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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 child care, preschool or early years setting, The Preschool Podcast will provide you with inspiring and motivational stories, as well as practical advice for managing your organization, center or classroom. The goal of the The Preschool Podcast is to provide inspiration and knowledge 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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We release new episodes of The Preschool Podcast for all things Early Childhood Education every Tuesday!
Be sure to subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher to make sure you never miss an episode. Leave us a review if you find this useful and let us know if there's a topic you'd like us to interview someone about!
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Recent Episodes


Episode #69 - The Importance of Social-Emotional Learning | November 7, 2017
#69: Ron chats with 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 preschool and K-12 to define how we might implement a SEL program and not just use the taglines in our daily communications.
Episode Length: 26:40 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit The Importance of Social-Emotional Learning.


Episode #68 - Improving Student Cognition Through Interaction | October 31, 2017
#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.
Episode Length: 20:09 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Improving Student Cognition Through Interaction.


Episode #67 - Family at the Center of Innovation in Early Learning | October 24, 2017
#67: Lisa Guernsey, Director of Education Policy at New America, joins the Preschool Podcast to discuss the impact of technology use in family environments. 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 joins the Preschool Podcast to discuss the impact of technology use in family environments with practical decision-making tips for families and educators.
Episode Length: 23:54 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Family at the Center of Innovation in Early Learning.


Episode #66 - Motivate Staff Through Recognition and Empowerment | October 17, 2017
#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.
Episode Length: 29:57 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Motivate Staff Through Recognition and Empowerment.


Episode #65 - Relationships Relationships Relationships | October 10, 2017
#65:  Marilyn Ballard, Owner of ECE Solutions joins us this week to talk solutions to challenging behaviour. Ballard discusses the pyramid model for developing strong relationships and working culture in the classroom. If we master our dynamic environments, 80-85% of challenging behaviours can be addressed. What does this mean for Educators? When you develop a strong relationship with a child, you understand their triggers, their stresses, and their family conditions that help you resolve a challenging behavior. Teachers need to consider; "what is it about this child that is bothering me in this moment? What is truly going on here"? As Educators, we often alter our teaching approach to suit the needs of children - but what we're really doing is adapting our pedological style to create an environment that helps a child thrive. It's all about relationships.
Episode Length: 29:29 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Relationships Relationships Relationships.


Episode #64 - Be WUCA: Welcome, Understand, Comfort, Appreciate | October 3, 2017
#64 - Frank Spillers wants you to create a classroom environment where people (children, administrators, educators) can be engaged. "Be WUCA to yourself and the people you work with"
Episode Length: 25:10 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Be WUCA: Welcome, Understand, Comfort, Appreciate.


Episode #63 - Scaffolding and Discipline Without Punishment | September 26, 2017
#63: A huge percentage of the time, punishment is found to be a significant developmental problem for children long term. Punishment is damaging to children. How can we train children to have better behaviours without punishing them. Jack believes that being disapointed in a child is punishing them. all behaviour in children is what they've learned - so when you're disapointed or upset with them, you need to figure out what that child learned poorly and investigate that. "Learning doesn't happen overnight". How can we as Educators approach disipline differently? "Firstly, Early Childhood Educators need to take care of themselves first."
Episode Length: 22:00 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Scaffolding and Discipline Without Punishment.


Episode #62 - How to Teach What You Love | September 19, 2017
#62: Ron chats with Jarred Geller about his organization Punk Rock Preschool. Punk Rock Preschool is all about unleashing the incredible potential in your students. It's about exposing your classroom to the magnificent world we live in so your students can find their own interests and set off on their own paths! Punk Rock Preschool is the start of a life-long, never-ending adventure to learn and grow. Jarred has seen incredible results in his classroom and it all stems from believing in your students. "And as teachers, we know we must show them we believe in them, not just tell them. So how do you show your students you believe they can accomplish anything? By challenging them and pushing them and supporting them to accomplish anything! When you do, they will surpass even your most ambitious dreams and expectations."
Episode Length: 24:20 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit How to Teach What You Love.


