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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.

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.    

Resources mentioned:

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.

Resources mentioned:

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.

Resources mentioned:

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. 

Resources mentioned:

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. 

Resources mentioned:

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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Dec 25, 2018

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 18, 2018

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 ercan@rowan.edu

Dec 11, 2018

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.

 

Resources:

Reach Cathy at cwgrace@olemiss.edu

Dec 4, 2018

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:

Nov 27, 2018

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.

 

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Nov 20, 2018

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 13, 2018

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 6, 2018

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.

Oct 30, 2018

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 23, 2018

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 15, 2018

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 9, 2018

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 2, 2018

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.

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