Early Childhood Policy Matters Podcast
This podcast is geared towards early childhood professionals and strategic partners, hoping to use research to inform policy and better serve children, families, and their communities. This series features state leaders and national experts who discuss early childhood policy and efforts supporting the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five initiatives happening across the country.
Each episode focuses on topics including the development of strategic partnerships, establishing financing models for mixed delivery and coordinating eligibility and enrollment processes across agencies and across states. Tune in for an informative and engaging look at early childhood policy initiatives and learn from the nation's top early childhood professionals and leaders.
New! - Episode 21: Advancing Early Childhood Integrated Data in New Jersey
In this episode we explore the New Jersey Enterprise Analysis System for Early Learning (NJ-EASEL), an early childhood integrated data system facilitating cross-agency collaboration and supporting children and families in the Garden State. Host Rebecca Valenchis (SRI Education) speaks with two state leaders about the system, its development with support from PDG B-5, and some valuable lessons-learned for early childhood leaders and stakeholders across the country.
Guests include Erika Kelley, Project Sponsor and Director of the New Jersey Council for Young Children and Founder of Sage Horizons, LLC; and Riddhi Parmar, NJ-EASEL Business Analyst with Mathtech, Inc., for the New Jersey Department of Education.
New! - Episode 22: Building Equity into an Early Childhood System
In this episode we discuss equity, and the work being done in one state to embed equity in all aspects of its early learning system. Host Nancy vonBargen (ICF) sits down with three state leaders from Oregon to discuss their work, their successes, and what a commitment to equity really looks like in early childhood care and education.
Guests from the Early Learning Division of the Oregon Department of Education - soon to be the Department of Early Learning and Care – include Karina Guzmàn Ortiz, Partner Engagement Specialist; Jenny Mendoza, Research and Evaluation Manager; and Kimberly Moua, Early Childhood Equity Fund Manager.
New! - Episode 23: Meeting the Needs of the Early Childhood Workforce: National Perspectives
In the first episode of our three-part series on the early childhood workforce, we discuss a national perspective that addresses history, areas of progress, federal priorities and supports in the early childhood workforce.
Host Ciearra Norwood (SRI International) is joined by guest Richard Gonzales, federal project manager of the Preschool Development Grants Birth Through Five at the Department of Health and Human Services in the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Early Childhood Development; and Chrishana Lloyd, Research Scholar with Child Trends.
New! - Episode 24: Meeting the Needs of the Early Childhood Workforce: State Perspectives
In the second episode of our three-part series on the early childhood workforce, host Martine Sadarangani Gordon (ACF) speaks with a panel of state experts about how they are professionalizing the workforce through nontraditional career ladders. Guests from Georgia, Illinois and Michigan discuss their state’s ongoing efforts to address the diversity and community needs of the early childhood workforce.
Guests include Christi Moore, Director of Professional Learning with the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning; Dr. Jamilah Jordan, Executive Director of the Illinois Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development; and Robin Zeiter, Professional Development Specialist, and Candace Vinson, Education Consultant, with the Michigan Department of Education
New! - Episode 25: Health, Wellness and Retention in the Early Childhood Workforce
In the last episode of our three-part series on the early childhood workforce, we speak with a panel of state and national experts about the early childhood workforce, and how health and wellness strategies can help to improve retention in early childhood settings.
Host Denise Mauzy (SRI International) joins Yale University’s Walter Gilliam, the University of Delaware’s Laura Lessard, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Holly Hatton-Bowers, and the South Carolina Infant Mental Health Association’s Kerri Schnake to discuss new research, findings, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the panel’s recommendations for stakeholders across the country.
Guests include Walter Gilliam, professor of child psychiatry and psychology, and Director of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy with the Yale Child Study Center and the Yale School of Medicine; Laura Lessard, associate professor in the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition at the University of Delaware, and program coordinator for the Delaware IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE); Holly Hatton-Bowers, associate professor and early childhood extension specialist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Education and Human Services; and Kerri Schnake, CEO of the South Carolina Infant Mental Health Association.
Episode 1: An Introduction to Early Childhood Policy Matters - Updated December 2022
In this series, we'll be talking with state leaders and national experts about early childhood policy and efforts supporting the Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5) initiatives happening across the country. We'll share valuable knowledge, strategies, success stories, and some lessons learned on a wide range of critical topics from the local level to the federal level, from mental health practice to program development.
Episode 2: Getting Started with Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
In episode two, Dr. Horen speaks with leaders in California and New York to learn about the different approaches to establishing early childhood mental health consultation in their states.
Episode 3: Implementing Mental Health Services and Supports: Common Approaches
In the third episode, Dr. Neal Horen speaks with Dr. Nikki Edge about the implementation of Arkansas’ early childhood mental health consultation system. Later, Dr. Todd Grindal, Senior Researcher at SRI International, speaks with Dr. Mary Louise Hemmeter about the Pyramid Model. In each interview, these experts discuss the strengths, challenges, and lessons learned with their models as well as key partnerships for successful implementation.
Episode 4: Addressing Common Policy Challenges for Mental Health Practitioners
In episode four, Dr. Horen speaks with two early childhood mental health practitioners to learn about the common challenges and strategies of providers in this field.
Episode 5: Components of a Successful Statewide Early Childhood Mental Health System
In this episode, Dr. Horen speaks with state-level early childhood mental health specialists to learn how their states incorporated early childhood mental health into their mixed delivery systems and the benefits they bring to children and families.
