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The Preschool Podcast

The Preschool Podcast, by HiMama, is a platform for learning from leaders in early childhood education. If you work in a child care or preschool setting, the podcast will provide you with practical advice and thought-leadership for all things early education.
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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.

Jun 18, 2019

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.

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Jun 11, 2019

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.

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Jun 4, 2019

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.

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May 28, 2019

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.

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May 21, 2019

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.

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May 14, 2019

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.  

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May 7, 2019

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!

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Apr 30, 2019

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.

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Apr 23, 2019

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.

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Apr 16, 2019

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 9, 2019

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.

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Apr 2, 2019

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.

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Mar 26, 2019

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.

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Mar 19, 2019

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.    

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Mar 12, 2019

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.

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Mar 5, 2019

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.

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Feb 26, 2019

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. 

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Feb 19, 2019

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. 

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Feb 12, 2019

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.

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Feb 5, 2019

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.  

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Jan 29, 2019

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.  

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Jan 21, 2019

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. 

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Jan 15, 2019

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!

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Jan 8, 2019

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.

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Jan 1, 2019

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.

 

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