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The Big Hearted Podcast

Author: Victoria Edmond

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The Big Hearted Podcast has been created for educators to find inspiration and gather ideas for their own educational practice and to help broaden their perspectives on all aspects from education and care practices, to business and balancing their lives.

Victoria Edmond has been involved with early years education for well over a decade. She has been the managing Director of Rainbow Bridge Family Day Care since 2012, and branched out with business partners Marta Koncz and Jess Thomas to create Big Hearted Education.

After seeing how educators had difficulties with understanding the programming requirements, felt isolated and unsupported in their role, and had at times very little business guidance, they set about creating courses and resources to help educators feel confident in their own abilities.

The Big Hearted Podcast is released weekly and features solo episodes from Victoria, as well as interviews with educators and specialists who can help educators to look at their business from a unique perspective.
59 Episodes
Episode Summary: In today’s episode, I tackle the contentious issue of whether family day care services should disclose their financial breakdown to educators. Triggered by recent posts from educators questioning service fees, I dive deep into the complexities and challenges faced by service providers. Key Points Discussed: The Importance of Understanding Fees: I've previously recorded episodes about setting fees and the importance of educators knowing their fees. Links to these episodes will be shared in today’s stories. Initial Reaction to Fee Questions: I express my frustration at posts asking about service fees. I question the motive behind these posts and emphasise the potential misunderstandings and animosity they can create. Educators’ Earning Potential vs. Service Providers: I compare educators' potential earnings to the income of service providers. Discussing the lack of funding for services and the financial sacrifices made by service providers. Operational Costs and Confidentiality: I break down various operational costs and financial obligations of services. Highlighting the importance of maintaining confidentiality regarding staff salaries and financial details. Strategic and Competitive Considerations: The need for services to maintain a competitive edge and protect strategic priorities. Balancing transparency with protecting information that could undermine service operations. Focus on Outcomes and Quality: Shifting the focus from granular financial details to the quality and outcomes of services provided. Examples of investments in professional development and community involvement. Regulatory Compliance and Operational Efficiency: Explanation of regulatory requirements and the necessity for services to be financially accountable. Discussing the challenges and resource intensiveness of preparing detailed financial reports. Addressing Educators' Concerns: I acknowledge the valid concerns of educators but urge them to consider the broader perspective and complexities faced by service providers. Emphasising the need for respect, compassion, and unity within the family day care community. Final Thoughts: I call for greater understanding and collaboration between educators and service providers. I encourage listeners to voice their thoughts and engage in respectful dialogue about the issues discussed.
The Art and Science of Play Welcome to a very special episode of the Big-Hearted Podcast! Today, we're diving into the Play and Programming Summit, designed to revolutionise your approach to early childhood education. Join us as we explore the incredible insights and practical strategies from our expert speakers. Episode Highlights: Day 1: The Benefits of Play Cognitive Development: Dave Jareb, an occupational therapist, discusses how play enhances brain function and growth. Playfulness: Reflecting on the importance of maintaining a playful attitude in both personal and professional life. Risky Play: Nicole and Tash from Inspired Family Daycare share how to manage and encourage risky play, ensuring emotional safety and development. Day 2: Simplifying Programming Back to Basics: Tips on making programming simpler and more effective by focusing on what truly matters. Expert Insights: Stephanie Hoey, reigning Educator of the Year, provides a step-by-step guide to reframing your approach to programming. Setting Boundaries: Psychologist Leanne Tran emphasises the importance of boundaries and how saying "no" can positively impact children’s growth. Day 3: Integrating Play and Programming Documentation: Learn from various educators about the best ways to document and observe children’s play. Human Design: Sam McCoy introduces the concept of human design and its application in creating a suitable environment for children. Practical Life Skills: Simone Pearson and Claire Warden from Children of the Wilderness highlight using practical life as a springboard for programming. Key Takeaways: Emotional Safety: Understanding and addressing emotional risks in children’s play. Community and Connection: The significance of fostering a sense of community and emotional safety through play. Creativity and Critical Thinking: Encouraging creativity and problem-solving skills in children. Stress Reduction: The role of play in reducing stress and anxiety for children. Additional Resources: Seasonal Planning Sessions: Included in the VIP ticket for practical, hands-on planning assistance. Books and Websites: Recommended by our speakers for further reading and inspiration. Join the Conversation: Participate in our nightly Q&A sessions with speakers, and stand a chance to win amazing prizes like membership access and planner sets. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your practice and connect with like-minded educators. We look forward to seeing you at the Play and Programming Summit!
