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The Big Hearted Podcast
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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.
63 Episodes
A Winning Submission?

A Winning Submission?


Episode Description: In this episode, we provide practical guidance for family day care educators on how to effectively answer submission questions for the Educator of the Year nominations. Discover how to highlight your unique strengths, empower children in your care, and engage with the wider community. Whether you're an educator, coordinator, or service manager, these tips will help you stand out and showcase the exceptional work you do. Key Points Covered: Empowering Children: How to empower children to be active participants in their own learning and development. Creating environments that encourage exploration and choice. Example activities and projects that highlight child-led learning. Planning and Implementing Educational Programs: Strategies for developing relevant, engaging, and intentional educational programs. Balancing flexibility to meet individual needs with structured planning. Emphasising the importance of reflective practice for continuous improvement. Building on Strengths: Recognising and utilising the strengths of children, families, and the wider community. Engaging with families to understand each child's unique strengths. Incorporating community resources and support into your programs. Highlighting Unique Practices: What sets your family day care apart from others. Personal examples of unique programs or practices you implement. Reflecting on your strengths and how they benefit the children in your care. Coordinator and Service Support: How coordinators can support educators to feel valued and supported. Encouraging critical reflection and ongoing learning among educators. Facilitating engagement with the wider community to improve practice. Final Thoughts: If you've been nominated for Educator of the Year, take the time to thoughtfully complete your submission. Highlight your unique strengths and the impact of your work. Join our upcoming planning sessions and masterclasses to further enhance your practice and connect with a supportive community of educators.  #bigheartededucation #bigheartedpodcast #FDC #FDCeducator #earlychildhoodeducation #communitysupport #professionaldevelopment #awardnomination Links Mentioned: Join our Membership Big-Hearted Education Planning Sessions Feedback: We love hearing from you! Leave us a review on your favourite podcast platform and share your thoughts on today's episode. Your feedback helps us reach more educators and make a bigger impact.
In today's episode, we look at practical strategies to help family day care educators avoid burnout by working with the seasons and prioritising self-care. From setting up a slow cooker the night before to establishing consistent routines, discover actionable tips to fill your cup and maintain your passion for early childhood education. Key Points Covered: Embracing Seasonal Changes: Adapting your routine to align with the seasons. Tips for winter: Warming activities like reading and quiet games in the morning. Enjoying the shift in energy and light during spring. Radical Acts of Self-Care: Preparing breakfast the night before, such as apple cinnamon porridge in a slow cooker. The importance of maintaining a self-care routine year-round. Strategies for ensuring a good night's sleep, including setting screen boundaries. Building Your Support Network: The value of community and seeking help. Engaging with our membership for access to masterclasses, Q&A sessions, and a supportive Facebook community. Prioritising Authentic Observations: Focusing on meaningful observations that inform your programming. Avoiding burnout by ensuring your work is impactful and enjoyable. Outsourcing Tasks: Freeing up time by outsourcing tasks you dislike, such as cleaning or ironing. The benefits of investing in services like HelloFresh to simplify your life. Seeking Professional Help: Recognising when to see a psychologist for additional coping strategies. The importance of addressing issues before they become overwhelming. Establishing Routines and Boundaries: The necessity of consistent routines and managing time effectively. Setting realistic expectations and boundaries with families and yourself. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine. Joining the Morning Magic Facebook group for a guided start to your day. Planning and Taking Holidays: The importance of booking holidays in advance. The benefits of taking regular breaks to recharge and avoid burnout. Quotes: "Your house smells incredible and you just know that you've done an act of self-care for yourself the night before and so present you is thanking past you for being there." "When things become routine, we start to lose our connection to them." Things to action: Join our Morning Magic Facebook group for a structured start to your day with yoga, meditation, and journaling. Prioritise your self-care and connect with a community that supports you. Links Mentioned: 21 Morning Magic Facebook Group Join our Membership Feedback: We love hearing from you! Leave us a review on your favourite podcast platform and share your thoughts on today's episode. Your feedback helps us reach more educators and make a bigger impact.
