preschool environment. Early childhood educators play a crucial role in this important stage of a child’s development. The way that they treat a child with special needs will influence the way that their impressionable classmates will act towards them for years to come. In this episode, Associate Professor of Special Education, 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.


Resources in this episode:

Nov 27, 2018
Incorporating Nature into the Early Childhood Classroom

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!

Resources in this episode:

Nov 20, 2018
Using Reflective Practice in Parenting

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, and expand on what DOES work, through actionable Reflective Practice techniques in this episode of the Preschool Podcast!

Nov 13, 2018
The Impact of Preschool on Low Income Kids

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.

Nov 06, 2018
What Should Montessori Look Like?

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.

Oct 30, 2018
Suzuki Early Childhood Education Approach to Learning Music

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. 


Oct 23, 2018
Early Childhood Education in California

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. 

Oct 15, 2018
Everything you need to know about Montessori!

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!

Oct 09, 2018
The Maker Movement Approach to Literacy for Early Learners

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 practice.

Oct 02, 2018
Inquiry Based Early Learning

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? How does the environment affect children’s inquiries and teachers’ thought processes? 

Sep 25, 2018
Family Separation and The Impact on Young Children

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.

Sep 18, 2018
Mindfulness in the Classroom

Maria is an expert in mindfulness and project lead on ZTT’s mindfulness work, 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.

Sep 11, 2018
Supporting the Implementation of a Preschool Expulsion Ban

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. As Chief Policy Advisor for Early Edge California, he helped lead the expansion of preschool access to over 170,000 children each year through the establishment of the new Transitional Kindergarten grade and the consolidation of existing preschool programs into the new California State Preschool Program.

Sep 04, 2018
Reading – Setting Children Up for Success

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. "Fire it until you wire it!"

Aug 28, 2018
Managing stress and anxiety in young children

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. Dr. Alter is a registered clinical psychologist in practice since 1979. Her current practice includes both the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and adults. She has been senior consultant to the Hincks-Dellcrest Children's Centre and Blue Hills Child and Family Centre since 1980. In her consulting capacity, she also consults to the native community regarding fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and conducts FAS assessments. She has authored two books: Anxiety and the Gift of Imagination and The Anxiety Workbook for Kids.

Aug 21, 2018
Natural playscapes and the benefits of risky play

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. He is one of the pioneers in the movement to reconnect children to nature, and his designs reflect his sincere desire to create a more beautiful world in which to grow and explore.

Aug 14, 2018
Age Appropriate STEM Activities for Children Zero to Three

"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 and develops resources for parents, alongside training of parents and early childhood professionals. In this episode, Rebecca describes the age-appropriate STEM activities and the connection to observation and exploration. 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.

Aug 07, 2018
Loose Parts Play

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.

Jul 31, 2018
No Small Matter

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?

Jul 23, 2018
Baby Steps to STEM

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, and a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Pepperdine University. 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.

Jul 17, 2018
Why Outdoor Pre-K is Elitist

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. Connor recently wrote in an article: "Which raises an unwelcome possibility: absent a shift in early access to the outdoors, the country will be able to add nature deficits to the many inequities already plaguing American childhood, things like resource inequities and academic achievement gaps. Somehow, someway, time exploring outside — the freest possible resource — will become a marker of privilege."

Jul 10, 2018
Impacts of Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences

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.

Jul 03, 2018
The Child Migrant Crisis and the Impact on Social-Emotional Development

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. "There could be no greater trauma than to be taken away from the foundation, their adult relationships". The result of detachment is that a child is stuck - they revert to survival mode, to desperation in a way that prevents growth. Safety and security is removed. Children need strong adults to make them feel safe in the world. Transference of care does not replace caring for a child with attachment, reliability and consistency. The greatest human need is not food and education - it is the need for connection. What more can we do to learn about the child migrant crisis? Listen and find out.

Jun 26, 2018
The Evolution of Early Childhood Education in Canada

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. Kerry McCuaig co-developed and produces the Early Childhood Education Report, which tracks provincial/territorial progress in early years program development. She co-authored Early Years Study 3, Making Decisions, Taking Action with Margaret McCain and the late Fraser Mustard. Kerry has had a long involvement in early childhood policy including as a founder of Toronto First Duty, a pioneer in the integrated delivery of early childhood programming. What are the differences between American and Canadian early childhood development programs? Listen and find out. You can follow Kerry on Twitter here:

Jun 19, 2018
“Turn it off” and Turn on the Music Song and Dance with Dr. Jean

"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.

Jun 12, 2018
Gender Differences in the Preschool Classroom

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."

As a consultant, Daniel works with educators, parents and other professionals, helping them to understand the research-based theory and how to adapt curriculum and environments that support the continued development of children and families. Daniel has a unique grasp of children and family issues learned from over 30 plus years of experience working as a teacher, director, educator and parent in both the private and public sector. Daniel's interactive style is both informative and entertaining.

Jun 05, 2018
Fixed Mindset to Growth Mindset in Early Childhood Education

"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.

May 29, 2018
Urban Thinkscapes: Revitalizing Communities with Playgrounds 2.0

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 favourite story is of the bus stop and the metal bench. Which thinkscape installation is your favourite?

May 22, 2018
Underserved Child Care Communities and Compliance. What’s the relation?

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. How do you reconcile our expectations as child care providers and the expectations about the quality of care from parents? What does quality child care truly mean? Michelle McGinnis says "when you are in a quality child care center you can hear it - it is palatable". 

May 15, 2018
Genius of Play – Why Play is Important For Children’s Development

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.

May 08, 2018
Changing our mindset on suspensions and expulsions

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. The mindset of dealing with challenging behavior is critical for reflecting on your teaching practice and identifying the unique needs of a child.

May 01, 2018
Building a Family-Centered Early Childhood Program

Janis Keyser, Early Childhood Education Specialist & Author is here to talk about a family-centered approach to early learning. Imagine a parent who begins their journey in early childhood education with an open dialogue about how their child's care can match the values, routine and goals of their individual family. 

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? 

Apr 24, 2018
Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative at Harvard

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. They’ve recently launched a first-of-its-kind study on examining the environments where 3- and 4-year-olds learn best. Yet little is known about the children who are looked after under informal arrangements involving neighbors, relatives, friends, or nannies, even though these cover 40 percent of children in Massachusetts. Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) professors Nonie Lesaux and Stephanie Jones, both developmental psychologists, are launching an ambitious study to follow 5,000 children, ages 3 and 4, for four years. The study will track some students before and after their elementary school years, and perhaps into adulthood. The cohort, recruited from 168 communities, is designed to reflect the changing demographics of children across the state. "We want to understand and unpack the insides of child care environments - not just large centers - homes and elsewhere".

Apr 17, 2018
Pushing the Envelope with Professional Development

Kepler Academy means "big things". Lynette Ventura describes what prioritizing professional development for staff has done to help children thrive. Through professional development, teachers have identified what their impact really is - 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. "By creating a safe environment for children to have a desire to learn and by having a solid team that takes pride in the actual growth and development of all children."

Apr 10, 2018
Intense Emotions: A Framework for Working with Young Children

Episode #90: 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.