Welcome to a pivotal discussion on financial empowerment in family day care. In today's episode, we address the often daunting task of setting fees that accurately reflect the value of the services provided. Our focus isn't just on the numbers, but on the fundamental respect and worth that every educator should command. What You'll Learn: Understanding Your Costs: How to calculate the real cost of opening your doors every day, including unexpected expenses like renovations or increased utility rates. Business Mindset: Transitioning from informal fee-setting to a structured, business-like approach to financial management within your day care. Investment and Recovery: Strategies for spreading significant expenses over time to avoid fee spikes while still planning for financial sustainability. Value Your Worth: Encouraging educators to set fees based on their unique offerings and expertise, rather than undervaluing their services to match market norms. Comprehensive Expense Planning: Including taxes, superannuation, sick and annual leave in your fee structure to ensure a well-rounded financial strategy. Encouragement to Educators: Emphasising the importance of not undercharging, which can hinder the financial and professional growth of educators. Featured Insights: Valuing Your Service: Recognise and charge for the value you add through experience, professional development, and quality of care. Personal Stories and Experiences: Real-life scenarios that highlight the emotional and practical challenges of fee-setting in family day care. Empowering Women in Business: Discussing the broader implications of financial empowerment for women in the early childhood education sector. Whether you're new to setting fees or looking to refine your approach, this episode offers essential strategies to ensure your family day care thrives financially and ethically. Join us for a robust conversation that aims not just at sustaining your business, but elevating the quality of early childhood education. Resources Mentioned: Profitable FDC Course: Dive deeper into profitable strategies specific to family day care. Kickstarter Course: A free resource for educators starting in fee management and resource budgeting. You can find them here: Courses Here For more insights and support in running your family day care as a flourishing business, visit Big Hearted Education. Tags: #bigheartededucation, #bigheartedpodcast, #FDC, #FDCeducator, #WomenInBusiness, #ECEFinance Tune in, charge your worth, and transform your educational space into a thriving, sustainable business.
In this deeply moving episode of the Big Hearted Education Podcast, Michelle McLaughlin, founder of the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation, shares the heart-wrenching story of her family's loss which led to the creation of a vital road safety initiative. As family day care educators and parents, understanding and implementing practical road safety measures can save lives. Key Discussion Points: Origin of Little Blue Dinosaur: Born from tragedy, the foundation aims to promote road safety awareness, especially in holiday areas lacking infrastructure. Personal Journey: Michelle's personal story and the circumstances that led to the tragic loss of her son, highlighting the importance of vigilance and education in road safety. Road Safety Awareness: The importance of discussing and adjusting to different environments when travelling or staying in less familiar areas. Developmental Considerations: Insights into the cognitive, physical, and perceptual limitations of children up to ten years old, emphasising why children require close supervision and hand-holding near roadways. Educational Strategies: For educators and parents, the vital role of direct supervision and physical restraints such as hand-holding to prevent accidents. Infrastructure and Community Safety: The need for improved safety measures in public spaces, especially in holiday destinations and residential areas. Foundation Initiatives: Projects and resources offered by the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation to enhance road safety education. Michelle's Takeaway Message: The loss of a child is an unimaginable tragedy, but Michelle’s story teaches us the critical importance of being proactive about road safety. By educating both children and adults about the hazards and safety measures associated with roadways, driveways, and holiday environments, we can prevent such tragedies. For More Information: Visit the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation at Educators and parents are encouraged to explore the site for resources and support materials designed to enhance road safety awareness among children. Join Us: If you’re touched by this episode, consider supporting the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation’s initiatives or incorporate their educational materials into your family day care programs.