Podcast Show Notes: Managing Illness in Your Family Day Care Episode Summary: In this episode of the Big Hearted Podcast, I discuss managing illness in family day care services. I provide practical tips on setting boundaries, communicating with parents, and implementing a wellness policy to protect both educators and children. I share insights on the importance of rest, nutrition, and outdoor play for children's health and offer a free wellness policy template for listeners. Key Points: Setting Boundaries and Holding the Space: Educators have the right to refuse care for unwell children. Clear communication with parents about the child’s health is essential. Establishing a wellness policy helps set expectations upfront. Recognising and Managing Illness: Be alert to symptoms such as glassy eyes, green snot, and warmth to touch. Have honest conversations with parents about their child’s well-being. Encourage parents to keep children home if they’re not coping. Importance of Mental Health Days: Children sometimes need a break due to overwhelming emotions and experiences. A day of rest can prevent prolonged illness and support overall well-being. Environmental and Nutritional Factors: Children need freedom to run, play outside, and engage with their environment. Advocating for nutritious, whole foods over processed snacks can boost immunity. Implementing a Wellness Policy: A downloadable wellness policy template is available for educators. The policy includes parent acknowledgment of illness protocols and alternative care arrangements. Building Trust with Families: Consistently enforcing the wellness policy helps build trust. Clear boundaries ensure the health and safety of all children in care. Regulatory Compliance: Adhere to health and safety regulations to avoid legal implications. Report communicable diseases to health authorities as required. Impact on Child Development: Frequent illnesses can disrupt learning and social development. Healthy children are more likely to engage and thrive in educational activities. Downloadable Resource: Free Wellness Policy Template: Available for download on the podcast website. This template helps set clear boundaries and expectations for illness management in family day care. Call to Action: Feedback and Suggestions: Victoria encourages listeners to share their thoughts and suggest topics for future episodes. Review the Podcast: Leave a review on your preferred podcast platform to help spread the word and build the community. Connect with Us: Hashtags: #bigheartededucation #bigheartedpodcast #FDC #FDCeducator #wellnesspolicy #childcare #earlychildhoodeducation
Introduction Welcome to the Big Hearted Podcast! Today, we have a very special guest, Jana, a renowned myofunctional therapist. Jana is here to enlighten us on the intricacies of myofunctional therapy and its impact on early childhood development and beyond. Key Points Covered What is Myofunctional Therapy? Jana explains that myofunctional therapy is akin to physiotherapy but focused on the head, neck, mouth, and breathing functions. It aims to restore normal functions such as speaking, eating, chewing, swallowing, and breathing. Common issues addressed include snoring, sleep apnea, allergies, asthma, and improper breathing patterns. Implications of Myofunctional Issues Jana shares personal experiences, highlighting how improper tongue and mouth function can lead to significant dental issues like crowded teeth. She emphasizes the importance of early detection and intervention to prevent long-term issues such as improper jaw development and facial structure. Common Signs of Myofunctional Disorders in Children Mouth breathing, snoring, excessive drooling, thumb sucking, and difficulty with eating solid foods are some of the red flags. Educators are encouraged to observe children’s sleep patterns, behavior, and physical signs to identify potential issues. Impact on Sleep and Behavior Improper breathing can lead to poor sleep quality, which in turn affects a child’s mood, behavior, and learning abilities. There is a connection between breathing issues and ADHD symptoms in children. Role of Early Childhood Educators Educators can play a crucial role in identifying and supporting children with myofunctional issues. Jana suggests that educators collaborate with parents to address these issues, promote nose breathing, and discourage habits like thumb sucking and pacifier use. Importance of Proper Chewing and Nutrition Introducing a variety of textures in children’s diets is crucial for jaw development. Jana advocates for baby-led weaning and encourages the consumption of real, solid foods over processed, soft diets. Challenges for Women and Menopause Jana discusses how hormonal changes during perimenopause and menopause can exacerbate breathing issues and sleep apnea in women. It’s essential for women to address any pre-existing breathing issues before reaching menopause for better management. Available Support and Resources Jana offers online consultations and resources for families and educators. She provides practical tips for improving breathing habits and supporting overall oral health. How to Connect with Jana Website: Functional Wellbeing Social Media: Facebook: FunWellbeing Instagram: FunWellbeing YouTube: Functional Wellbeing Final Thoughts Jana’s insights highlight the crucial role of myofunctional therapy in ensuring children’s proper development and overall health. Her expertise provides invaluable knowledge for both parents and educators in supporting children’s well-being.
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