Episode 6: The Biden Administration’s Vision for Comprehensive Early Care and Education Systems
In this episode, The Biden Administration’s Vision for Comprehensive Early Care and Education Systems, focuses on the role played by the federal government to support states as they strengthen early childhood care and education systems and offer mixed delivery options for parents. In this episode, Katie Hamm, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development with the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Miriam Calderon, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education with the U.S. Department of Education, discuss the Biden Administration’s focus on systems building and mixed delivery.
Episode 7: Using PDG B-5 to Support Comprehensive ECCE Statewide Systems
In this episode, Bentley Ponder, Deputy Commissioner of Quality Innovations and Partnerships at the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, and Stephanie Myers, Director of the California Head Start State Collaboration Office with the Childcare and Development Division at the California Department of Social Services, discuss how their states have used PDG B-5 funds to take steps towards building a more comprehensive early care and education system.
Episode 8: Mixed Delivery Systems and Community Voice: Lessons from Head Start
In this episode, Dr. Bernadine Futrell, Director of the Office of Head Start at the Administration for Children and Families, discusses the benefits of a mixed delivery system (MDS) and highlights the role of Head Start in building each state's MDS.
Episode 9: Why Does Systems-Building Matter in Early Childhood?
In this episode, Dr. Ruth Friedman, Director of the Office of Child Care with the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Dr. Joan Lombardi, Director of Early Opportunities, a philanthropic advisement service organization, discuss key issues on early childhood comprehensive systems.
Episode 10: A Vision for Equity and Inclusion in Washington State
In this episode, Washington State discusses the implementation of their Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program which increases capacity to the early learning and family support systems in Washington State for infants and toddlers and their families.
Episode 11: State Innovations: California's Master Plan
In this episode, California representatives discuss the development of their master plan for early learning and care. The Master Plan for Early Learning and Care created a roadmap that put into action past recommendations and research about the benefits of quality early learning and care and includes five substantive issue areas within California's early learning and care system: access, quality, universal pre-kindergarten, facilities, and financing.
Episode 12: Best Practices and Policies that Support Students Transition Across Systems
In this episode, national experts as well as a state leader discuss best practices and recommended policies that support transitions across systems. Learn about best practices and policies that support transitions across systems, different state approaches those transitions, and ways to embed transition practices from leaders supporting transitions across state and local early education and care systems.
Episode 13: Guiding Families Through Early Childhood in Louisiana
In this podcast we explore “EC Guides,” an innovative pilot program in Louisiana providing individualized support to families seeking childcare assistance.
Host Laura Kassner (SRI International) sits down with a panel of state leaders and EC Guides to discuss the program, and its growing impact in communities across the state.
Episode 14: Connecting and Engaging With Families in Kansas
In this podcast we explore "Our Tomorrows," an innovative story-gathering tool being used to connect and engage with families in Kansas. Host Mandy Reeve speaks with two state leaders about the program, how it was influenced by the PDG B-5 initiative, and how it is being used to serve children, families, and communities across the state.
Episode 15: Helping Families Navigate Early Childhood in South Carolina
In this episode we explore First Five South Carolina, a new online portal designed to help families self-navigate through the state’s early childhood system and connect with valuable programs and resources. Host Debra Andersen sits down with two state leaders to discuss the portal, its development, and some valuable recommendations for states working to better support children and families.
Episode 16: Partnering with American Indian and Tribal Nations in Minnesota
In this episode we explore Minnesota’s new state partnerships with American Indian and Tribal Nations, which were established to provide underserved children and families with equitable access to culturally responsive early childhood care and education programs. Host Syritha Robinson joins two state leaders to discuss the design of those partnerships, and share some valuable lessons-learned for states across the United States.
Episode 17: A New Vision for Early Childhood in Colorado
In this episode we explore Colorado’s new Department of Early Childhood and statewide voluntary universal preschool program, which were established this spring with support from the Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5) initiative.
Episode 18: Expanding Access to High-Quality Pre-K in Rhode Island
In this episode we explore new funding models being piloted in Rhode Island in an effort to expand access to high quality pre-K programs. Host Mary Klute joins two state leaders to discuss the pilots, funded with support from the Preschool Development Grants Birth-To-Five initiative, and some recommendations for leaders hoping to fund and expand high-quality programs in states across the country.
Episode 19: A Unique Approach to Early Childhood Systems-Building in Virginia
In this episode, we explore Virginia’s unique “Ready Regions” program, designed to bring unprecedented levels of coordination, accountability, and family engagement to early education programs in every community in the Commonwealth. Host Laura Kassner joins Virginia state and regional leaders to discuss the program and Virginia’s recommendations for early childhood leaders in states across the country.
Kris Meyers, Associate Director of Quality Measurement and Improvement with the Virginia Department of Education; and Catie Sumner, Preschool Development Grant Coordinator with the United Way of Roanoke Valley.
Episode 20: Sovereignty and Early Childhood Care and Education Systems
In this episode we discuss tribal sovereignty, and how it relates to early childhood care and education systems. Host Mandy Reeve (SRI International) speaks with a panel of federal and state experts to explain tribal sovereignty, the value of including tribal voices in strategic planning and systems building, and offer real-world examples and lessons learned at the state level.
Guests include Moushumi Beltangady, Director of Tribal Early Childhood at the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Early Childhood Development, and Program Manager for the Tribal Home Visiting Program; Melody Redbird-Post, Project Director for the Tribal Child Care Capacity Building Center; Tracie Kenney, PDG B-5 Project Director at the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families; and Tleena Ives, Director of Tribal Relations at the Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families.