Hello, and a warm welcome to our latest episode (yes, a tad delayed, and that’s okay). Today’s about being comfortable with where you’re at, and the face we present to the world. What’s Inside: Heartfelt thoughts on self-recognition and authenticity in our professional journey. The unexpected wisdom from accountability calls with our business coach, Tina, and the perspective shift courtesy of a newcomer, Kate. A reflective take on the ‘Embodied Me’ program and the game-changing morning routine it promotes. An honest admission of how we often mislabel ourselves as ‘procrastinators’ and the reality check provided by our peers. Insights from a fellow educator’s quote, “My thoughts are not facts,” and its profound relevance to our self-narrative. Real examples showing how action trumps the procrastination tag every time. The importance of seeking help to fill in our skill gaps instead of letting fear paralyse us. An empowering note on rewriting our self-imposed stories that limit our potential in areas like programming or staying organised amid family chaos. Strategies to enhance what we wish to see in ourselves rather than magnifying our shortcomings. Outro: Let’s shake off the labels we’ve self-assigned and embrace the extraordinary people we are. You’re entitled to happiness and loving your life – it’s in your hands. So, go out there and seize the day with all the splendour you deserve.
Fuel Up Your Life with Sammy Jaeger Episode Overview: Today's episode welcomes the delightful Sammy Jaeger, an entrepreneur, integrator coach, speaker, and author in the making. Fresh from the Her Empire Builder conference, Sammy shares her insights on self-care, empowerment, and the importance of fueling one's life by design. Key Takeaways: Fueling Your Own Life: Sammy advocates for the necessity of meeting one's own needs first. She discusses the impact of relationships on life quality and the significant role each individual plays in creating a better world, aligning with the UN global goals. Sammy’s Heart Story: After reaching a crossroads in life and experiencing burnout, Sammy chose to redefine her life, leading her from a global team leader to an entrepreneur. She reveals her "fueled up" life approach and her passion for proactive living. Living Aligned with Values: Sammy and Vic discuss the importance of living a life that is deeply aligned with one's values and how it reflects on everyday actions and decisions. They explore the challenges and societal norms around gender roles and expectations in early childhood education. Commitment to Movement: Sammy shares her dedication to daily movement through an interesting anecdote about her commitment to closing the rings on her Apple Watch. Thinking Time: The significance of having time to think, reflect, and be with one's own thoughts is highlighted as a crucial aspect of being a thought leader and an educator. UN Global Goals: The conversation pivots to Sammy's advocacy for the UN Global Goals and how businesses, including family daycare educators, can contribute to making a difference. Invitation to Reflect: Sammy extends an invitation for listeners to conduct a self-reflection exercise using a worksheet available on her website. Guest Bio: Sammy Jaeger is a business dynamo and advocate for individual empowerment. After a pivotal moment in her career, she embarked on a journey to fuel her life with purpose and now assists others in doing the same. Memorable Quote: "Fueling up isn’t just a practice, it’s a way of living that brings out the best in you, in all areas of life." - Sammy Jaeger Call to Action: Listeners are encouraged to engage in self-reflection to evaluate and improve various aspects of their lives, leading to a more balanced and fulfilled existence. Resources Mentioned: UN Global Goals Video Tank Check Worksheet- Connect with Sammy: Website: Instagram: @Sammisomewhere
In today's episode, we look at the intricate dance of owning your business versus being owned by it. I speak into the essential nature of strategic planning for the health of your family daycare business. The lack of planned holidays, financial foresight, and daily structure are tell-tale signs of a business running you, rather than the other way around. I touch upon the beneficial impact of disciplined planning, sharing personal anecdotes of how a coach significantly shifted my approach to business. I reflect on the perils of burnout and the refreshing clarity that comes from sound financial planning, including budgeting for taxes and superannuation. I discuss the concept of being the CEO of your own life and how adopting a business mogul's mindset, even in a small-scale operation, can lead to exceptional outcomes. The session delves into the practical steps needed to move from chaotic multitasking to efficient, batched work processes, thereby enabling a more profound professional and personal satisfaction. Moreover, we explore the importance of tracking and measuring your activities to not only improve your business operations but also to enhance your professional development. This discipline allows you to be present and curious in your role, deepening your understanding of child development and enriching the learning experiences you provide. I challenge you to view your business from a higher vantage point, recognising areas lacking discipline and seeking to understand the unknowns. I share that the power of accountability in owning your business and ensuring it doesn't own you.
