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In this podcast, Jacob Stewart, director of state government relations at the Early Care and Education Consortium, describes what individual states are doing to combat staffing shortages in child care. Massachusetts, for example, launched a general, statewide workforce bonus for which child care providers are eligible to receive $4,000 per new employee hired and retained for 60 days.  Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania have offered multiple bonuses ranging between $300 and $1,200 per worker. Other states are offering wage enhancements, internship programs, a refundable tax credit,  financial support to obtain credentials that are state required as well as enabling employees to leverage their experience to move up career ladders and more! These findings are part of a data-packed report his organization recently put out titled "The Child Care Workforce Shortage: Solutions from Around the Country."  As of February 2022, two-thirds of providers reported a staffing shortage that affected their ability to serve families; of those, 52% were forced to serve fewer children while 37% had a longer waiting list, according to the report.Read the full report here! Listen as Jacob delves into the findings of this report  ... and he describes negotiations that are happening for legislation that could help the child care industry despite the demise of the Build Back Better plan.
Chanie Wilschanski is known as the "school culture doctor" because she can diagnose the root cause of the struggle in a child care center in less that 10 minutes. She's an early childhood leadership coach and the CEO of Schools of Excellence, and in this podcast she discusses what she sees in those 10 minutes and much more." You need to understand where you're spending your time," Chanie says.  "And then you can hit your goals."She talks about making sure you're setting appropriate expectations for your staff while maintaining high standards and staying true to your values.Chanie also describes how to connect with your teachers, which is so vital as early childhood education leaders struggle to find and retain staff, as well as the importance of taking care of yourself.Her goals are:Not to teach you what to think, but how to thinkNot to show you what you’re lacking, but remind you that everything you need is inside youInstead of showing you 50 steps, the next one step that gives you a winLearn more about Chanie's work at her Schools of Excellence website and you can find her own podcast series here!
Laura Delgado is the vice president of curriculum and professional development at Learning Beyond Paper, a leader in providing 100% digital curriculum. Laura is a former early learning teacher, center director and owner. She has a master’s degree in leadership in education and more than 25 years of experience in early childhood learning. In this podcast, she discusses why curriculum is so important for young learners, particularly babies through pre-kindergarten.  She also describes why a curriculum that is easy to use is essential for teachers, many who do their lesson planning on Sunday nights on unpaid time as they ready for the week ahead because they don't have time during their work days.Laura also describes the challenges of relying on a paper curriculum. She says she's seen child care centers buy curriculum that is on an "approved list," often just to check a box as part of obtaining funding. "And when I would go into the classrooms, sometimes they couldn't find the curriculum," she says. "Sometimes it would be in a closet, on a shelf gathering dust."Learning Beyond Paper and Procare Solutions have partnered to offer the Procare Early Learning Powered by Learning Beyond Paper all-digital curriculum offering. The 52-week curriculum is embedded into Procare for easy use with 4,000 lesson plans for infants through pre-kindergarteners. To learn more, visit www.procaresoftware.com/curriculum! 
We are live from the 2022 National Shared Services Technical Conference presented by Opportunities Exchange in Austin, Texas!In this podcast, we talk with Lisa Polk about leadership. She has 20 years’ experience as an early education teacher, director and owner. She works with Georgia Alliance for Quality Child Care and is an instructor for CDA credential and director training in addition to being an adjunct professor at Chattahoochee Technical College. She has a masters’ degree in early childhood education and is working toward her doctorate in education with an emphasis on teacher leadership.  In this podcast, Lisa discusses: the need for consistent systemswhy you must make sure relationships with parents stay professionalthe importance of communicationhow to build a team and work toward the same goaland more!Reach Lisa at lisapolk@ymail.com, and learn more about her nonprofit Poly-Anna's Place on Facebook and on Instagram!