For example, maybe the child is screaming because you just told them that it was time to go. Acknowledging their feelings before taking action is critical to helping them manage disappointment and surprise.

Resources in this episode:

- Word-for-word examples using Language of Listening® in specific scenarios

Apr 03, 2018
Visual Routines as a Challenging Behaviour Strategy

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 also the Founder of Brili. Through consultations with psychologists and other child behaviour experts, he learned and then realized the benefits of routines and visual schedules.

As a professional technology manager, Pierre knew that software development teams use big screen digital dashboards to give them project information at a glance while working, without becoming a distraction. So why not, he thought, create similar technology to help families by making visual schedules, simple, powerful and fun.

Resources in this episode:

Mar 27, 2018
Healthy Eating by Showing More and Telling Less

It is a powerful thing to watch a child discover the magical properties of fruits and vegetables. 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. A child should be in charge with what and how much they eat - so it's time to start trusting a child's relationship with food. If the table is a place of stress and rules then fun and enjoyment can be in conflict with this. "The healthiest ingredient at any family meal is laughter".

Mar 20, 2018
Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategies for Child Care

Episode #87: "You have to be found and then build trust". How effectively are you using digital marketing to maintain and improve enrollment? New famlies, especially millenial parents will use social media to solve their challenge and share moments with their family online. A strong Google presence is critically for improving enrollment numbers. "If you are under enrolled - you're leaving revenue on the table by not investing in digital marketing" How much revenue? $100,000, says Murray.

Have you considered the nuance of which keywords to use on your website to better appear in Google search results? 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 which in turn allows you to dedicate more resources to paying Educators and creating high-quality child care environments. 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!

Resources in this episode:

- Kris Murray's Training Programs, Courses and Books

- Child Care Marketing Strategies Enrollment Bootcamp

Mar 13, 2018
NAEYC and Power to the Profession

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 and how NAEYC is advocating for the careers of educators today.

Resources in this episode:

- NAEYC's Power to the Profession

Mar 06, 2018
Setting Routines for Happy Healthy Kids

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.

Alyson Schafer explains why every parent and teacher needs training in non-punitive tactics to manage challenging behaviour. A tactical approach like "When and then" statements help parents to control the environment instead of the children. Helping children to be autonomous is directly connected to predictability and the importance of routines. Alyson suggests diligence with parents in following predictable non-punitive responses to behaviour so children can thrive. This is the podcast episode every parent needs - practical, concise and positive. If you are a caregiver or parent of a preschooler, dealing with challenging behaviour or not, this week is FOR YOU!

Resources in this episode:

- Follow Alyson and Her Work on her website

- Buy Alyson's Book Honey I Wrecked The Kids

Feb 27, 2018
Why Early Childhood Educators are Underpaid

Episode #84: 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. Ron and Abbie delve into why our important educators are routinely under-resourced and why we need to honour the profession and demand better.

Resources in this episode:

- Learn more about Abbie Lieberman's work here

- New York Times Article - Why are our most important teachers paid the least?

Feb 20, 2018
There are no tricks to being an Early Childhood Educator

Listen to Johanna Richardson, Lead Teacher at Christian Life Academy in Bensalem, PA describe life as an early childhood professional. Even Listen to Johanna Richardson, Lead Teacher at Christian Life Academy in Bensalem, PA describe life as an early childhood professional. Even with observations and challenges and stress of the role, Johanna says "early childhood is fun!". Johanna finds ways to appreciate the power of her role and how to have a positive mindset in the daily interactions with children. She teaches us that early childhood 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. There are so different needs and your role is to meet all the unique needs in the classroom. She also describes how social and emotional needs are increasing for young children as a result of the opioid epidemic in America. If you have a child in childcare, if you work in early education, this is a MUST-LISTEN episode.

Feb 13, 2018
Exploring Mixed Emotions

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. The game of Mixed Emotions is a fun, simple card game designed to teach kids how to talk about their feelings. We talk with game creator Theresa Claire on how a game like hers can be used to navigate social-emotional conversations with children under five years old.

Feb 06, 2018
Community Collaboration to Give Children a Strong Start

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. Councils have a unique role within their local communities to serve as an early childhood hub for partners, child care providers, caregivers, policymakers, and business leaders to coordinate, collaborate, and align resources.

ECCLA’s mission is to improve access to quality services and supports for young children through a statewide network of Early Childhood Council leaders and key stakeholders. As a membership association, ECCLA supports Councils by providing technical assistance and capacity building, shared measurement, advocating for policies affecting early childhood issues, and leveraging statewide partnerships.

Liz is a seasoned nonprofit professional with a career encompassing resource development, advocacy, communication, and management for a variety of organizations including human services, research and policy, a major cultural institution, K-12 and higher education, and private industry.

Find an Early Childhood Council and learn more about ECCLA at

Jan 30, 2018
Balancing Nature vs. Nurture in Child Development

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?

Individual childhood traits must be considered in early learning and development - our children don't grow up exactly the same way, why would we expect them to be taught, or learn, in exactly the same way?

Márcia is a Brazilian Psychologist and Certified Coach based in the US with extensive experience living abroad. She uses her parenting experience to discuss Psychology-based research on how to address the challenges of child-rearing. You can find her at

Jan 23, 2018
An Insider Look at Early Learning in Manhattan

What does childcare look and feel like in New York City? How can center owners support early childhood education in bustling Manhattan? “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?

Koffler approaches childcare the way CEOs build tech startups; with a nuanced program focus, by identifying gaps in the market, offering professional development and specialized talent recruitment for his team, and by offering unique holistic early education practices, all of which allow his center to fill a gap in Manhattan childcare. Explore and Discover focuses on high-quality early childhood education specifically for children aged zero to three ("starting from the 91st day"). Listen to Koffler describe the importance of his staff and their dedication and enjoyment of their roles. "You have to find purpose in your work and make the environment the most meaningful to you". The team who works with Explore and Discover are passionate about working with children. “You have to really enjoy seeing a child experience the world. Each teacher here shares the excitement of watching children grow and develop”.

Explore and Discover makes strong use of Reggio-Emilia approaches and the RIE program (Resources for Infant Educare). RIE allows the team to approach everyday tactics in a thoughtful and caring approach. Is there a thoughtful way to carry out infant diaper changes that respects the whole personality of an infant? Koffler says yes. "I can't teach someone to have empathy with working with infant and toddlers. That is in your core".

Jan 16, 2018
Students: Our Future Leaders in Early Childhood Education

Dr. Bill is an advocate for students of early childhood education. Dr. Bill is very interested in the development of early childhood education studies.

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. What are today's student's questions, challenges and struggles as they enter the field? Are there unique opportunities to expand their learning before students join our preschool classrooms? Dr. Bill's enthusiasm is electric and contagious, this week's episode is a real treat.


Find out more about Grounds for Play here.

Jan 09, 2018
Interrupting the Cycle of Poverty with Early Childhood Education

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. The way to ensure that all children in Tulsa can access high-quality education is through a unique funding partnership with private and public funding (with federal Head Start programs and non-profit foundation grants What makes early childhood education in Tulsa so special and unique? 