Welcome to the Big-Hearted Podcast. In today's episode, we have the pleasure of hearing from the vibrant and insightful Melissa DeCastro, an early childhood educator from Canada. As a mother of three and a veteran in the field of early education, Melissa shares her wealth of experience, spanning nearly two decades. We delve into the nurturing world of 'Forest Kinder' in Canada, the trials faced during COVID-19, and the universal challenges that seem to resonate with early childhood educators across the globe. Melissa, a passionate advocate for the 'back to basics' method, sheds light on the intricacies and pressures of running a licensed childcare center. She candidly discusses staff burnout, frustrated families, and the ever-increasing demands of management and ministry requirements. Her mission is to inject joy back into early education, a sentiment deeply shared by educators everywhere. This episode is a testament to the global community of educators who strive to maintain the delicate balance of teaching and caring for our children against the backdrop of a demanding and often underappreciated profession. Melissa's journey from owning a childcare centre to becoming a childcare consultant exemplifies innovation and adaptability—traits central to our big-hearted community. Join us as we explore the importance of returning joy to early childhood education and rekindle our commitment to the authentic, child-centric approach that honors every child's unique developmental journey. Connect with Melissa and follow her remarkable work on social media here: Embrace the shared wisdom and let's continue to support each other in our big-hearted journey towards an even more connected and innovative early childhood education sector.
Dealing with Trolls

Dealing with Trolls


Welcome to the Big Hearted Podcast. Today, I'm venturing into the often-sensitive territory of dealing with criticism and feedback within our family daycare community. I'll be sharing my personal and professional experiences on how to turn potentially hurtful comments into opportunities for growth and innovation. In This Episode: The Sting of Criticism: I address the sting of receiving negative feedback and how it can leave us questioning ourselves. I discuss how to bounce back and use this as an opportunity for improvement and self-discovery. Controversy as a Catalyst: I open up about my own run-ins with controversy and the defensive reactions they've spurred. Learn how I've used these instances not to provoke but to encourage reflection and a deeper understanding of different viewpoints. Curiosity in the Face of Change: I'll talk you through a moment in my practice where I was challenged to adapt and the self-inquiry that followed. Understand the value of staying curious and open to innovation in our practices, even when it's uncomfortable. Vulnerability and Connection: Taking inspiration from Brené Brown, I explore the power of vulnerability and its essential role in building connections and fostering a sense of community within the family daycare setting. The Trials of Online Presence During COVID: I'll take you through my experiences with managing a large online community during the pandemic, the issues that came with it, and the importance of standing by your values. Handling Trolling: Discover my approach to navigating online negativity and maintaining integrity, even when faced with the challenge of trolls. Creating Your Supportive Network: I'll discuss the significance of finding your tribe – a community that supports you constructively and helps you grow even through challenging times. Resources for Educators: Curious about joining the Essential Elements: Links to my in-depth course on nurturing deeply connected relationships within family daycare settings can be found here. Beyond the Basics Course: Details on registration for the course starting on 11th March are available – join me for an experience that promises to take your practice beyond the basics.
In this week's episode, we dive into the journey of Rachel Smith, a remarkable family day care (FDC) educator with a story that resonates with resilience, passion, and the transformative power of adversity. Rachel's path from experiencing a career-threatening challenge to becoming a beacon of hope and innovation for FDC educators across Australia is a testament to the strength and potential within the FDC community. Key Highlights: Rachel's Personal Journey: From starting as a live-in nanny in 2007 to overcoming health challenges and finding her calling in family daycare, Rachel's story is one of overcoming adversity through adaptability and resilience. Advocacy Through Adversity: After an abrupt end to her contract with a service provider, Rachel chose to see it as an opportunity for growth. Her blogs have resonated with many, highlighting the challenges and triumphs within the FDC sector and sparking a nationwide conversation on improving relationships between educators and services. Creating a Supportive Community: Rachel has initiated a private Facebook group for educators, fostering a space for support, sharing, and professional development. This initiative aims to remind educators of their value and the importance of self-care and setting boundaries. Educational Resources: Rachel has leveraged her experience to create and share educational resources through an Etsy store, simplifying the compliance with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and providing creative and practical activity ideas based on children's literature. Future Directions: Rachel is excited about the future, with no fixed endpoint in sight. Her