The Child Care Business Podcast

This podcast, brought to you by Procare Solutions, is all about giving child care, preschool, daycare, afterschool and other early education professionals a fun and upbeat way to learn about strategies and inspiration they can use to thrive. You'll hear from a variety of child care thought leaders, including educators, owners and industry experts, on ways to innovate to meet the needs of the children you serve. From practical tips for managing operations to uplifting stories of transformation and triumph, this podcast will be chock-full of insights you can use to fully realize the potential of your child care business.


Season 4, Episode 6: Three Tips to Grow Your Child Care Business, with Caroline Jens

June 25, 2024

Are you ready to take your child care center to the next level? Whether you're a seasoned child care professional or just starting out, the tips from Caroline Jens shared in this podcast will help you grow and succeed in the competitive world of early childhood education and management!

Caroline is the owner and co-founder of Child Care Biz Help and has dedicated nearly 20 years to child care. She is an expert in business development, leadership, finance, web development, internet marketing and building "raving fan" cultures. 

In this podcast, she walks us through three simple, but powerful, strategies to grow your child care center:

  • Make a lasting first impression
  • Implement intentional, well-rounded marketing
  • Find time away from your desk

To learn more about what Caroline and her team do, which includes helping child care centers grow as well as starting a new program and creating a brand, visit  or email her at 

Season 4, Episode 5: Using Developmentally Appropriate Practices to De-stress Children and Teachers, with Prerna Richards

June 10, 2024

"We've gone down this path of expecting little humans to sit when they're not developmentally made to sit this long. Brains don't learn like this," says Prerna Richards, founder of Together We Grow.

In this episode, Prerna walks us through how to use developmentally appropriate practices to de-stress teachers and children. Prerna says early childhood education programs are seeing aggressive behaviors and shares how child care staff can use DAP to take the stress out of learning to create a better environment for children and themselves.

These tips include recognizing that attention-seeking behavior is a relationship-seeking need and how to move past just surviving.

To reach Prerna or learn more about her work, visit and check out her YouTube channel for informative videos. You also can find her on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram!

Season 4, Episode 4: From Burnout to Balance: Nurturing Well-being in ECE, with Anisha Angella

May 14, 2024

As early childhood education providers, your jobs including serving many people, including children and families. But too often, you don't pour enough back into yourselves ... and that's where burnout comes from, says Anisha Angella, founder of the The Early Childhood Coach.

In this podcast, Anisha walks us through the roots of burnout and gives tips on how to stop teacher burnout from starting. She explains there are 12 steps that happen before burnout in ece begins and how to recognize the first steps so it doesn't progress. She also explains that burnout is experienced differently among people, including in ways like trouble sleeping or physical pain.

For more about Anisha and her work, visit her website at or check her out on her many social media platforms, including her Instagram page!

Season 4, Episode 3: The Five Pillars of Financial Success for Child Cares, with Kathy Ligon

April 23, 2024

Kathy Ligon is the founder & CEO of HINGE Advisors. Trained as a public accountant, Kathy has more than 35 years of experience in educational operations. During that time, she has found there are five pillars to the success of a child care business:  occupancy, tuition rates, discounting practices, salary costs and rent-cost management. Listen as Kathy walks us through each of these pillars in detail to learn how you can grow your child care business!

To learn more about Kathy and her company, visit  And check out Framework by Hinge, which is an easy-to-use app that helps you maximize your school’s value and position it for financial success!

Season 4, Episode 2: Breaking Down the 2024 Child Care Management Software Industry Trends Report

March 15, 2024

Procare Solutions recently released our 2024 Child Care Management Software Industry Trends Report, which provides a comprehensive look at the current state of the child care industry’s use of technology as well as challenges that early childhood education programs must adapt to, and overcome, to thrive.

But the findings detailed in this report go deeper than software. In compiling this data, the goal was to better understand the obstacles being faced by child care providers. To provide more context to the findings, we partnered with experts in several areas of early childhood education. 

Listen in as these experts — Beth Cannon, Caroline Jens, Prerna Richards as well as  Kathy Ligon and Kathe Petchel of HINGE Early Education Advisors — discuss topics including enrollment strategies, curriculum and much more! This podcast was recorded during a recent webinar in which all were panelists. 

Season 4, Episode 1: How to Help Child Care Staff Embrace Technology, with LaToya Riggins

February 27, 2024

Technology scares people, and that's true for child care employees.

"Easing them into it helps, and really slowing it down and teaching them," says LaToya Riggins, vice president of professional development of CRAFT by Better Futures. 

Proper training and guidance is key, and so is showing employees how they'll benefit from using technology ... and that you're ready to help them.