Annie Koppel Van Hanken oversees GKFF’s early childhood education and common education initiatives. Before joining the Foundation in 2002, Ms. Van Hanken worked in inner-city Los Angeles at a community-based youth development center. She serves as board president for Tulsa Educare and Tulsa Legacy Charter School. Ms. Van Hanken also serves on the board of Sunbeam Family Services of Oklahoma City and is a gubernatorial appointee on Oklahoma’s Early Childhood Advisory Council. She has a master’s degree in education, with an emphasis on learning disabilities, from the University of Texas at Austin and a dual bachelor’s degree in English and history, with a minor in classics, from Tulane University.

How are professional development and pay equity considered within a larger conversation about early education in Oklahoma? Listen to find out.

Jan 02, 2018
Creative Block Play

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."

Blocks are the perfect 3-dimensional material to encourage learning with all five senses. "Blocks provide so many opportunities to teach math, social-emotional, and fine motors skills". Roseanne guides us through some practical examples of how blocks can be used to engage children at their own pace with materials that delight - creative block play!

Dec 26, 2017
Star Ratings or Star Children

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?

Shanda challenges center directors to be willing to take a lower star rating in order to meet the needs of your children at the time. She shares her experience of how her center was impacted by prioritizing assessment and rating systems over the needs of the children at her center, and what her priorities are for establishing strong relationships with children today.

Today, Shanda Fitte prioritizes play-based learning in her classrooms, beyond high ranking assessments or star ratings. She asks, what are the opportunities to meet the child's needs where they are in that moment (without assumptions of what's going on at home, for instance). Ultimately, Shanda argues that building strong relationships is the most important role we have as early childhood professionals. Beyond kindergarten readiness, beyond academics and even beyond learning and development observations, we are teaching children to relate and build relationships with others. All other learnings are a bonus.

Dec 19, 2017
Empathy Warriors

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".

Tedi challenges us as educators to be brave - to enter an uncomfortable, vulnerable place and embody empathy in order to truly model that behaviour in the classroom. What's the impact of shutting down the emotions of a child who is upset? Listen to find out.

Dec 12, 2017
You Can’t Fail When You Play

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.

Liisa also describes the "second home" - the child care environment that works alongside the home to create a space where children can be their authentic self for 6-8 hours a day. Liisa brings us along in the journey of how her center first identified the need for high-quality early education curriculum. She reviews the characteristics of today's "school-home hybrid" and asks, do children have the same space to play and explore at home that they do in emergent learning environments (in between lessons and birthday parties and other weekend responsibilities)?

"We can make a utopia for children for up to five years". She provides an engrossing look back at the history of their center and how it supports early development today. Is there a connection between the woman's movement and early education? Listen to find out.

Dec 05, 2017
Intentional Whole Child Development with Educators and Parents

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.

How can educators embrace educating parents on early learning? Parents can feel pressure to encourage their children to meet milestones (reading, toilet training) earlier and earlier. How can we give children space to learn and support parents in approaching early education with spaciousness? Listen and find out.

Nov 28, 2017
Connecting Brain Science, Child Development and Loving Families

Episode 71 - How can we ensure policymakers are informed about child development and brain science? Zero to Three advocates for high-quality childcare, paid family leave, healthy environments and access to early infant mental health programs. We know that 62% of mothers return to the workforce within the first year, and more than 6 million children in the U.S. spend some part of their day in child care. "We are hindering the development of young children by not providing them access to high-quality child care".

Myra Jones-Taylor explores why access to quality care is critical, and what policymakers can do today to support child care advocacy now. In some states, infant care costs more than University! 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 and educators 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.

Resources: Find out more about Zero to Three and get involved here.


More about HiMama

Nov 21, 2017
Different Schools for a Different World

Episode 70 -Scott McLeod provides some tactical case studies on what new, innovative school and education approaches look like. To McLeod, 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?

Show Notes

You can find Scott's book on Amazon.


Find Out More About HiMama

Nov 14, 2017
The Importance of Social-Emotional Learning

Episode 69 - This week we speak to popular education blogger Vicki A Davis of the Cool Cat Teacher blog about the nuance of language, our shared understanding of these terms, and how a current trend in early education - social-emotional learning - can be directly connected to STEM. Vicki asks those of us in preschools and K-12 to define how they will implement an SEL program and not just use these popular taglines without deploying it effectively.


Check out Vicki's Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Find out more about HiMama's early childhood educator app

Nov 07, 2017
Improving Student Cognition Through Interaction

Episode 68 - How can we apply movement practice to cognition and language development? Dr Lynne Kenney builds dynamic research-based programs for students of all ages, with a passion for working with young children.

One of her programs helps children build a culture of kindness in the classroom, through an evidence-backed curriculum. "We feel a duty to bring science into everyday practice". Dr Kenney provides practical tips for research-based practices approach in the classroom, such as sequencing, which is so essential to early childhood development.

Show Notes

Dr. Lynne Kenney's practical tips and activities for preschool teachers can be found here.


Find Out More About HiMama

Oct 31, 2017
Family at the Center of Innovation in Early Learning

Episode 67 - FamTech “helps us remember that families are at the heart of learning. We have to recognize where today’s families are - more connected than ever but also awash with almost too much information. How can we use new tools to help parents connect together?" Lisa Guernsey, Director of Education Policy at New America, joins the Preschool Podcast to discuss the impact of technology use in family environments.

Episode Notes

New America's survey Integrating Technology in Early Literacy. 


Find out more about HiMama's Childcare App.


Oct 24, 2017
How to Motivate Your Staff - Finally See the Change and Growth You Want

Episode 66: Chanie Wilschanski returns to discuss her work with 'The School Culture Model'. Chanie presents concrete ideas for how to effectively motivate early childhood professionals in team meetings and in the classroom. "Teachers WANT to contribute - give them the opportunity to have a voice". Recognizing culture problems and actively involving your team in pursuing change will prove far more effective than "leadership talk" with no action. Don't just ASK teachers for their opinion, INCLUDE that opinion! Is there a secret to motivating staff? Listen and find out.


Find out more about HiMama's parent communication app here.


Oct 17, 2017
Relationships, Relationships, Relationships

Episode 65 Marilyn Ballard, Owner of ECE Solutions joins us this week to talk solutions to challenging behaviour. Ballard discusses the pyramid model for developing strong relationships and working culture in the classroom. If we master our dynamic environments, 80-85% of challenging behaviours can be addressed. What does this mean for Educators? When you develop a strong relationship with a child, you understand their triggers, their stresses, and their family conditions that help you resolve a challenging behavior. Teachers need to consider; "what is it about this child that is bothering me in this moment? What is truly going on here"? As Educators, we often alter our teaching approach to suit the needs of children - but what we're really doing is adapting our pedological style to create an environment that helps a child thrive. It's all about relationships.


Find out more about HiMama here.

Oct 10, 2017
Be "WUCA": Welcome, Understand, Comfort, Appreciate

Episode 64 Frank Spillers wants you to create a classroom environment where people (children, administrators, educators) can be engaged. "Be WUCA to yourself and the people you work with". Spillers works with different childcare providers to help them identify engagement techniques and helps them to be happy in the work they do. He often asks "Are you passionate about kids?" - if the answer is no, then Spillers says they're doing more damage to the sector than you are helping. When we have engaged people working with children, their impact is far-reaching. "People will stay where they are appreciated and where they feel welcome".