focus is on continuing to inspire and support other educators, advocating for better understanding and communication within the FDC sector, and enriching the lives of children and families through her work. Key Takeaways: The importance of resilience and adaptability in facing challenges within the FDC sector. The role of community and support in fostering a positive and professional family daycare environment. The significance of self-care, setting boundaries, and maintaining professional relationships for the well-being of educators and the quality of care provided. The potential for adversity to lead to growth, innovation, and the opening of new opportunities. Join us in this episode as Rachel shares her insights, experiences, and hopes for the future of family daycare. Whether you're an educator, a parent, or someone passionate about early childhood education, Rachel's story is sure to inspire and provoke thought on the importance of support, community, and innovation in the world of family daycare. Relevant Links: Rachel's Blogs: Out of the Box FDC Educators Facebook Group: Rachel's Educational Resources on Etsy: #bigheartededucation, #bigheartedpodcast, #FDC, #FDCeducator, #EarlyChildhoodEducation, #Resilience, #CommunitySupport, #InnovationInChildrensCare
Welcome to this week's episode of the Big Hearted Podcast, where we looking into innovative approaches to documentation in family day care and challenging the norms to uplift our practices for the children's benefit. In This Episode: The No-Photo Challenge: We embark on a thought-provoking journey to explore a month without using photographs for documentation in family day care settings. This challenge is rooted in critical reflection on child safety and the real implications of sharing images online. Critical Reflection and Team Discussions: What was the catalyst behind this challenge? A team meeting that turned into a profound discussion on our reliance on photographs for documentation and its impacts. Child Safety Standards Review: The recent review of child safety standards raises questions about the necessity of constant photo updates and their possible interference with child supervision. Informed Consent: A hard-hitting conversation on the ethics of consent for sharing children's images and the lack of control over the images once they are published. Alternative Documentation Techniques: Learn about diverse strategies for documenting learning experiences without relying on photographs, fostering a deeper engagement with children’s development. Engagement Over Evidence: We discuss the importance of being present with children rather than capturing moments through photos, emphasising quality interactions over digital records. Resources for Educators: Child Safety Standard Review Access: Find the link in the show notes to equip yourself with the latest safety standards and reviews. Guide to Non-Photographic Documentation: Gain insights into over a hundred pages of innovative documentation strategies that don’t rely on photos, available in the show notes. Monthly Challenge Invitation: Embrace the No-Photo Documentation Method: Feeling inspired? Join the challenge and receive a draft email to explain this initiative to your families. Reach out to get your copy and start this transformative journey. Share with us how this episode has challenged and changed your perspective. Embrace the opportunity to contribute to the #bigheartededucation movement, prioritising child safety, and professional accountability. #bigheartededucation #bigheartedpodcast #FDC #FDCeducator #ChildSafety #DocumentationRevolution #ECEInnovation #AuthenticDocumentation #PlayfulLearning #CommunityEngagement
GPT In this deeply impactful episode of the Big Hearted Podcast, we delve into the critical and sensitive issue of child safety within early childhood education, featuring the insightful Kristi McVee. With her extensive background as a police officer and child abuse detective, Kristi shares invaluable perspectives on the prevalence of child sexual abuse, the importance of open discussions for prevention, and the evolving challenges posed by digital environments. We explore the various types of offenders and stress the necessity of vigilance, education, and protective measures in early childhood settings. Kristi also highlights the significance of using correct terminology with children, fostering environments that prioritize their safety and well-being, and the role of educators in being proactive guardians of children's innocence. This episode is a call to action for educators, parents, and the community to unite in safeguarding our children, emphasizing the power of awareness, education, and empathy in combating child sexual abuse. #bigheartededucation #bigheartedpodcast #FDC #FDCeducator #ChildSafety #ProtectOurChildren #AwarenessIsKey #EmpowerThroughEducation