We are live from the 2022 National Shared Services Technical Conference presented by Opportunities Exchange in Austin, Texas!In this podcast, we talk with Gary Romano. Gary is the president and CEO of Civitas Strategies, LLC, where he works with nonprofit leaders and entrepreneurs. He’s also an author and has published two books. One is “Small But Mighty,” which helps entrepreneurs launch and grow nonprofit consultancies, and the other is “Lean Recruitment,” which describes how to cost-effectively recruit talent. Listen as Gary shares his expertise on the employee retention tax credit, including why it's so significant for those in the child care industry, the background on this credit, who is eligible and that providers can retroactively apply for the funds!To learn more about the services offered by Civitas Strategies to child care businesses, email Gary at gary@civstrat.com, or visit www.civstrat.com!
Karla Houghtalin is the program manager in early childhood business management at Southwest Human Development in Phoenix. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education, curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University. In this podcast, she shares what’s happening with shared services, a topic that is incredibly relevant in the child care industry today.Karla describes the genesis of the business initiative that began her organization's work in shared services, including  the early pieces of putting it together. She talks about "the four pillars" of how child care providers can create a strong foundation to be a sustainable program. She says providers must know their worth, which includes making sure they're being paid promptly and fairly by parents.Karla says that automating child care businesses saves providers time and money, and has tips for how to help beyond automation. She also describes the role of business coaching in running a successful program, and shares advice for providers who live in places where a shared-services option isn't available. 
Monique Reynolds is the vice president of business support services with Quality Care for Children in Atlanta. She has worked in leadership roles in the child care industry for more than 25 years and has an extensive knowledge of child care business management and early education.Monique previously owned and operated successful multi-site programs and her passion is helping child care business owners become successful and sustainable through shared services.When she describes this model, she said she's reminded of the African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. When you think about child care businesses, it's the same concept. It's basically having a community of people who put tools and resources together to make each business sustainable with increased profitability, Monique says.In this podcast, she shares more about shared services and how they can help those in the child care industry.,
Carla Ward is an early childhood educator who founded Early Learning Foundations in 2008. She is a certified Wonder-based educator with a background in behavior management and she believes learning goes beyond the classroom. She also hosts her own podcast, “The Everything ECE Podcast.” She was born in South Africa and now lives in Ontario, Canada, and has been fascinated by the way people learn for as long as she can remember.In this podcast, Carla discusses how to lead a team … everything from leading staff meetings to supporting your team.In this podcast, she discusses: Why staff meetings should be held once a month, and not more frequently (and the perfect food to serve during them!)The importance of asking staff for their inputThe benefits of closing your center for an entire day, twice a year, for professional developmentDoing a yearly survey to learn the professional goals of your staff How a book study is beneficial (one book every three months)Why supervisors need to carve out time for themselvesAnd more!You can connect with Carla by visiting her website: www.elfoundations.com. And she's active on social media!Instagram:  www.instagram.com/elfoundationsFacebook: www.facebook.com/elfoundations/Additional Resources:To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at https://www.procaresoftware.com/resource-center/.Contact Us:Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at ltwoodbury@procaresoftware.com. 
Jacob Stewart, director of state government relations at the Early Care and Education Consortium, has been closely following the Build Back Better Act and its potential implications on the child care industry.In this podcast, he breaks down what could happen should this act (as it stood at the end of 2021) become law, as well as state implementation.    
 Prerna Richards is the founder and CEO of Together We Grow, an early childhood organization providing professional development, coaching and consulting for parents, teachers and administrators. She’s a coach and early childhood educational consultant.  Her desire to make a difference in the lives of children has shaped her life and her career. When she came to the United States, she had a degree in interior design. But when her daughter started preschool, she became a teacher and realized this was her passion and her calling in life.Since then, one of her focuses is helping educators understand the importance of brain development in children and how to nurture positive growth.  Our brains are almost entirely wired by the time we turn 5, and during those years, the foundation is laid for our entire lives.  In this podcast, Prerna talks about her life and her work with children, including the effect of stress, particularly stress caused by the pandemic. 