Episode #61 - Tech in the Early Years: Attitudes and Intentionality | September 12, 2017
#61: Ron chats with Chip Donohue, Director, Technology in Early Childhood Center about intentionality and digital media use. Specifically, Donohue explores why while there can be systemic challenges to technology use in education and in our own families, ultimately we can have a positive relationship with our children, devices, and apps.
Episode Length: 27:20 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Tech in the Early Years: Attitudes and intentionality.


Episode #60 - Empower Teachers with Creative Leadership | September 05, 2017
On episode 60, we interview Ruth Churchill Dower, Director of Earlyarts, an award-winning creative training network for early childhood professionals. We learn about her passion for incorporating creativity both in the classroom and in educational leadership. Our conversation focuses on the impact of the arts in supporting early development, how teachers can approach early learning more creatively and what leadership can do to support meaningful professional development in the sector.
Episode Length: 25:30 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Empower teachers with creative leadership.


Episode #59 - Leading as a Learning Process | August 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 focuses on the skills and mindset to be a good leader.
Episode Length: 20:30 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Leading as a learning process.


Episode #58 - Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf Curriculum | August 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.
Episode Length: 25:30 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf curriculum.


Episode #57 - Universal Child Care and its Possibilities in Canada | August 16, 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.
Episode Length: 20:30 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Universal child care and its possibilities in Canada.


Episode #56 - Taking Control of Your Early Childhood Career | August 8, 2017
On episode 56 of the show, we interview Belinda Costin from OAEYC. She talks with us about how joining the right association can help early childhood educators find like-minded people that can act as a support-system when navigating the many challenges in the role. She offers actionable steps to find and / or build a community by being proactive about professional growth. Studies have found that a positive team mentality, founded on the relationships that people have with their peers and superiors, is highly correlated with teacher retention in the high-turnover sector of early childhood education.
Episode Length: 22:30 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Taking control of your early childhood career.


Episode #55 - Circle of Security and Attachment Theory | August 1, 2017
On episode 55 of the show, we interview Melissa Grant, sleep consultant and coach from Melbourne, Australia. We learn that babies use their relationships with their main caregiver to create expectations about themselves and how they relate to others as they grow. In our conversation, Mel talks 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.
Episode Length: 20:25 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Circle of Security and attachment theory.


Episode #54 - Improv-Based Play Support for Challenging Behavior | July 25, 2017
On episode 54 of the show, we interview Barb O’Neill, Early Childhood Trainer and Consultant specializing in challenging behavior. Studies have found that 10-30% of children display challenging behavior and it is of 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.
Episode Length: 19:40 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Improv-based play support for challenging behavior.


Episode #53 - Pre-Reading Skills in a Play-Based Curriculum | July 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.
Episode Length: 22:40 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Pre-reading skills in a play-based curriculum.


Episode #52 - Shared Services for Pedagogical and Business Leadership | July 11, 2017
On 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.
Episode Length: 22:40 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Shared services for pedagogical and business leadership.


Episode #51 - Leadership for Better Early Childhood Outcomes | July 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 to ECEs that are new to the field.
Episode Length: 30:25 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Leadership for better early childhood outcomes.


Episode #50 - Data-Driven Early Childhood Education Advocacy | June 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.
Episode Length: 31:20 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Data-driven early childhood education advocacy.


Episode #49 - Research-based Professional Development | June 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.
Episode Length: 29:20 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Research-based professional development.


Episode #48 - Yoga in preschool for social emotional development | June 14, 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.
Episode Length: 20:33 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Yoga in preschool for social emotional development.


Episode #47 - The Science behind Sleep and Brain Development in the Formative Years | June 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.
Episode Length: 24:07 minutes

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


Episode #46 - Supporting Men in Child Care | May 30, 2017
On episode 46 of the show, we talk about the importance of supporting men in child care with Soren Gall, Infant/Toddler specialist at Denver's Early Childhood Council. Soren is one of the founders of the Men in Child Care 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. His way of doing that is to foster a community where men in the profession can come together to have productive conversations about their experiences.
Episode Length: 17:25 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Supporting men in child care.