Episode Summary: Today's podcast explores the simplicity of programming and planning in early childhood education when approached with clarity. We tackle the common hurdles educators face with documentation and offer practical strategies for making the process more efficient and meaningful. The discussion is grounded in a real-world query from the big-hearted planet community, shedding light on the nuances of child observations and documentation. Key Points Discussed: Simplifying planning and programming for educators. Understanding and utilising child observations in planning. The importance of intentional teaching moments and how to document them. Strategies for meaningful documentation without being overwhelmed. Upcoming events and community connections for educators. A teaser for the next episode featuring Rachel Smith from Out of the Box Educators. Episode Highlights: Documentation: A reminder that not every moment needs to be recorded. It's about capturing meaningful snapshots that tell a child's learning story. Observations: Tips on observing with purpose — focusing on specific goals and tracking progress over time. Planning: Encouragement to be purposeful and strategic, avoiding the trap of over-documenting. Community Engagement: The value of connecting with other educators and sharing experiences and insights. Sneak Peek: Next week's podcast will feature Rachel Smith, promising an engaging and informative session. Reflections: This episode empowers educators to streamline their programming and documentation process, focusing on what truly matters — the children's growth and the educator's professional development. Remember, simplicity is key, and being purposefully strategic in your approach can make all the difference. Upcoming Events: Don't miss our next planning session on the 4th of May — a chance to connect and learn with fellow educators. Connect With Us: Join the conversation on our big-hearted planet community page. Share your thoughts and questions — we thrive on your feedback and engagement. Keep your documentation meaningful, your planning intentional, and your heart big. Until next time, continue to foster the light of learning in our little ones. #bigheartededucation #bigheartedpodcast #FDC #FDCeducator
In the latest #bigheartedpodcast episode, Carol Robinson steps up to the mic with a message that resonates with every family day care educator's heart. With years of experience from managing a beauty salon to mentoring in self-love, Carol understands the intricacies of caring for others while keeping one's own well-being in check. The conversation unfolds as Carol lays out her professional pivot and its profound impact on her approach to buisness. She doesn't just tell us why self-care matters; she shows us, with real-life examples, how prioritising our well-being amplifies our ability to care for the children we're responsible for. Her straightforward talk on setting boundaries paints a clear picture: well-defined limits are a scaffold for a balanced life, allowing us to give our best without burnout. Carol's narrative weaves through the essential practices of mindfulness, reflection, and taking charge of our choices. She sheds light on the power of community support, especially through online connections, and underscores the tangible benefits of understanding self-love, not just as a concept but as a daily practice. Listeners are equipped with Carol's top ten tips, five focused on cultivating self-love and another five on establishing boundaries. From the practical steps of consistent self-care to the necessity of clear communication and the anticipation of resistance, Carol's advice is a toolkit for empowerment in early childhood education. As the episode closes, Carol leaves us with a thought-provoking take on empowerment through education. It's a call to action for all educators to embrace their role with confidence, caring for themselves as diligently as they do for their young learners. Tune in to learn about these insights and transform the way you approach your role as an educator. With Carol's guidance, discover how fostering your self-love can be the most generous gift to those you educate.
As a Family Day Care (FDC) educator, personal responsibility plays an important role in ensuring a high-quality care and educational environment. Not only that, it increases your level of enjoyment within your work. Here are five key points regarding personal responsibility: Understanding and Adhering to Regulations: As an FDC educator, it's crucial to have a thorough understanding of the regulations and standards set by governing bodies. Regularly reading and staying updated with these regulations ensures that you are providing care that is not only compliant but also safe and of high quality. This includes being aware of changes in policies, health and safety guidelines, and educational frameworks. Aligning with a Service That Shares Your Values: Finding and working with a service or a network that aligns with your personal values and educational philosophy is essential. This alignment ensures a harmonious working relationship and helps you to provide care and education that is consistent with your beliefs about how children learn and develop best. Continuous Professional Development: Taking personal responsibility for your ongoing learning and professional development is key. Engaging in workshops, courses, and other educational opportunities not only enhances your skills but also keeps you abreast of the latest best practices in early childhood education. This commitment to continuous learning reflects in the quality of care and education you provide. Effective Communication with Families: Building and maintaining open, honest, and respectful communication with families is a significant responsibility. This involves keeping families informed about their children's progress, any changes in the care environment, and being receptive to their feedback and concerns. Strong communication helps in building trust and partnership with families. Self-Reflection and Evaluation: Regular self-reflection on your practices, interactions, and the learning environment you provide is vital. Being self-aware and critically evaluating your work allows you to identify areas for improvement, adapt your teaching strategies, and make informed decisions that enhance the children's learning experiences.
