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The Preschool Podcast: For Leaders in Early Childhood Education

The Preschool Podcast: For Leaders in Early Childhood Education

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. 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.
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The Preschool Podcast for all things Early Childhood Education will be released every Tuesday!
Be sure to subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher to make sure you never miss an episode.

Recent Episodes


Episode #27 - Importance of accessible resources for child care professionals | January 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.
Episode Length: 20:47 minutes




Episode #26 - Impact of high-quality pre-k programs | January 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 a 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’.
Episode Length: 29:28 minutes




Episode #25 - Recruiting and developing top talent | January 2, 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.
Episode Length: 37:27 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Recruiting and developing top talent.


Episode #24 - Making time for culture in your preschool | December 26, 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.
Episode Length: 25:30 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Making time for culture in your preschool.


Episode #23 - Role of regulatory bodies in early childhood education | December 19, 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.
Episode Length: 28:02 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Role of regulatory bodies in early childhood education.


Episode #22 - Science behind language development | December 12, 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.
Episode Length: 28:21 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Science behind language development.


Episode #21 - Learning the language of music | December 5, 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.
Episode Length: 22:02 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Learning the language of music.


Episode #20 - Challenging behavior in young children | November 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. 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.
Episode Length: 31:54 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Challenging behavior in young children.


Episode #19 - Advocating for early childhood education | November 21, 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.
Episode Length: 24:02 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Advocating for early childhood education.


Episode #18 - Reflective practices to challenge your beliefs | November 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.
Episode Length: 33:34 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Reflective practices to challenge your beliefs.


Episode #17 - Sharing your educational learnings online | November 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.
Episode Length: 42:08 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Sharing your educational learnings online.


Episode #16 - Taking action to mobilize change for early childhood educators | November 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.
Episode Length: 29:07 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Taking action to mobilize change for early childhood educators.


Episode #15 - Immigrant and refugee children in childcare | October 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.
Episode Length: 29:30 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Immigrant and refugee children in childcare.


Episode #14 - Inclusive preschool environments for LGBTQ families | October 18, 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.
Episode Length: 27:57 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Inclusive preschool environments for LGBTQ families.


Episode #13 - Preschool technology and marketing trends | October 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.
Episode Length: 41:37 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Preschool technology and marketing trends.


Episode #12 - Empowering preschool teachers with leadership opportunities | October 4, 2016
In this week’s episode we talk about mentorship and teacher empowerment in the childcare setting with the Director of Education at Childcare Network, Jaime Rechkemmer. Childcare Network is the fourth largest provider of daycare and early learning services in America, based in Columbus, Georgia. They are providing opportunities for childcare staff to take on a leadership role in their center through the Education Co-ordinator position. We also discuss the importance of taking professional development learnings and applying them in the classroom.
Episode Length: 40:00 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Empowering preschool teachers with leadership opportunities.


Episode #11 - Speaking out for preschool teachers | September 27, 2016
In this week’s episode we discuss the profession of being a preschool teacher – all the wonderful things about it, as well as the challenges that come with it. Our guest, Ashley Preston, is the 2016 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year and is an active preschool teacher at Parker Varney Elementary School in Manchester, New Hampshire. A quote directly from her 2016 Teacher of the Year application sums up her views best, “Preschool students are often underestimated and I feel fortunate that I can be their voice, help them gain the recognition they deserve and prove their learning is valuable no matter what it looks like from the outside.”
Episode Length: 33:52 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Speaking out for preschool teachers.


Episode #10 - Emergent curriculum and inquiry based practices | September 20, 2016
In this week’s episode we dive into emergent curriculum and inquiry-based practices with early childhood education specialist and author Susan Stacey. Susan tells us what emergent curriculum means, how an early childhood educator can best go about learning it for application in the classroom and also how administrators can enable an environment that supports a dynamic curriculum that is responsive, intentional and full of possibilities.
Episode Length: 39:02 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Emergent curriculum and inquiry based practices.


Episode #9 - The science behind early brain development | September 13, 2016
In this week’s episode we host Deborah McNelis, an early brain development specialist and founder of Brain Insights, to talk about the science behind why preschool is so important. We delve into some detail about brain development from birth to age five and discuss how this deeper understanding benefits preschool teachers and other early childhood educators when collaborating with children in the classroom.
Episode Length: 34:00 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit The science behind early brain development.


Episode #8 - Flexing your leadership muscle as a Preschool Teacher | September 6, 2016
In this week’s episode we have a conversation with a panel of Early Childhood Educators with experience inside the classroom, as well as outside the classroom as Community Advisors with HiMama. We discuss the importance of taking the initiative to stay involved in the early childhood education community and taking ownership of improvements and innovations in your preschool or child care programs, no matter what your role. Steven Bonnay has a Bachelor of Arts from Brock University as well as an Early Childhood Education Diploma from Seneca College where he later worked as a Registered Early Childhood Educator. Kali Kan has a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Teaching from George Brown College where she later worked as a Registered Early Childhood Educator, in addition to working as a Research Intern at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. And Katelyn Vickers holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies from Ryerson University, as well as a diploma in Early Childhood Education from George Brown College; she has worked as a Registered Early Childhood Educator at a number of child care and early learning programs, including the YWCA.
Episode Length: 25:23 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Flexing your leadership muscle as a Preschool Teacher.