Find out more about HiMama here.

Oct 03, 2017
Scaffolding and Discipline Without Punishment

Episode 63 - This week Ron chats with Jack Wright about scaffolding and discipline without punishment in early education. Jack Wright was previously a Mental Health Consultant who worked with a HeadStart program on the Flathead Reservation in Montana. Jack describes the impact of punishment on children long term and why scaffolding and discipline can be trained without punishment. A relaxed, nonpunitive approach is more effective than a punishing approach for behaviour-changing in children.


Find out more about HiMama here.

Sep 28, 2017
How to Teach What You Love

Episode 62: Ron chats with Jarred Geller about his organization Punk Rock Preschool. 

Punk Rock Preschool is all about unleashing the incredible potential in your students. It's about exposing your classroom to the magnificent world we live in so your students can find their own interests and set off on their own paths! Punk Rock Preschool is the start of a life-long, never-ending adventure to learn and grow. Jarred has seen incredible results in his classroom and it all stems from believing in your students. "And as teachers, we know we must show them we believe in them, not just tell them. So how do you show your students you believe they can accomplish anything? By challenging them and pushing them and supporting them to accomplish anything! When you do, they will surpass even your most ambitious dreams and expectations."

Find out more about HiMama here.

Sep 19, 2017
Tech in the Early Years: Attitudes and Intentionality

Episode 61: Ron chats with Chip Donohue, Director, Technology in Early Childhood Center about intentionality and digital media use. Specifically, Donohue explores why while there can be systemic challenges to technology use in education and in our own families, ultimately we can have a positive relationship with our children, devices, and apps.


Find out more about HiMama here.

Sep 12, 2017
Empower teachers with creative leadership

On episode 60, we interview Ruth Churchill Dower, Director of Earlyarts, an award-winning creative training network for early childhood professionals. We learn about her passion for incorporating creativity both in the classroom and in educational leadership. Our conversation focuses on the impact of the arts in supporting early development, how teachers can approach early learning more creatively and what leadership can do to support meaningful professional development in the sector.

Sep 05, 2017
Leading as a learning process

On episode 59, we interview Patti Clark, VP of Product Development at LA-based Lakeshore Learning and one of Huffington Posts’ Women in Business Q & A guests. We learn about her career journey from teaching in the classroom to taking on a Product Developer role as a way to broaden the scope of her work and impact more children.  Our conversation centers on the skills and mindset to be a good leader.

Aug 29, 2017
Leading as a learning process

On episode 59, we interview Patti Clark, VP of Product Development at LA-based Lakeshore Learning and one of Huffington Posts’ Women in Business Q & A guests. We learn about her career journey from teaching in the classroom to taking on a Product Developer role as a way to broaden the scope of her work and impact more children.  Our conversation centers on the skills and mindset to be a good leader.

Aug 29, 2017
Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf curriculum

On episode 58, we interview Marilyn Grudniski, CEO of Little Lions Waldorf and one of 2017’s Most Influential Women in Northern Ontario.  We learn about the Waldorf philosophy and how it is different from other more conventional (popular) curricula such as Montessori, Reggio or Traditional.  In our conversation, Marilyn emphasizes the importance of authenticity to the philosophy and offers advice for early childhood educators who are looking to adopt Waldorf into their practice.

Aug 22, 2017
Universal childcare and its possibilities in Canada

On episode 57, we interview Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC).  We learn about the history of early childhood education in Canada and the challenges faced by the sector.  Morna also shares her optimism behind how changes in policy and advocacy are moving the field towards creating a system for universal childcare in Canada.

Aug 15, 2017
Taking control of your early childhood career

On episode 56, we talk about how teachers can take control of their early childhood career by joining associations or founding their own communities in order to have a support system for professional growth. Our guest, Belinda Costin, President of Ohio AEYC, shares her career journey with us and some steps that teachers can take to bring each other up in the challenging and valuable work of early childhood education.

Aug 08, 2017
Circle of Security and Attachment Theory

Everyone in early childhood education knows that it’s all about the relationships.  Parents and teachers have relationships with the children under their care, but the quality of that relationship can’t be understated!  Babies use their relationships with their main carer to create expectations about themselves and how they relate to others as they grow.  Our guest, Melissa Grant, tells us about the Circle of Security framework and how parents and teachers can come together to better read the emotional needs of children and respond appropriately.

Aug 01, 2017
Improv-based play support for challenging behavior in children

On episode 53 of the show, we interview Barb O’Niell, Early Childhood Trainer and Consultant specializing in challenging behavior.  Studies have found that 10-30% of children display challenging behavior and it is oof the most common issues that early childhood educators face in the classroom.   In our conversation, we learn about Barb’s creative improv-based approach to working with children who may be more difficult than others.

Jul 25, 2017
Pre-reading skills in a play-based curriculum

On episode 53 of the show, we interview Ruth Rumack, creator of Alpha Mania Adventures, a 5-part story book series that teaches pre-reading skills in a play-based curriculum. Ruth is also the founder of Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space in Toronto and she’s passionate about creating inclusive learning environments.  In our conversation, we learn about the impact of developing pre-reading skills on the life-long ability to read and understand the written word. Ruth emphasizes that reading is not just a skill for academic success, but is directly correlated with success that goes well into adulthood.

Jul 18, 2017
Shared services for pedagogical and business leadership

In episode 52 of the show, we are in conversation with Louise Stoney, co-founder of Opportunities Exchange and the Alliance for Early Childhood Finance.  Louise has worked with state and local governments, foundations, ECE providers, industry intermediaries, as well as research and advocacy groups in over 40 states in the U.S.  In our conversation, we learn about an exciting new approach to early care and education program management called Shared Services. Louise explains that whether you are a non-profit or for-profit, center- or home-based provider, Shared Services is a framework that can help you achieve quality leadership on the business side as well as in teaching and learning.

Jul 11, 2017
Leadership for better early childhood outcomes

On episode 51 of the show, we have the honor of speaking with Sherry Cleary, Executive Director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute.  In our conversation, we learn about Sherry’s inspiring professional journey and the experiences that has cultivated her hallmark approach to her work, which is grounded in the question: “Will it help our children?” We discuss the efforts by PDI to put systems in place that provides educators with pathways for advancement in their own professional journeys, creating leaders in the field who are capable of driving change in their own right.  Sherry also shares some of her career advice for ECEs that are new to the field.

Jul 04, 2017
Leadership for better early childhood outcomes

On episode 51 of the show, we have the honor of speaking with Sherry Cleary, Executive Director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute.  In our conversation, we learn about Sherry’s inspiring professional journey and the experiences that has cultivated her hallmark approach to her work, which is grounded in the question: “Will it help our children?” We discuss the efforts by PDI to put systems in place that provides educators with pathways for advancement in their own professional journeys, creating leaders in the field who are capable of driving change in their own right.  Sherry also shares some of her career advice for ECEs that are new to the field.