Language Warning! I dropped a few tiny words that are not appropriate for children! In this episode of the Big Hearted Podcast, we were joined by Educator of the Year Stephanie Hoy from Port Lincoln, South Australia. Leaving behind the corporate world for family daycare, Stephanie has embraced the joys of childhood education, crafting a nurturing space where children thrive. Her home, complete with a large yard and glass walls, offers a seamless indoor-outdoor play area that extends into a paddock, providing an almost endless playground. The discussion also touched on a prevalent issue facing educators at the start of the year: burnout. Stephanie and I discuss strategies for educators to reignite their passion and maintain high energy levels, emphasising the importance of self-care and reflecting on personal attitudes. Moreover, the podcast covers the impact of educators' energy on children and the necessity for educators to be the calm, stable presence in children's lives. The importance of connection over calmness is highlighted, with a focus on helping children navigate separation anxiety and settle into the daycare environment. The conversation also provides practical advice for family day care educators on planning, organisation, and maintaining a balance between structured activities and child-led play. Stephanie and I advocate for simplicity in programming, urging educators to pare back activities and focus on connection and individual child development in the early weeks of the year. The episode concludes with a powerful reminder that educators are responsible for their energy and attitude, and by taking control, they can create a positive, enriching environment for the children in their care. Suggested hashtags for this episode summary include: #EarlyChildhoodEducation #EducatorBurnout #ChildLedPlay #EducatorWellbeing #SelfCareInEducation #FamilyDayCareLife #ConnectionOverCalmness #PositiveEnergy #PlayfulLearning #CommunityInChildcare #FDCPlanning #NurturingEducators #BigHeartedEducation #BigHeartedPodcast #FDC #FDCeducator
Hello there, It's Victoria here, and I'm delighted to be back in the podcast chair after a little break. I've missed our chats, and I'm buzzing with excitement to share my plans for the year with you. I'm keeping our podcast sessions to a cosy 20 minutes, so you can fit a dose of inspiration into your busy schedule. Today, I want to share something deeply personal yet universally applicable – the idea of choosing a 'word for the year.' Think of it as your personal mantra, the feeling that will guide you through the year, influencing your decisions and actions. For me, it's not just one but two words that I couldn't resist bending the rules for: "Purposefully Strategic." These words are my anchor, something to come back to whenever I feel like I'm veering off course. I was inspired by a beautiful piece I read at a friend's place, which sparked a profound realisation about the courage it takes to be oneself. It touched on embracing strengths, facing fears, and nurturing oneself – a message I believe we could all benefit from, especially as dedicated family daycare educators. We often pour so much into others that we forget to refill our own cups. But remember, to provide the best care and education for the little ones, we need to start with ourselves. It's about knowing who we are and being comfortable in our own skin, which, in turn, teaches children to do the same. This year, I'm looking at every aspect of life through the lens of being 'purposefully strategic.' Whether it's committing to family dinners, planning for personal growth, or scheduling time for mental well-being, I'm making sure each action has a clear intention behind it. Those aspects are Family Health Vocational Purpose Mental Finances Spirituality Friends Time I encourage you to join me in this practice. What will your words be for 2024? Let's make this the year where we not only set goals but create a sustainable, fulfilling rhythm to our lives – both professionally and personally. So, if this idea resonates with you, I'd love for you to adopt it too. It could be your compass in those moments when you feel lost, a way to recenter and move forward with clarity and purpose. Thank you for joining me today, and I'm eager to hear what your 'word of the year' might be. Share it with me, and let's make it a part of our journey together. Big Love, Victoria #bigheartededucation #FDC #FDCeducator #PurposefullyStrategic #NewYearNewFocus
Sustainability in FDC: It Ain't Just Being Green! Welcome, dear listeners, wherever you find yourself on this delightful day. Grab your morning brew (if it’s still hot) and let’s dive into a chat that's as invigorating as your first sip of coffee. Now, here's a little fun fact – I'm recording this at the bright and early hour of 20 past six in the morning. Yep, before my coffee has even properly kicked in. You know that feeling when the family knocks five minutes early, and you're mid-coffee? That's me right now! But back to the topic on hand. Today, we'll traverse the fascinating world of sustainability in family daycare. If you caught our last heart-to-heart, you know things got, well, let's say "heated" (and not just because of my lukewarm coffee). We covered vast ground, touching upon the need for long-term strategies. Sustainability isn't solely about being eco-conscious. Oh no! The past couple of years have truly spotlighted the multifaceted nature of sustainability. So, maybe grab a notepad (if you can find one with that early morning haze) because this chat is going to