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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.

Apr 3, 2018

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>Resources in this episode:</p>
<p>- Word-for-word examples using <a href="http://www.zerotofive.net/language-of-listening-examples" target="_blank">Language of Listening® in specific scenarios</a></p>

Mar 27, 2018

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:
- www.brili.com

Mar 20, 2018

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 13, 2018

<p>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!</p>

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<p>Resources in this episode:</p>
<p>- Kris Murray's <a href="http://www.childcare-marketing.com/training-products/" target="_blank"></a>Training Programs, Courses and Books</p>
<p>- Child Care Marketing Strategies <a href="http://www.enrollmentbootcamp.com" target="_blank"></a>Enrollment Bootcamp</p>
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Mar 6, 2018

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.

<p>Resources in this episode:</p>
<p>- NAEYC's <a href="https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/initiatives/profession" target="_blank">Power to the Profession</a></p>
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Feb 27, 2018

<p>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. </p>

<p>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!</p>

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<p>Resources in this episode:</p>
<p>- Follow Alyson and Her Work <a href="http://alysonschafer.com/" target="_blank">on her website</a></p>
<p>- Buy Alyson's Book<a href="https://www.amazon.ca/Honey-Wrecked-Kids-Alyson-Schafer/dp/1443427780" target="_blank"> Honey I Wrecked The Kids</a></p>

Feb 20, 2018

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.


<p>Resources in this episode:</p>
<p>- Learn more about Abbie Lieberman's <a href="https://www.newamerica.org/our-people/abbie-lieberman/" target="_blank">work here</a></p>
<p>- New York Times Article -<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/magazine/why-are-our-most-important-teachers-paid-the-least.html" target="_blank"> Why are our most important teachers paid the least?</a></p>

Feb 13, 2018

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 6, 2018

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.

Jan 30, 2018

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 www.ecclacolorado.org

Jan 23, 2018

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 https://www.marciafervienza.com

Jan 16, 2018

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 9, 2018

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.

Resources

Find out more about Grounds for Play here.

Jan 2, 2018

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 http://www.gkff.org). 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.

Dec 26, 2017

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 19, 2017

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 12, 2017

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 5, 2017

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.

Nov 28, 2017

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 21, 2017

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.

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More about HiMama

Nov 14, 2017

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.

Resources

Find Out More About HiMama

Nov 7, 2017

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.

Resources

Check out Vicki's Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Find out more about HiMama's early childhood educator app

Oct 31, 2017

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.

Resources

Find Out More About HiMama

Oct 24, 2017

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. 

Resources

Find out more about HiMama's Childcare App.

 

Oct 17, 2017

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.

Resources

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

 

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