Jul 04, 2017
Data-driven early childhood education advocacy

On episode 50 of the show, we speak with Titus DosRemedios, the Director of Policy and Research at Strategies for Children, a policy and advocacy organization focused on delivering high-quality early education in Massachusetts. In our conversation, we learn about how Strategies for Children has used state-wide data to reframe the conversation focus away from child care as simply baby sitting to early childhood education as part of a learning continuum that feeds into the k-12 education system. Titus also talks about the necessity for collaboration between stakeholders in the early education space, and the importance of a mixed-delivery system that is capable of solving problems for local communities and creating real impact.  

Jun 27, 2017
Research-based professional development

On episode 49 of the show, we are very excited to be in conversation with Sarah LeMoine, Director of the Early Childhood Workforce Innovations Department at Zero to Three.  For those who are not familiar, Zero to Three is a not for profit that provides research-backed resources on infant/toddler development for parents and educators.  Sarah emphasizes the importance of connecting the dots between an educator’s practice during these formative years and the science behind early learning and development.  This is to bring awareness and understanding to the impact of an educator’s work on the floor.  In our conversation, we learn about Zero to Three’s Critical Competencies program and how it is designed to support educators in a way that is meaningful, relatable and practical for their professional journey.

Jun 20, 2017
Yoga in preschool for social emotional development

On episode 48 of the show, we talk about the benefits of yoga in the preschool classroom with our guest, Nancy Siegel, an early childhood consultant based in New Jersey whose focus is mindfulness and using yoga as an approach for social emotional development.  In our conversation, we learn about the difference between children’s yoga and adult’s yoga as Nancy explains how the practice can be developmentally appropriate during the formative years.  We also discuss the science behind yoga and how it helps cultivate the mental awareness needed for a more positive social environment in the classroom. This not only benefits the children but also the teachers.

Jun 13, 2017
The science behind sleep and brain development in children

On episode 47 of the show, we talk about different factors that influence the sleep of infants and toddlers with Cindy Davenport, Co-Founder and CEO of Safe Sleep Space, an Australian organization that supports parents and educators with sleep and settling for young children.  In our conversation, we learn about the correlation between brain development and sleep during a child’s formative years.  Cindy also give us some advice for educators that have to settle multiple children at once during nap time.  A must-listen for parents and educators who want to have a better understanding of the impact of sleep on young children. 

Jun 06, 2017
Supporting men in childcare

On episode 46 of the show, we talk about the importance of supporting men in childcare with Soren Gall, Infant/Toddler specialist at the Denver Early Childhood Council. Soren is one of the  founders of the Men in Childcare Colorado Digital Story  Project where he spent 6 months interviewing and documenting the experiences of men in the field around the world.  In our conversation, we talk about the experience of being a male early childhood educator and the struggles that come along with it.  Soren emphasizes that it is important to support and build the confidence of men who are already in the field.  He believes that it is important to foster a community where men in the profession can come together to have productive conversations about their experiences. 

May 30, 2017
Authentic core values in an organization

On episode 45 of the show, we talk about the impact of authentic core values in an organization with Jenny Volpe, Executive Director of Make Way for Books, a not for profit that provides books to under-resourced sites and offers early literacy workshops to educators and parents in Tucson, Arizona.  In our conversation, we talk about how meaningful core values are developed as a team-effort and upholding them is a process of conscious reflection.  Make Way for Books believes in empowerment and applies it not only to staff and volunteers but in every aspect of what they do, especially when it comes to the communities that they serve, be it educators, parents, teachers and of course, the children.

May 23, 2017
The power of emotional intelligence in early childhood education

On episode 44 of the show, we talk about emotional intelligence in early childhood education with Holly Elissa Bruno, an award-winning author, international keynote speaker and seasoned team builder.  In our conversation, we learn about the importance of emotional authenticity when working with children. Holly Elissa emphasizes that children are extremely perceptive to non-verbal cues and unpacks the neuroscience behind emotional development.  She shows us how a large component of early childhood education is about modelling to children how to express their feelings honestly to resolve conflict in a productive manner. In order to do this, educators themselves require a firm grasp on their own emotions in their interactions with other adults.

May 16, 2017
The power of emotional intelligence in early childhood education

On episode 44 of the show, we talk about emotional intelligence in early childhood education with Holly Elissa Bruno, an award-winning author, international keynote speaker and seasoned team builder.  In our conversation, we learn about the importance of emotional authenticity when working with children. Holly Elissa emphasizes that children are extremely perceptive to non-verbal cues and unpacks the neuroscience behind emotional development.  She shows us how a large component of early childhood education is about modelling to children how to express their feelings honestly to resolve conflict in a productive manner. In order to do this, educators themselves require a firm grasp on their own emotions in their interactions with other adults.

May 16, 2017
Nurturing a growth mindset in young children

On episode 43 of the show, we talk about nurturing growth mindsets at an early years level with Pam Rinn, Program Director for Community Professional Development (Instruction) at Camp Fire First Texas.  We learn about the Thrive{ology} framework, which is a research-based, measurable approach to learning and development that emphasizes a balance between work, health and love.  Pam shows us how the approach inspires learning in a safe environment that allows children to take risks while developing the skills needed to achieve their goals.  All this builds a foundation for creative thinking and problem solving at an early age.      

May 09, 2017
Music for holistic child development

On episode 42 of the show, we talk about music as a vehicle for holistic child development with Galina Zenin, founder of the Bonkers Beat early years curriculum from Melbourne, Australia.   The curriculum focuses on integrating song and movement into daily teaching practices.  In our conversation, we learn about Galina’s journey into early education as she began her career as a professional musician and has successfully combined her passion for music with research in child development. Galina tells us about how she develops her pedagogical approach in her own kinder, and runs wellness summits for educators and parents on how to use music as a teaching tool.

May 02, 2017
Impactful advocacy for child care

On episode 41 of the show, we talk about impactful advocacy with Michelle McCready, Chief of Policy at Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA).  Michelle provides vision, leadership and management to the policy and evaluation division at CCAoA.  In our conversation, we talk about the history of child care in America, the influence of child care on the American economy, the present state of child care under the Trump administration and the importance of advocacy from child care practitioners to provide vital insight for policy change.  Michelle emphasizes that is crucial for educators to speak up and become the voice for better outcomes for children.

Apr 25, 2017
Leading for children by empowering teachers

On episode 40 of the show, we talk about empowerment with Judy Jablon, Executive Director of Leading for Children.  In our conversation, we discuss the relationship between early learning outcomes and the empowerment of educators at every level.  As Judy says; empowerment comes with decision making and good decisions come with a clear understanding of the “why.”  We also discuss the importance of supporting teachers in developing the skills and confidence to engage in productive dialogue as leaders in their own right in order to build a more coherent leadership network within early childhood education.  

Apr 18, 2017
Intentional teaching practices for emotional development

On episode 39 of the show, we talk about emotional development with Linda Augusto, Early Education and Care Lecturer from Western Sydney University in Australia.  In our conversation, we learn about the cycle of security and the importance of a clear and consistent routine for children to learn social skills such as self-regulation and how to make friends.  Linda talks about the importance of creating a safe space where children feel noticed and confident, allowing them to build healthy relationships.