Nannette Ray was born at the height of the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi. Her mom was a single parent who worked several jobs and died when Nanette was in the ninth grade, which instilled in her the desire to make her mother proud. She went on to earn her MBA, own two Kids ‘R’ Kids learning academies and to found and become president of TNR Advisors & Management Consultants, which helps many child care centers with financial decisions and planning.In this podcast, she describes the path that she and her husband took to becoming child care center owners and to helping other owners with the financial aspects of their businesses. A key part of that is looking forward rather than focusing only on the past.She discusses why she opted to open a franchised daycare versus an independent center as well as common mistakes she sees in how new owners operate child care centers, such as not operating with a budget.You can learn more about Nannette and her work to help businesses make data-driven decisions at www.tnraccounting.com!About Nanette: Nannette Ray recently received the Houston Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business award for 2021. As founder and president of TNR Advisors & Management Consultants, Nannette is responsible for measuring, managing and improving overall performance of the organization and day-to-day operations. She has successfully run various companies over the last 16 years and uses this knowledge to successfully perform as managing partner. She runs the business with her husband, Terrence Ray, who is a CPA and the company’s vice president. Nannette is a mother of three who holds an undergraduate degree in accounting and information systems from the University of Texas at San Antonio and holds an MBA from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. Additional Resources:To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at www.procaresoftware.com/resource-center.Contact Us:Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at podcast@procaresoftware.com!
Louise Stoney has been in the child care field for well over 35 years and dedicates her work to helping providers put the systems in place to tap into and manage the funds available to them. In this episode, she discusses:The critical role automation plays in providing information that can uncover any funds child care providers are leaving on the tableWhat shared services are, how they work and the benefits they offer to child care businessesHow she works with public policymakers to help them better understand the child care landscape and make the right funding availableThe ways child care management software can transform recordkeeping to  drive better decision-making at every levelThe concept of one-stop-shopping or subsidy management, and how to do itThe three most important things you have to do to run a successful child care business, also called the Iron TriangleAnd so much more! About Louise:Louise Stoney is a true powerhouse in the space – someone who’s making waves in  how we collect and analyze child care data to spur positive systemic changes.  Louise is an independent consultant specializing in early care and education (ECE) finance and policy, and Co-Founder of both Opportunities Exchange and the Alliance for Early Childhood Finance. Louise has worked with state and local governments, foundations, ECE providers, industry intermediaries, research and advocacy groups in over 40 states. Public and private organizations have sought Louise’s expertise to help craft new finance and policy options as well as write issue briefs on challenging topics. She has helped model ECE program costs, revise subsidy policy and rate-setting strategies, re-visit QRIS standards and procedures, craft new approaches to contracting and voucher management, and more. Louise holds a master’s degree in social work from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.You can learn more about Louise and her work at  www.oppex.orgAdditional Resources:To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at https://www.procaresoftware.com/resource-center/Contact Us:Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us atpodcast@procaresoftware.com!  
This episode is pure joy as we get to talk with Emma Tempest, an internationally-known play coach who helps early childhood professionals incorporate play into their programming in a meaningful and often transformational way.In this uplifting chat, Emma shares:Why play is critical for child development – and adults too!How adults can misinterpret play for bad behavior. How the traditional way to leverage play – often limited to a reward for a child who does their schoolwork or behaves well – is a backwards way to look at it.  The detrimental effects of removing play from a child’s education.How adults can get in touch with their inner child.The importance of a mindset shift toward curiosity to embrace play in all its forms.Why there’s no such thing as “unstructured play.”The five things adults can do to best support children’s play.And so much more! About Emma:Emma Tempest is a Play Coach. How cool is that? She develops training and coaching for educators and families around how children learn through the power of play, and how to use play as a tool for building a strong foundation of wellbeing. But that’s not all – Emma also helps adults through play. Her belief is that play joins everybody together – from all ages, races, nationalities and cultures. Originally from England, Emma holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Leeds Metropolitan University. She now resides in New Jersey, but spreads her teachings far and wide, because, frankly, we ALL need this in our lives. You can find Emma in the following places:Website: https://makeyourownrainbows.com/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theplaycoachInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_play_coach/ Additional Resources:To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at https://www.procaresoftware.com/resource-center/. Contact Us: Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at podcast@procaresoftware.com.    