be enlightening. There's a crucial conversation that's been hushed in the FDC arena, one that I've been quite vocal about. Navigating the labyrinth of early childhood education requires context – an understanding of the big picture. Many educators transition from centres, or maybe it's their first foray into business. There are cold, hard truths to grasp and understand. Times are evolving, rules are shifting, and we must remain agile and informed. Ever felt like you're traversing a path blindfolded? I've been there. For years. But over a decade in the business, paired with insights from invaluable mentors, shifted my perspective. I remember my first mentor, Dale Beaumont, from Business Blueprint. Despite his unfamiliarity with early childhood education, he introduced me to the art of 'selling your service'. That was a game-changer! Suddenly, I wasn't just an educator; I was a storyteller, sharing the value of what we offer. So, as we delve deeper into today's topic, let's remember: it's not just about going green, it's about evolving, adapting, and staying informed. Join me on this journey. Let’s make a sustainable impact together! If you are listening to this episode before the 28th of November, you can join the Essential Elements waitlist here: And you can register for the Intentionality & Play in FDC course here
The Role of Confidence

The Role of Confidence


Let's look at self confidence, and the many varied ways it has an impact on our lives, and how we show up in our work. All In, All The Time: In this episode, I share how my passion can sometimes be a double-edged sword, giving too much and potentially overwhelming my team. The challenge: How to support without swamping? The Happy Medium: Juggling ADHD and hyper-focus; it's not all rainbows. I confess to the need for balance and the importance of listening more, speaking less. For some of you, this will be the opposite. You need to work on finding your voice! Connectivity and Feedback: The importance of open conversations with coordinators. If everything looks perfect on the surface, it might be time to dive deeper. But no unnecessary digging! Self-Sabotage vs. Self-Growth: The pitfalls of becoming too comfortable and the unconscious drift towards self-sabotage. My mantra: Challenge yourself, be it in business or personal endeavours. Adventures Beyond Business: An anecdote about whale watching that took a wild turn! Spoiler: There were waves, lots of them. Pushing boundaries: From giant waves to rediscovering adrenaline rushes. The 'Adrenaline' Epiphany: The life-changing moment I realised I hadn't felt the thrill of adrenaline in a while. The idea of seeking excitement and challenges outside of your comfort zone to boost confidence in other areas of life. Conclusion: I challenge you to find our own whale-watching moments. Whether it's in your business or personal life, push boundaries, challenge norms, and most importantly, find that adrenaline rush that brings confidence flooding back. Join me next time for another invigorating chat, as we continue to navigate the rollercoaster of life, business, and everything in between!
Hello, my fabulous listeners! Today, we're diving headfirst into the heart of family daycare: fostering deep, meaningful connections with the children in our care. You know, sometimes I see us educators as these majestic trees, providing shade, shelter, and a bit of adventure to the children in our care. Let's unpack this tree analogy, shall we? Imagine us, standing tall and sturdy, our branches extending in a protective embrace. These branches signify the safe spaces we provide, the consistent rhythms we set, and the authentic relationships we nurture. When children first join our care, they might cling to our trunk, needing that direct support and connection. But as time goes on, they venture out, playing among our roots, and eventually stepping out into the field, yet always knowing they can return to the safety of our embrace. In today's chat, I emphasise the importance of trust. Trust that, as the adult in the room, we'll remain calm and steady, especially when their tiny worlds get a bit stormy. Trust that their emotions are valid and that they're safe to express themselves. And trust that we're always there to support, listen, and guide them. But here's the thing - for us to pour out all this trust and assurance, we need to be deeply connected to ourselves first. It's a bit like putting on your oxygen mask before assisting others. To help children feel safe and understood, we've got to have a solid handle on our emotions and responses. I also delve into the tricky topic of setting boundaries for ourselves and the families we work with. Knowing what we can and can't accommodate in our daycare settings is vital, ensuring that we align with families that share our core values. Then, there's the ebb and flow of our daily routines. When children know what to expect and are enveloped in a comforting rhythm, they're better equipped to form deep connections. They feel secure, seen, and understood. All of this isn't just about making our daycares run smoothly. It's about equipping these little souls for life and building their resilience, self-worth, and ability to form meaningful relationships. So, my wonderful listeners, as you sip on your cuppa or walk before work, reflect on your connections with yourself and the children in your care. Are you the sturdy, comforting tree in their life? And are you nurturing your roots just as much as your branches? Until next time, stay rooted and keep reaching for the stars! 🌳✨