Apr 11, 2017
Rethinking research in early childhood education

This week, we’re on episode 38 of The Preschool Podcast.  We discuss the importance of being inquisitive in the classroom with William Parnell,  department chair of Curriculum and Instruction, and a pedagogical liaison to the Helen Gordon Child Development Center at Portland State University.  In our conversation, we talk about rethinking the traditional approach to early childhood education that emphasizes quantitative assessments through testing for results.  Instead, William describes what rethinking research would look like, where teachers become participants that work alongside children and their families to learn more about early childhood development, rather than studying them objectively.  

Apr 04, 2017
Rethinking research in early childhood education

This week, we’re on episode 38 of The Preschool Podcast.  We discuss the importance of being inquisitive in the classroom with William Parnell,  department chair of Curriculum and Instruction, and a pedagogical liaison to the Helen Gordon Child Development Center at Portland State University.  In our conversation, we talk about rethinking the traditional approach to early childhood education that emphasizes quantitative assessments through testing for results.  Instead, William describes what rethinking research would look like, where teachers become participants that work alongside children and their families to learn more about early childhood development, rather than studying them objectively.  

Apr 04, 2017
Social enterprise as an early years business model

On episode 37 of the Preschool Podcast, we discuss social enterprise as an early years business model with June O’Sullivan, CEO of the London Early Years Foundation, also known as LEYF.  As June says: a social enterprise is a way of doing business by doing good and doing good by doing business.  LEYF has won many awards for its innovative approach as it reinvests its profits into supporting its educators and the disadvantaged families it serves. 

Mar 28, 2017
The body-mind connection in early childhood education

This week, we’re on episode 36 of the Preschool Podcast.  We learn about the role of the body-mind connection in early years with Rae Pica, advocate for movement-based teaching and host of the BAM Radio Network show: Studentcentricity.  In our conversation, we discuss the misconception that sitting equals learning.  We also talk about the dire need to realign our teaching methods with scientific research that proves the relationship between physical experiences and how learning happens.

Mar 21, 2017
Men in childcare as a right for children

This week, we’re on episode 35 of the Preschool Podcast.  We discuss the inclusion of men in childcare with David Wright, owner of Paint Pots Nurseries and organizer of the first ever national Men in Early Years conference in the UK.  We talk about the perception of men in childcare, the challenges they face as professionals and why he is an advocate for a more gender diverse workforce.  

David emphasizes children have the right be educated by both female and male educators at an early years level, making for a more socially balanced learning experience.

Mar 14, 2017
Parent communication technology as a preschool marketing tool

On episode 34 of The Preschool Podcast, we discuss the role of parent communication technology in preschools with Tiffany Torres, Chief Creator of Opportunities for the Preschool Marketing Group.  We talk about the importance of showing parents the hard work that goes into teaching young children.  Tiffany emphasizes the importance of using available tools to build relationships that increase parent satisfaction and teacher appreciation in order to earn advocates for your school.  

Mar 07, 2017
Teaching children through play

This week, we’re on episode 33 of the show.  We’ll be discussing teaching children through play with Alistair Bryce-Clegg, author of the blog and early years consultant from Cheshire in the UK.  We touch on his journey as an educator and how he cultivated an appreciation for the skills required to be successful in working with young children.  We also talk about the complexity involved in the profession and the importance of engaging children through child-led activities and play.  As Alistair says “thrill, will and skill” all feed into each other in the teaching process

Feb 28, 2017
Affecting change through leadership

In this week’s episode, we discuss how to affect change to advance the accessibility of quality childcare for all children.  Today, we are really excited to be in conversation with Lynette Fraga, a leading voice for policy change in her role as Executive Director for Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA).  Lynette began her career on the floor and was driven to take on multiple leadership roles by her passion to provide quality accessible care for all young children on a national level.  

In our conversation, we highlight the need to value childcare as a profession and discuss how educators can harness their passion to be leaders and create awareness for the field.

Feb 21, 2017
Developing relationships with children and their families

In this week’s episode, we discuss the importance of parent-teacher collaboration in early childhood education.  In our conversation with Lynn Arner, we talk about the move towards including “family engagement” as a new measurement of child care quality in California.  We also delve into her decision to include parents in her coaching work as she believes that parents are a child’s first teacher and the foundation of their learning.  Lynn also gives us some perspective into how the field has evolved over the years and shares some tips for teachers who are trying to connect with parents in a “hyperconnected” society.

Feb 13, 2017
Sustained shared thinking for more meaningful conversations with children

In this week’s episode, we unpack the concept of “sustained, shared thinking” that focuses on active listening and positive questioning as a pedagogical approach.

In our conversation with Kathy Brodie, an early years consultant based in England, we talk about the importance of having intentional conversations with children that explores interactive dialogue and builds problem solving skills, rather than focusing on the “right” answer.

We discuss the research that proves the efficacy of the approach and its practical applications in the classroom. Kathy has also authored the book Sustained Shared Thinking as a resource for teachers.

Feb 06, 2017
Applying Conscious Discipline for a positive impact within children

In this week’s episode, we discuss the impact of relationship-based teaching that involves the educator as much as it does the child.  In our conversation with Dr. Bailey,  we learn about the neuroscience that informs the Conscious Discipline program and practical applications of the methodology.  The program encourages a positive approach towards teaching and has impacted the lives of millions of children, parents and educators around the world.   

If you are looking to learn about how to apply self-awareness when working with children and be inspired by the impact that it has had over the last 20-years,  then stay tuned for this episode of the preschool podcast!

Jan 29, 2017
Creating alignment between planning and teaching

In this week’s episode, we take a closer look at creating alignment between planning in the boardroom and practice in the classroom.

In our conversation with, Carole AlKahouaji, we dive deeper into the scenarios that teachers and administrators face when working with the many moving parts of running a program.  We discuss the different methodologies in an early childhood education setting, how foster a healthy relationship between teachers and parents as well as the importance of seeing teachers as professionals -- valuing them for the work that they do.

We compare the way different countries implement their programming, from Germany, Italy, France, Japan and more.  Particularly the different emphases on maintaining teacher well-being in order to create a low-stress environment that promotes play and active community building for young children.   

Jan 23, 2017
Impact of high-quality pre-k programs

In this week’s episode we get a first hand view into just how impactful quality preschool education can be for a young child.

In this powerful conversation with Liz Huntley, we hear about Liz’s childhood, being raised by her grandmother after her father’s incarceration and her mother’s suicide. Ultimately, the affection, stimulation and support she received through her preschool program saved her life and set her on a path to become a truly inspirational advocate for high-quality pre-k, as well as a successful litigation attorney at Lightfoot, Franklin & White in Birmingham, Alabama. She has also since recounted her childhood in her memoir, ‘More Than A Bird’.

If you’re looking for inspiration on how you can lead an impactful career as an early childhood educator through a powerfully emotional journey then stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast! 

Jan 09, 2017
Recruiting and developing top talent

In this week’s episode we discuss some of the key issues facing child care and preschool administrators, focusing in on an issue that almost all administrators face - staffing.

