X, WHY, Z: REFLECTIONS FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS

A DIEEC PODCAST DEDICATED TO THE ECE COMMUNITY

New monthly episodes feature different guests, some from our Delaware early childhood education community and some from across the country, who will share their unique perspectives on important topics.


Season 2 Finale

Episode 8: “It’s Starts with You”

In this captivating episode, “It Starts With You,”, we explore the fascinating world of self-care and resilience. With special guest Dr. Nefertiti Poyner from the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, we delve into the crucial role of adults as anchors for children’s attachment and resilience.

Dr. Nefertiti Poyner

Dr. Nefertiti Poyner is an early childhood specialist and lead trainer with the Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC). She began her career as a pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teacher in the city of Philadelphia and quickly saw and experienced challenges in working to meet the social and emotional needs of young children. She discovered that the road to lifelong learning for both children and adults is rooted in respect, relationships, and resilience.

In her role with DCRC, Nefertiti delivers presentations to audiences from across the country. She develops training curriculum, mentors trainers, and provides coaching to those in the field of early childhood. She has co-authored two books: Socially Strong, Emotionally Secure, which was awarded the Teacher’s Choice Award in 2011; and Building Your Bounce: Simple Strategies for a Resilient You, a resource created to support adult resilience. Nefertiti’s research interest and the passion that guides her work revolve around better understanding of how resilience contributes to effective education for children, staff, families, and communities.

Stream the episode now!


Season 2 Guests

Season 2, Episode 7: “Workforce Collaboration” feat. Dr. Rena Hallam and Dr. Chrishana M. Lloyd

Season 2

Episode 7: “Workforce Collaboration”

Featuring Dr. Rena Hallam and Dr. Chrishana M. Lloyd

With guests Dr. Rena Hallam, Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Delaware, and Dr. Chrishana M. Lloyd, Research Scholar at Child Trends.

We explore how the National Early Care and Education Workforce Center collaborates with a variety of partners to address critical issues within today’s early child care education workforce. Through the use of technical assistance and research the center works diligently to meet the needs of states, communities, and local programs striving to create equitable conditions for educators.

Season 2, Episode 6: “Find Your People” feat. Toni Dickerson, Lisa E. Ratliff, Sheri Mark, and Shannon Mercer

Season 2

Episode 6: “Find Your People”

Featuring Toni Dickerson, Lisa E. Ratliff, Sheri Mark, and Shannon Mercer

In this episode, we explore the journey of a group of early childhood administrators who formed a resilient community of practice (COP) during the pandemic and have continued to meet regularly. As they navigate the ongoing workforce crisis together, the group shares the importance of building a community within the workplace and how to make classroom educators feel valued.

Season 2, Episode 5: “The Wellbeing of Educators” feat. Dr. Laura Lessard and Stephen McLaren, M.S., NBC-HWC

Season 2

Episode 5: “The Wellbeing of Educators”

Featuring Dr. Laura Lessard and Stephen McLaren, MS, NBC-HWC

Hosts Irene and Meghan chat with Dr. Laura Lessard, Associate Professor at the University of Delaware, and Stephen McLaren, a Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach, about the unique challenges and strategies for educator wellbeing.

Season 2, Episode 4: “Statewide Gratitude” feat. Jamie Schneider and Lisa Miller

Season 2

Episode 4: “Statewide Gratitude”

Featuring Jamie Schneider, Board President and Lisa Miller, Executive Director of deaeyc

In this episode, we have a conversation with Jamie Schneider, Board President, and Lisa Miller, Executive Director of the Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children (deaeyc). They both discuss field experiences, addressing the workforce crisis, celebrating recent deaeyc wins, and looking forward to exciting new chapters ahead!

Season 2, Episode 3: “Protecting Early Childhood” feat. Alison Keough

Season 2

Episode 3: “Protecting Early Childhood”

featuring Alison Keough, DIEEC Quality Improvement Specialist

In this episode, our hosts Irene Ashe and Meghan Pallante talked with Alison Keough, quality improvement specialist at the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood. With extensive experience spanning various states in the United States, Alison brings a wealth of knowledge from her years in the field of early childhood education.

During our discussion, Alison shared her journey and provided valuable insights on protecting early childhood. Tune in now to listen!

Season 2, Episodes 1 & 2: “Lead with Your Heart” feat. Dr. Whitney Williams

Dr. Whitney Williams, is the esteemed principal of Stubbs Early Learning Center in Wilmington, Delaware.

Dr. Williams brings years of experience and unwavering dedication to the field of early childhood education. Her commitment to nurturing and educating our youngest learners shines through in every aspect of her work.

Our hosts had such an engaging conversation with Dr. Williams that it had to be shared in two parts. You can stream these episodes below.