Episode #45 - Authentic Core Values in an Organization | 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, an organization that provides books to under-resourced childcare sites and offers early literacy workshops to educators and parents in Tucson, Arizona.  In our conversation, we talk about the team effort involved in developing meaningful core values and how upholding them is a process of conscious reflection.  Make Way for Books believes in empowerment and applies it to every aspect of their work, especially when it comes to the communities that they serve.
Episode Length: 25:30 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Authentic core values in an organization.


Episode #44 - The Power of Emotional Intelligence in Early Childhood Education | 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.
Episode Length: 45:25 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit The power of emotional intelligence in early childhood education.


Episode #43 - Nurturing a Growth Mindset in Young Children | 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.
Episode Length: 17:09 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Nurturing a growth mindset in young children.


Episode #42 - Music for Holistic Child Development | 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 and 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.
Episode Length: 20:11 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Music for holistic child development.


Episode #41 - Impactful Advocacy for Child Care| April 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 CACoA. 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 it is crucial for educators to speak up and become the voice for better outcomes for children.
Episode Length: 19:53 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Impactful advocacy for child care.


Episode #40 - Leading for Children by EmB7CFDBing Teachers | April 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.
Episode Length: 22:30 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Leading for children by empowering teachers.


Episode #39 - Intentional Teaching Practices for Emotional Development | April 11, 2017
On episode 39 of the show, we talk about emotional development with Linda Augusto, Early Education and Care Lecturer from TAFE Higher Education. 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 and thus building strong, healthy relationships.
Episode Length: 26:27 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Intentional teaching practices for emotional development.


Episode #38 - Rethinking Research in Early Childhood Education | April 4, 2017
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 active participants that work alongside children and their families to learn more about early childhood development, rather than studying them objectively.
Episode Length: 27:25 minutes

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


Episode #37 - Social Enterprise as an Early Years Business Model | March 28, 2017
On episode 37 of the Preschool Podcast, we discuss the implementation 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.
Episode Length: 25:25 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Social enterprise as an early years business model.


Episode #36 - The Body-Mind Connection in Early Childhood Education | March 21, 2017
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.
Episode Length: 22:51 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit The body mind connection in early childhood education.


Episode #35 - Men in Child Care as a Right for Children | March 14, 2017
On episode 35 of the Preschool Podcast, we discuss the inclusion of men in child care 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 child care, 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.
Episode Length: 25:26 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Men in child care as a right for children.


Episode #34 - Parent Communication Technology as a Marketing Tool | March 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.
Episode Length: 28:10 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Parent communication technology as a marketing tool.


Episode #33 - Teaching Children Through Play | February 28, 2017
On episode 33 of the Preschool Podcast, we discuss 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.
Episode Length: 27:19 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Teaching children through play.


Episode #32 - Affecting Change Through Leadership | February 21, 2017
In this week’s episode, we discuss how to affect change to advance the accessibility of quality child care for all children. Today, we are really excited to be in conversation with Dr. Lynette M. 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 child care as a profession and discuss how educators can harness their passion to be leaders and create awareness for the field.
Episode Length: 28:42 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Affecting change through leadership.


Episode #31 - Developing Relationships with Children and Their Families| February 14, 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.
Episode Length: 23:43 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Developing relationships with children and their families.


Episode #30 - Sustained Shared Thinking for Meaningful Conversations | February 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.
Episode Length: 25.09 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Sustained shared thinking for more meaningful conversations with children.


Episode #29 - Applying Conscious Discipline for a Positive Impact Within Children | January 30, 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.
Episode Length: 27:55 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Applying Conscious Discipline for a positive impact within children.


Episode #28 - Creating Alignment in Planning and Teaching | January 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.
Episode Length: 30:01 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Creating alignment in planning and teaching.


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 Cork, 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

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Importance of accessible resources for child care professionals.


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 and White in Birmingham, Alabama. She has also since recounted her childhood in her memoir, ‘More Than A Bird’.
Episode Length: 29:28 minutes

Would you like to read the transcript for this episode? Visit Impact of high quality pre-k programs.


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 Child Care | October 25, 2016
In this week’s episode we discuss the complex issue of managing immigrant and refugee children in the child care 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 child care 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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