André Amoor is one of the most traveled of any of the guests we’ve had on the show. In this episode, he tells us about his incredible teaching adventures overseas, including in war zones in the Middle East. His extensive experience running international schools and navigating cultural/political challenges has given him a strong foundation in helping shape extended learning opportunities for the Denver Public School District. In our discussion, Andre talks about: How he’s working to integrate the continuous and cohesive education philosophies he witnessed overseas into the DPS extended learning curriculum. How after school programming shouldn’t be considered separate from the regular school day, but rather an extension of it. The difference between after school programming and child care. How he works with his team to provide opportunities that satisfy the needs of a diverse community.The ways he and his team work to secure funding to ensure his programming is accessible to all students/families. The challenge of staffing all of his sites and the apprenticeship program he’s developed to create a pipeline of candidates. Navigating the challenges of COVID-19.And so much more! About Andre:André Amoor is Senior Manager of Extended Learning & Community Schools for Denver Public Schools. He’s an incredible advocate for creating engaging learning experiences for thousands of ECE through high school students. In his role, he is instrumental in aligning the district’s objectives to his programming and ensuring measurable results. He oversees teams of high-performing HR, IT, Program Quality, Client Services, Community Partners and Strategic Initiatives managers. He also oversees the recruiting/retention initiatives for 400 employees district-wide. He’s a trainer, mentor, culture and equity champion, and data-driven leader who has leveraged his international education background to effect meaningful, positive change across the district’s programs. Additional Resources:To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at https://www.procaresoftware.com/resource-center/. Contact Us: Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at podcast@procaresoftware.com.    
Child care is full of inspiring stories, and LaFarris Risby is no exception. A mother at just 15 and married to an abusive husband, LaFarris knew she needed to make a change. In this episode, you’ll hear LaFarris’ amazing story about how, with just $50 to her name and two children, she left her abuser, went back to school and started an in-home child care business – a business that grew to be the largest African American child care center in Junction City, KS. Today, LaFarris is the CEO of her own consultancy company and has written a book about her incredible journey called Dare to Dream. Highlights from our conversation with LaFarris include:  The turning point when she decided to completely change the trajectory of her life. How she purchased her first property and overcame a massive sewage issue the very first day her center opened – with very little money on hand. The ways her faith has helped her traverse even the toughest circumstances.When she fired her son from the center for not coming to work on time, and the lesson he learned to now become the CEO of her business.How she discovered hidden talents in herself, and how she helps tease those out of the clients she works with. Her plans to build a safe haven for domestic violence survivors.About LaFarris:LaFarris Risby is a CEO, award-winning business strategist, author, international speaker, radio personality, child care & parenting expert, executive coach and community leader. She is the founder of the largest African American child care center in Junction City, KS and has more than 25 years of experience in early childhood education and family support. Currently, LaFarris is the CEO of LaFarris Inc., a consultancy company where she fills the role of business strategist by helping a growing number of clients overcome their challenges in finding direction, purpose and success in life and business. A testament to her business acumen, she was recently selected as Top Business Strategist of the Year for 2021 by the International Association of Top Professionals.Before LaFarris embarked on her career path, she earned her Associates of Arts in Early Childhood Education and then her Bachelor of Science in Human Services. As a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) for the National Council of Family Relations, LaFarris provides education, social and emotional, and cognitive support for both her students and parents. She’s also the author of Dare to Dream, where she tells the inspirational and transparent account of her personal and professional life. You can connect with LaFarris by visiting her website: www.lafarris.com. Additional Resources: To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at https://www.procaresoftware.com/resource-center/. Contact Us: Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at podcast@procaresoftware.com.    