We speak with Lori Buxton, Executive Associate of PROEEA, Professional Early Education Associates, about how to find and manage early childhood education talent by looking inward at who you are as an organization, as opposed to starting with who you want on your team.

If you’re a leader that wants to attract and develop top talent in your preschool by setting yourself apart, then stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Jan 03, 2017
Making time for culture in your preschool

In this week’s episode we discuss the crucial role of culture in child care and early learning programs. We look to some external thought leadership about establishing core values, making your team feel valued and non-verbal cues that are all highly transferable to leaders in early childhood education.

Chanie Wilschanski M.S.Ed is an early childhood strategist and leadership coach and founder of DiscoverED Consulting, a results driven company designed for progressive directors who want to build school excellence. With a decade of experience and extensive training in the Reggio Approach she has had the privilege of training thousands of educators spanning 6 continents and 16 countries.

If you’re a leader looking for resources to take your child care center or classroom to the next level with positive change then stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Dec 22, 2016
Role of regulatory bodies in early childhood education

In this week’s episode we discuss the role of regulatory bodies in early childhood education by serving and protecting children and families with registration requirements, setting ethical and professional standards for ECEs, and governing member conduct.

Our guest, Melanie Dixon, is herself a Registered Early Childhood Educator, and is the Director of Professional Practice at The College of Early Childhood Educators in Ontario. Melanie sheds light on the purpose of a regulatory body, how and why it was created in Ontario, and the College’s current and future priorities.

If you’re interested in learning more about how a regulatory body can serve the public interest, as well enhance the status of early childhood educators through a professional designation, then stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Dec 14, 2016
Science behind language development

In this week’s episode we discuss the science of language development, including the role of culture in dual-language learning and the importance of linking language learning to real life experiences.

Our guest, Karen Nemeth, is an advocate for early childhood education, an author on the topic of language development, and operator of Language Castle that helps preschool programs provide better early education for dual language learners.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can enable stronger language development, in particular with dual language learners, then stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Dec 13, 2016
Learning the language of music

In this week’s episode we discuss how providing children in your preschool programs with meaningful exposure to pitch can help them to learn the language of music at an early age. Incorporating musical education helps children sing in tune and understand rhythms, as well as reinforce skills like sequencing and patterning.

Our guest, Rob Young, is the host and creator of Preschool Prodigies, a fun, colourful and accessible program for teaching children music. Rob studied music technology at NYU and after teaching preschool in Delaware he realized that this early age was the right time in a child’s life to start learning about the language of music.

If you’re interested in learning about the cognitive benefits of meaningful exposure to pitch and practical tips on how to implement musical education in your preschool then stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Dec 06, 2016
Challenging behavior in young children

In this week’s episode we dive into an issue that all early childhood professionals will encounter in their career – young children with challenging behavior. We discuss how to understand the behavior, preventative strategies, and responding effectively to challenging behavior when it happens in your preschool or daycare programs.

Our guest, Barbara Kaiser, is the co-author of Challenging Behavior in Young Children, published by Pearson and available through the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Her writings are based on research, as well as her own personal experiences applying strategies in the classroom as an Early Childhood Educator.

If you’re looking for practical information about how to understand, prevent and respond to challenging behavior in your preschool or childcare programs, then stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Nov 28, 2016
Advocating for early childhood education

In this week’s episode we examine advocacy in early childhood education – what it means, methods, implications, trends and channels – with someone who is, herself, a passionate advocate for quality early education for all children, regardless of socioeconomic status.

Our guest, Viktoria Bitto, a Registered Early Childhood Educator, works with the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and as part of her advocacy work has initiated projects such as Portraits of Child Care that uses art as a form of advocacy. We also delve into the relationship between advocacy for child care and advocacy for woman’s rights, including wages and working conditions for early childhood educators.

If you’re interested in hearing first-hand from a passionate young leader about how you can put yourself out there, stay true to what you fundamentally believe in, and advocate with a clear, honest and genuine message, then stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Nov 20, 2016
Reflective practices to challenge your beliefs

In this week’s episode we explore how the simple concept of opening yourself up to change and challenging your beliefs as an early childhood educator can have a significant impact on your relationships with children. While all early childhood educators want to do what is best for children and often feel as though they are doing what is best for children, reflecting on your practices both as an individual and with your peers is a liberating experience.

We speak with Tanya Farzaneh, an Early Childhood Educator and Teacher at Seneca College in Toronto. We discuss the impact that the ‘How Does Learning Happen’ document has had in Ontario by guiding child care and early learning programs to be reflective, but we also discuss how to implement theory in practice with leadership and accountability.

If you’re interested in learning more about the reflective practices of a highly progressive lab school program then stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Nov 14, 2016
Sharing your educational learnings online

In this week’s episode we have an insightful conversation about continuous professional learning as an early childhood educator and the importance of sharing your learnings and stories with others in the early years community, in particular online.

We speak with Deborah Stewart, the owner and operator of Teach Preschool blog, as well as The Children’s Studio preschool in Indiana. We explore how Deborah has used The Children’s Studio as a lab school for learning about children’s development and the Teach Preschool blog for sharing her learnings with others on the Internet for the forward progression of early childhood educators as professionals.

To get inspired by an early childhood educator who is always learning and find out how and where you can share your work as an early childhood educator, stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Nov 06, 2016
Taking action to mobilize change for early childhood educators

In this week’s episode we discuss how early childhood educators must take an active role in turning theory to action on positive change for the profession.

We speak with Chanequa Cameron, a Master’s degree student at Ryerson University in Ontario and an active Member of the Board of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, about the stakeholders that must work together in order to close the widening early childhood professionalization gap where expectations of early childhood educators are increasing while wages and working conditions are stagnant.

To learn more about how you can take a more active role as a leader and spokesperson for early childhood educators in your community or even at the state or provincial level, stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Nov 01, 2016
Immigrant and refugee children in childcare

In this week’s episode we discuss the complex issue of managing immigrant and refugee children in the childcare and preschool setting.

Children new to your home country may experience culture shock, especially those who have experienced difficult circumstances in their past. Our guest, Julie Dotsch, is an expert and an author on the subject of adapting programs for immigrant and refugee families. She discusses strategies for helping children to deal with change, including the importance of encouraging the use of their first language and just how critical parent presence is when managing child transitions into preschool through gradual separation.

To learn more about how to adapt your childcare programs to help immigrant and refugee children successfully transition into a new environment, stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Oct 25, 2016
Inclusive preschool environments for LGBTQ families

In this week’s episode we talk about how Early Childhood Educators can create an environment that is inclusive for all families, including LGBTQ or “Rainbow” families. We delve into why visibility of LGBTQ families is important in the preschool context, how educators can promote inclusivity in their curriculum, and how best to communicate diversity with ALL families in your program.

Our guest, Shelley Secrett, has been an Early Childhood Educator for over 12 years and is currently an ECE at Emmanuel at Brighton Child Care Centre in Waterloo, Ontario. She is also the owner of Secrett Events, which helps organize non-profit events highlighting local talent, people and shared experiences to bring community together.