Episode #7 - Investing in affordable child care for all families | August 30, 2016
In this week’s episode we step out of the classroom setting to ponder over some bigger picture questions about child care accessibility and affordability. We explore the question of whether affordable, quality child care can be provided for all families, regardless of circumstances, and how that can come to be through effective policies, frameworks, systems and investment. Our guest, Don Giesbrecht, is the CEO of the Canadian Child Care Federation and was formerly President of the Manitoba Child Care Association. He’s also the father of two very active children and actively volunteers as a coach for his children’s various sports teams.
Episode Length: 42:36 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Investing in affordable child care for all families.


Episode #6 - Implementing a balanced approach to learning | August 23, 2016
In this week’s episode we delve into the balanced learning approach, implemented in Primrose School franchises across the U.S. As the name of the approach states, the emphasis of the curriculum is on balance, including the balance of play-based learning led by children’s natural curiosity, with guiding questions from educators to enable children to take their development to the next level. Our guest, Dr. Gloria Julius, is the Vice President of Education & Professional Development at Primrose Schools, a forward-thinking, franchise-based early learning organization with over 325 locations across the U.S. She also has over 30 years of experience as a teacher and leader in the Maryland public school system.
Episode Length: 34:01 minutes



Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Implementing a balanced approach to learning.


Episode #5 - Partnerships with families and outdoor playscapes | August 15, 2016
In this week’s episode, we discuss the value of partnerships between educators and families. Many parents are seeking a more active role in their children’s care and education and are challenging the notion of “teacher-as-expert”. We discuss why child care and early learning programs should embrace family involvement which ultimately benefits not only caregivers but also educators and children. We discuss the hot topic of outdoor play and how it differs from indoor play, delving into how it enables high-energy, exuberant play that improves both the physical and mental health of young children. Our guest, Lynn Wilson, is the author of several books in early childhood education, including 'Partnerships: Families and Communities in Early Childhood' and 'Outdoor Playscapes: Breaking New Ground'. She is a mother of four children, an early childhood educator, and a former faculty member at George Brown College.

Episode Length: 32:09 minutes


Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Partnerships with families and outdoor playscapes.


Episode #4 - Making time for passion-filled and high-payoff activities | August 9, 2016
In this week’s episode we chat with Kris Murray, Founder and President of Child Care Marketing Solutions, about how you need to make time for passion-filled activities that energize you as an owner or director of a preschool or child care organization. She gets to the deep question of what drives you to do what you do to get back in tune with your life purpose to energize yourself and your staff. This means being purposeful about making the time to do these important activities, both for yourself and for your business, and holding yourself accountable for it. She gets to the deep question of what drives you to do what you do to get back in tune with your life purpose to energize yourself and your staff. This means being purposeful about making the time to do these important activities, both for yourself and for your business, and holding yourself accountable for it.

Episode Length: 31:42 minutes


Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Making time for passion-filled and high-payoff activities.


Episode #3 - Reggio Emilia approach and pedagogical documentation | August 2, 2016
In this week's episode, we explore what educators mean by a Reggio Emilia approach to early learning and how early childhood educators can use pedagogical documentation to enhance their own knowledge and development while improving learning outcomes for children. We speak with Diane Kashin, Professor of Early Childhood Education at Ryerson University in Toronto, Chair of the York Region Nature Collaborative. Diane brings a wealth of knowledge about Reggio-Emilia learning and pedagogical approaches that you won’t want to miss out on.

Episode Length: 40:01 minutes


Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Reggio Emilia approach & pedagogical documentation.


Episode #2 - Having a vision for child care business success | July 26, 2016
Today I speak with Julie Bartkus, the Founder of Child Care Business Success. Julie is all about vision – having a vision and executing on it to create Positive, Productive and Profitable child care businesses. She’s been in the industry for over 17 years and has some really sensible strategies for improving the quality of child care programs with her approaches for child care business success.
Episode Length: 33:09 minutes


Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Having a vision for child care business success.


Episode #1 - Creating a culture of community in your preschool | July 19, 2016
Today I speak with Debbi Sluys, Director of Growing Together Family Resource Centre in Blenheim, Ontario. Deb has many years of experience in early childhood education and I thought she would be a great person to host on the podcast because in her years of experience she has the perspective from being a teacher on the ground to being the Director of a child care program with multiple locations. We talk about what has changed in early childhood education since she first started in the field and what has made Growing Together such a successful organization, in particular the progressive culture that encourages discussion, learning, leadership and a sense of community.
Episode Length: 34:16 minutes


Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Creating a culture of community in your preschool.


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