In this episode, we talk with Kathy Ligon, a titan in the child care space. She’s someone who has not only taken the child care real estate industry by storm, but also has become a sought-after resource and source of inspiration for child care business owners and operators looking to think more strategically and grow their operations.At the helm of HINGE Brokers for more than 17 years, Kathy has amassed a wealth of knowledge that addresses the gamut of child care business issues. In this chat, you’ll hear about:How Kathy works with child care business owners to purchase new locations or exit their businesses successfully. Kathy’s child care financial model for success – something she’s been perfecting for 25 years.A preview of Kathy’s new app called Framework, which will assess a center’s total financial health and provide guidance on how to improve it. Current trends Kathy’s seeing in the child care space, including more government funding.The upcoming SHIFT Childcare Leaders Conference, an inspirational and informative event aimed at giving owners and operators clear strategies they can use to grow their businesses. About Kathy:Trained as a public accountant, Kathy has a unique 30+ year background in educational operations. Early on, she was named Financial Director for a growing educational organization and subsequently moved to COO, directing growth management and helping the company multiply from five to 125 sites operating in several different states. During this time, she gained a wealth of knowledge in growth strategy, target selection, pricing and negotiation, cultural analysis and post-closing integration tactics.In 2003, Kathy started her own early education brokerage firm—called HINGE Brokers, providing support to the private early education sector by developing price analyses, negotiating strategies and matching buyers with sellers. Her important work has led to the successful transactions of more than 250 early education business.If you want to learn more about Kathy’s incredible work, including her annual SHIFT Conference, check out the following links:  Website: https://www.hingebrokers.com/SHIFT Conference: https://www.hingebrokers.com/shift-conferenceAdditional Resources: To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at https://www.procaresoftware.com/resource-center/. Contact Us: Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at podcast@procaresoftware.com.   
In this episode, we talk with Evelyn Knight, known in the industry as the Childcare Business Coach. Evelyn gives us a deep dive into her journey, from having an eviction notice on her door and navigating a neurological disease to growing her business and bringing in seven figures a year. With the help of a coach, Evelyn was able to turn around her failing child care business and is now a coach herself. Aside from money issues, Evelyn sees many clients coming in for help with time management and staffing. In this podcast, she provides her process for addressing all three, including some practical takeaways:How to do a time map and identify key time-wastersHow to put a monetary value to each hour of your day to determine what you spend time on and what you pay someone else to doThe importance of identifying the difference in the world your center is making to give staff a purpose – and selling that visionHow to create an effective onboarding processAbout Evelyn:Evelyn is known in the industry as the Childcare Business Coach and is the founder of Child Care Business Professionals. Her mission is to empower early child care education professionals in reaching their full potential by providing educational services that promote quality standards, professionalism and business proficiency.Evelyn has degrees in Early Childhood Education and Psychology, and has spent more than 25 years working in the early childhood space. Having owned three successful child care centers, Evelyn uses her expertise to help other child care providers achieve a level of mastery over their business that delivers the results they want. If you want to connect with Evelyn and hear more of her amazing wisdom, you can find her in the following places:Website: https://www.childcarebusinessprofessionals.com/Podcast: https://www.childcarebusinessprofessionals.com/podcasts/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/childcarebusinesscoach/YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxQYj5kLhBFtI0NTly3m77Q  Additional Resources: To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at https://www.procaresoftware.com/resource-center/. Contact Us: Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at podcast@procaresoftware.com.   