To learn more about having an inclusive environment in your preschool and working with LGBTQ families, stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Oct 17, 2016
Preschool technology and marketing trends

In this week’s episode, we explore technology adoption in preschools, including proper usage by teachers in the classroom, recommended exposure for preschoolers, and how technology can be used for marketing child care and early learning programs.

Our guest, Fran Simon, is the Founder of Engagement Strategies consulting and Producer of Early Childhood Investigations, which offers free webinars to thousands of early childhood educators. She has over 35 years of experience in the field of early childhood education and a passion for technology and marketing.

To learn more about the latest trends in technology and marketing in early childhood education from one of the most well-versed experts on these subjects, stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Oct 11, 2016
Empowering preschool teachers with leadership opportunities

In this week’s episode we talk about mentorship and teacher empowerment in the childcare setting with the Director of Education at Childcare Network, Jaime Rechkemmer.

Childcare Network is the fourth largest provider of daycare and early learning services in America, based in Columbus, Georgia. They are providing opportunities for childcare staff to take on a leadership role in their center through the Education Coordinator position. We also discuss the importance of taking professional development learnings and applying them in the classroom.

To learn more about how you can empower your preschool teachers by being intentional with opportunities for growth, stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Oct 04, 2016
Speaking out for preschool teachers

In this week’s episode we discuss the profession of being a preschool teacher – all the wonderful things about it, as well as the challenges that come with it. Our guest, Ashley Preston, is the 2016 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year and is an active preschool teacher at Parker Varney Elementary School in Manchester, New Hampshire.

A quote directly from her 2016 Teacher of the Year application sums up her views best, “Preschool students are often underestimated and I feel fortunate that I can be their voice, help them gain the recognition they deserve and prove their learning is valuable no matter what it looks like from the outside.”

To learn more about how we can speak out about the all-important role of preschool teachers, stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Sep 27, 2016
Emergent curriculum and inquiry based practices

In this week’s episode we dive into emergent curriculum and inquiry-based practices with early childhood education specialist and author Susan Stacey. Susan tells us what emergent curriculum means, how an early childhood educator can best go about learning it for application in the classroom and also how administrators can enable an environment that supports a dynamic curriculum that is responsive, intentional and full of possibilities.

To learn more about emergent curriculum and how you can start on the journey of applying it in your daycare, preschool or childcare programs, stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Sep 20, 2016
The science behind early brain development

In this week’s episode we host Deborah McNelis, an early brain development specialist and founder of Brain Insights, to talk about the science behind why preschool is so important. We delve into some detail about brain development from birth to age five and discuss how this deeper understanding benefits preschool teachers and other early childhood educators when collaborating with children in the classroom.

To learn more about brain development in preschoolers and how we can spread the word about this super important topic, stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Sep 13, 2016
Flexing your leadership muscle as a Preschool Teacher

In this week’s episode we have a conversation with a panel of Early Childhood Educators with experience inside the classroom, as well as outside the classroom as Community Advisors with HiMama. We discuss the importance of taking the initiative to stay involved in the early childhood education community and taking ownership of improvements and innovations in your preschool or child care programs, no matter what your role.

Steven Bonnay has a Bachelor of Arts from Brock University as well as an Early Childhood Education Diploma from Seneca College where he later worked as a Registered Early Childhood Educator. Kali Kan has a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Teaching from George Brown College where she later worked as a Registered Early Childhood Educator, in addition to working as a Research Intern at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. And Katelyn Vickers holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies from Ryerson University, as well as a diploma in Early Childhood Education from George Brown College; she has worked as a Registered Early Childhood Educator at a number of child care and early learning programs, including the YWCA.

To learn more about how you can flex your leadership muscle as a Preschool Teacher or Early Childhood Educator, tune into this episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Sep 06, 2016
Investing in affordable child care for all families

In this week’s episode we step out of the classroom setting to ponder over some bigger picture questions about child care accessibility and affordability. We explore the question of whether affordable, quality child care can be provided for all families, regardless of circumstances, and how that can come to be through effective policies, frameworks, systems and investment.

Our guest, Don Giesbrecht, is the CEO of the Canadian Child Care Federation and was formerly President of the Manitoba Child Care Federation. He’s also the father of two very active children and actively volunteers as a coach for his children’s various sports teams.

Aug 30, 2016
Implementing a balanced approach to learning

In this week’s episode we delve into the balanced learning approach, implemented in Primrose School franchises across the U.S.  As the name of the approach states, the emphasis of the curriculum is on balance, including the balance of play-based learning led by children’s natural curiosity, with guiding questions from educators to enable children to take their development to the next level.

Our guest, Dr. Gloria Julius, is the Vice President of Education & Professional Development at Primrose Schools, a forward-thinking, franchise-based early learning organization with over 325 locations across the U.S. She also has over 30 years of experience as a teacher and leader in the Maryland public school system.  If you’re interested in educational philosophies and approaches to curriculum then you’ll wanna stay tuned for this week’s episode of The Preschool Podcast!

Aug 23, 2016
Partnerships with families and outdoor playscapes

In this week’s episode we discuss the value of partnerships between educators and families. Many families are seeking a more active role in their children’s care and education and are challenging the notion of “teacher-as- expert”. We discuss why child care and early learning programs should embrace family involvement which will ultimately benefit not only families, but educators and children as well.  We also discuss the hot topic of outdoor play and how it is different than indoor play, delving into how it allows for high energy, exuberant play that improves both the physical and mental health of our young children.

Our guest, Lynn Wilson, is the author of several books in early childhood education, including ‘Partnerships: Families and Communities in Early Childhood’ and ‘Outdoor Playscapes: Breaking New Ground’. She is a mother of four children, an early childhood educator, and a former faculty member at George Brown College.  

Aug 15, 2016
Making time for passion-filled and high-payoff activities

In this week’s episode we chat with Kris Murray, Founder and President of Child Care Marketing Solutions, about how you need to make time for passion-filled activities that energize you as an Owner or Director of a preschool or child care organization.

Aug 09, 2016
Reggio Emilia approach and pedagogical documentation

In this week's episode, we explore what educators mean by a Reggio Emilia approach to early learning and how early childhood educators can use pedagogical documentation to enhance their own knowledge and development while improving learning outcomes for children. We speak with Diane Kashin, Professor of Early Childhood Education at Ryerson University in Toronto, Chair of the York Region Nature Collaborative.

Aug 02, 2016
Having a vision for child care business success

Today I speak with Julie Bartkus, the Founder of Child Care Business Success. Julie is all about VISION – having a vision and executing on it to create Positive, Productive and Profitable child care businesses. She’s been in the industry for over 17 years and has some really sensible strategies for improving the quality of child care programs with her approaches for child care business success. 

Jul 26, 2016
Creating a culture of community in your preschool

Today I speak with Debbi Sluys, the Director of Growing Together Family Resource Centre in Blenheim, Ontario. Deb has many years of experience in early childhood education and I thought she would be a great person to host on the podcast because in her years of experience she has the perspective from being a teacher on the ground to being the Director of a child care program with multiple locations. We talk about what has changed in early childhood education since she first started in the field and what has made Growing Together such a successful organization, in particular the progressive culture that encourages discussion, learning, leadership and a sense of community.

Jul 20, 2016