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The Preschool Podcast

The Preschool Podcast, by HiMama, is a platform for early childhood educators to share their experiences with their community. Each week, CEO of HiMama, Ron Spreeuwenberg, sits down with someone making a difference to improve learning outcomes for children in child care centers, preschools, daycares and anywhere else children ages 0 to 5 are learning their foundational skills that will last a lifetime.
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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.

Aug 29, 2017

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 22, 2017

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 15, 2017

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 8, 2017

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 1, 2017

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.

Jul 25, 2017

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 18, 2017

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 11, 2017

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 4, 2017

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 4, 2017

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.

Jun 27, 2017

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 20, 2017

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 13, 2017

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 6, 2017

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. 

May 30, 2017

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 23, 2017

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 16, 2017

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

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 9, 2017

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 2, 2017

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.

Apr 25, 2017

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 18, 2017

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 11, 2017

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 4, 2017

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 4, 2017

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.  

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