Beth Cannon is a powerhouse in the child care space, and in this episode, you’ll hear about her amazing journey – from how she catapulted her Stretch-n-Grow program to the company’s most successful franchise in the world, to becoming a sought-after trainer, to making a huge “pandemic pivot.”  You’ll learn:·         How Beth grew her program to 25 schools and a six-figure income in 3 years·         Beth’s secret sauce for hiring and retention·         The ways Beth navigated a financially devastating blow to her business due to COVID-19About Beth:Beth Cannon is an international speaker, educator and entrepreneur known for her passion for engaging leaders and inspiring teams. With 25+ years of diverse experience, she is known for her niche in creating compelling content that captures the audience.In 1999, Beth launched Stretch-n-Grow – an international children’s fitness franchise and quickly became the most successful affiliate in the world and took the reins as corporate trainer for new franchisees. She is also a registered early education trainer.Through her personal brand, Beth Cannon Speaks, Beth offers online courses for early education leaders and teachers as well as live and virtual events.She is the appointed Chairwoman of the Champion Child Advisory Board, author and developer of the Youth Fitness Instructor Certification Program, and the Director of Corporate Training for Stretch-n-Grow International – the world’s leading enrichment program provider for childcare centers throughout the world.You can connect with Beth by visiting her website: https://bethcannonspeaks.com/. Additional Resources: To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at https://www.procaresoftware.com/resource-center/. Contact Us: Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at podcast@procaresoftware.com.  
By the time Andrea Dickerson was 31, she was the only woman in her community with two of the largest child care programs, a billboard marketing strategy, a fully operational night care program, telephone enrollment systems, online website funnels and more. In this episode, you’ll hear about Andrea’s journey growing child care organizations from six children to a licensed capacity of 200 children each day, and how she took everything she learned to begin helping other child care providers grow and succeed. You’ll learn about:·        The importance of establishing systems (i.e. trigger systems)·        How to adopt a business mindset·        Giving each day of the week a theme (i.e. Money-Making Mondays)·        Approaching your center like a CEO·        Creating helpful habitsAnd as a bonus, Andrea is giving listeners access to one of her courses for FREE – just visit www.mysixfiguresystem.com.  About Andrea:Andrea Dickerson is the founder and CEO of IOWNADAYCARE.COM, an organization committed to empowering and equipping childcare business owners with proven management solutions to systemize, organize and maximize their childcare business and their life. As an award-winning childcare CEO and Entrepreneur, Andrea has been recognized as one of the Best Childcare providers of the year and is a recognized expert often quoted as an authority figure on childcare growth topics.Her services and expertise have been featured on early childhood platforms, the National Association of Early Learning Leaders, the National Association For Family Child Care, Florida Family Childcare Home Association, Special E Connection, LRP, and many moreYou can find Andrea at https://iownadaycare.com/. Additional Resources: To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at https://www.procaresoftware.com/resource-center/. Contact Us: Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at podcast@procaresoftware.com.  
Dani Christine has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. From making oobleck slime in 6th grade and selling it to friends to starting her own babysitting business in high school, Dani has taken her enthusiasm for building businesses and combined it with her passion for young children to operate multiple child care sites. Learn about her journey and how she – an introvert – has created a media brand and child care consulting business in just a few short years. About Dani: Dani Christine is host of the Child Care Sites & Sounds podcast. Dani has been in the child care industry for a decade. After gaining valuable experience as a babysitter and preschool teacher, she opened her first child care business in 2014.Since then, she has operated a multi-site child care business and shares her tips and techniques with providers around the world on her YouTube channel. In 2019, Dani expanded her brand in 2019 and launched her consulting agency, Dani Christine, Inc.In addition to providing support for aspiring and new child care business owners, Dani uses the childcaresites.com platform to offer helpful resources for child care professionals.You can find Dani at https://www.childcaresites.com/ or check out her YouTube channel at www.Youtube.com/DaniChristine. Additional Resources: To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at https://www.procaresoftware.com/resource-center/. Contact Us: Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at podcast@procaresoftware.com.   
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