Season 1 Guests

Season 1, Episode 1: “Making Connections” feat. Yvette Sanchez Fuentes

Yvette Sanchez Fuentes currently serves as the vice president of national policy at Start Early and previously held the position of associate secretary with the Delaware Department of Education.

She’s done extensive work in the field including former positions as deputy chief for policy and research at Child Care Aware of America, president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Families, and director of the federal Office of Head Start within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Yvette has dedicated her professional career to understanding how policy, research and implementation impact lifelong outcomes for young children and their families struggling with adversities, including low-income families, migrant and seasonal farm workers, immigrant communities, American Indian and Alaska Natives, and dual language learners

We loved speaking with Yvette and are appreciative of this meaningful conversation. Listen Below!

Season 1, Episode 2: “DIEEC Educators of the Year” feat. Rhondalin Cannon-Tingle & Colleen Millman

Rhondalin Cannon-Tingle is the owner of Rhonda’s Little Angels Daycare and Preschool in Seaford, Del. where she specializes in preschool and kindergarten readiness, outdoor learning, and school-age programs. She is the 2022 recipient of the DIEEC Family Child Care Educator of the Year award.

Colleen Millman currently serves as a preschool classroom lead teacher at the Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) Child Development Center (CDC) at the Georgetown campus. She is the 2022 recipient of the DIEEC Classroom Educator of the Year award.

Listen below!

Season 1, Episode 3: “Where the Classroom Meets the Research” feat. Chrishana M. Lloyd, PhD & Sarah Reyes

Chrishana M. Lloyd, Ph.D.

Lloyd currently serves as a research scholar for Child Trends in New Jersey. Child Trends “is the nation’s leading research organization focused exclusively on improving the lives of children and youth, especially those who are most vulnerable.”

Sarah Reyes

Reyes is currently the owner of Seeds of Jesus Daycare in Wilmington, DE. Her center is bi-lingual, offering teaching staff who speak both English and Spanish giving the children an enriching experience.

Listen below!

Season 1, Episode 4: “Small Beginnings, Big Impact” feat. Erika Vidal

Erika Vidal is a family child care owner and educator based out of Bear, Delaware. With nearly two decades of experience, Erika is always eager to share her valuable insights on how small actions can lead to a big impact in the early childhood education field.

Listen now!

Season 1, Episode 5: “A Seat at the Table” feat. Jerletha McDonald

Jerletha McDonald is a social entrepreneur, family child care business consultant, national speaker and visual podcast host of The Jerletha McDonald Show: Everything Childcare. She has also owned and operated a family child care center for 15 years prior to her work today. McDonald is a prominent figure in her community by providing the necessary resources for family child care businesses and has a special interest in economic security and leadership development of women and girls. Listen below!

Season 1, Episode 6: “Men in the Field of Early Childhood” feat. Dr. Calvin E. Moore, Jr.

Dr. Moore stands smiling in a blue suit jacket and shirt with white stars with a background of trees behind him.

Dr. Calvin E. Moore, Jr. is an accomplished leader in early childhood education and was appointed CEO of the CDA Council in May 2020. He’s also the Council’s first CEO to hold its early education credential, the Child Development Associate (CDA).

Dr. Moore’s extensive experience in the field includes serving in large and small, urban and rural, center-based and family child care-based programs, and programs focused mainly on Hispanic families. He’s also held senior roles directing complex federal and state departments that improve outcomes for underserved children and families. Premieres Friday, March 31.

Listen now:

Season 1, Episode 7: “An Open Book” feat. Tina Thomas

Dr. Moore stands smiling in a blue suit jacket and shirt with white stars with a background of trees behind him.

Tina Thomas left her corporate position after 12 years to start her own family child care (FCC) business as a result of her love of children. She owned and operated Little Comfort’s Childcare in Wilmington for 11 years before transitioning to the role of FCC Networks Coordinator with DIEEC. She loves supporting FCC professionals through her new role.

Listen to episode 7 here:

Season 1, Episode 8: “Building Relationships” feat. Patti Lynch & Corsica Jones

Patti Lynch is currently the Coordinator for the Wilmington Early Care and Education Council (WECEC) Professional Development Resource Center, located in Stubbs Early Learning Center in the City of Wilmington. She is also a Professional Development Specialist for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. She has been in this field for over thirty five years; throughout her career, she has built relationships with so many children, families, colleagues, and community partners.

Corsica Jones is currently a supervisor and coach for the Redding program and also works with Early Head Start at A Leap of Faith CDC in Wilmington. She began her career as an assistant teacher at the Central YMCA, then moved on to a lead teacher position at the Ministry of Caring for ten years before spending the last three at A leap of Faith. She is currently a senior at Springfield College and plans to graduate in the Fall of 2023 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Listen to episode 8 here:


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