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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.

Mar 28, 2017

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 21, 2017

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 14, 2017

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 7, 2017

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.  

Feb 28, 2017

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 ABCdoes.com 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 21, 2017

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 13, 2017

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 6, 2017

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.

Jan 29, 2017

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 23, 2017

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 16, 2017

In this week’s episode, we learn about improving the quality of child care through creating professional learning communities with our first international guest, Wendy Oke from Ireland.

In this insightful conversation, we talk about the inspiration behind KazooCare.com, a soon-to-be online community where parents, teachers and early learning advocates can empower each other through making quality resources and mentorship accessible.

We also focus on the importance of investing in our teachers through supporting them and increasing the appreciation for early childhood education by starting conversations.  This is all so that children, no matter who they are or where they are from can have access to a quality education.     

If you’re a parent, an educator or an advocate looking for inspiration on how to support our teachers then stay tuned for this episode of the preschool podcast!

Jan 9, 2017

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 3, 2017

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!

Dec 22, 2016

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 14, 2016

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 13, 2016

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 6, 2016

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!

Nov 28, 2016

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 20, 2016

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 14, 2016

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 6, 2016

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 1, 2016

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!

Oct 25, 2016

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 17, 2016

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 11, 2016

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!

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