"Don't be afraid. Technology is a beautiful thing when used correctly. Give it a chance," she says.

In this podcast, LaToya shares her tips for how to get your staff on board with using technology in their classrooms and for running other parts of the business, including using QR codes for check-ins and getting rid of paper documentation that is prone to errors and takes so much time to complete manually.

One such tip is to break staff into small groups so nobody gets lost or is afraid to answer questions.  And she has a lot more to share.

"One thing about technology is that it's very forgiving. Everything has an undo button," she says.

To reach LaToya, email her at or visit!

Season 3, Episode 9: Why Digital Payment Processing is a Must for Child Care Providers

December 15, 2023

Tuition collection can be a breeze when families can easily pay you on time and with their preferred method of payment. And for today’s parents, their preferred method overwhelmingly is digital, whether through autopay from their checking accounts or by debit cards and credit cards.  

The perks of accepting digital payments at your child care program are many, for both you and them! In this podcast, you'll learn more how your center will benefit with streamlined financial processes, and how families can reap the benefits of using their credit cards, such as flights or cashback offers!

Season 3, Episode 8: How to Grow Your Enrollment With Top-Notch Tours of Your Center, with Molly Hichens

October 27, 2023

A tour of your child care center should be your Super Bowl, says Molly Hichens. Are you doing enough to wow families who tour your daycare or preschool?

Molly is a second-generation owner at Bright Beginnings Preschool, which has three locations in Charlottesville, Virginia, and is about to celebrate 40 years in business! She’s also an accomplished child care consultant and speaker. And when it comes to giving tours to prospective families, she has a lot of great ideas to share, including: 

  • Setting specific days and times to give tours
  • Make the tour posh (her centers bake cookies and offer Perrier water!)
  • Ensure the person giving the tour knows current waitlist numbers and move-up dates for children in the room
  • Highlight what makes your center special, such as a great curriculum
  • And more!

Molly's areas of expertise include leadership, intergenerational workplaces, business expansion and increasing revenue while streamlining systems.  Visit to learn how she helps child care businesses stand out  from the crowd!

Season 3, Episode 7: Billions in Child Care Funding is About to Dry Up: What that Means for Providers and Families, with Cindy Lehnhoff

September 13, 2023

Beginning September 30, 2023, states could be forced to deal with the loss of billions of dollars in federal funding, which will lead to a mass disruption in the child care landscape.

The $24 billion that went to child cares was part of a pandemic program, and has been the largest investment in child care in history. Without that funding, 3.2 million children could lose spots in child cares and more than 70,000 centers could close, according to a Century Foundation report.

In this podcast, Cindy Lehnhoff, the director of the National Child Care Association, explains what's happening and what measures are being taken to save at least some of the funding.  She also discusses the consequences of losing the funding — on centers, staffing, families and the economy — and what some states are doing.

Learn more about the NCCA and its work.

Season 3, Episode 6: Building a Nonprofit ECE Center and the Push for Child Care Funding, with Allyx Schiavone

July 24, 2023

Allyx Schiavone had intended to start a new elementary school in New Haven, Connecticut, until she listened to her community and saw the need for an early childhood education center. 

In this episode, she talks about partnering with local Quakers to form the Friends Center for Children. Allyx is the executive director of the center, which is supported by a comprehensive emotional wellbeing program and made accessible with sliding scale tuition. 

Allyx also serves as the co-chair of the Child Care for Connecticut’s Future Coalition, representing partners working to increase public funding for early care and education across the state. She has 30 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in Connecticut and New York. 

In this episode, she shares her expertise on government incentives in child care and talks about some big things she’s doing, including providing housing to her child care center's employees.

To learn more about Allyx and the work she's doing, visit or just Google her name!

Season 3, Episode 6: The Importance of Design and Branding in Child Care Centers, with Better Beans Branding

June 22, 2023

Think about going to a restaurant. That's an experience you have. It's true in other businesses too, from a coffee shop to a doctor's office to a hardware store. So why shouldn't that apply to a child care center?

That's the message of Better Beans Branding in Duluth, Georgia. This company does branding, design, signs and construction and  their clients include child care centers, which Better Beans helps to reach their goals and convey their values in their spaces.

In this podcast, Neel Sengupta, the company’s chief operating officer and managing partner, and Lyndsey Ward, a Better Beans graphic designer, talk about  the importance of design in child care centers and how their work creates positive environments for young learners. They share the questions they ask before a project begins, including thinking about how adding space could mean additional revenue. And they describe the trend of parent-interaction areas in child care centers ... because what parents see in your lobby or common space is all they typically see, so you'd better make it interactive and experiential!

To learn more about Better Beans Branding, visit its website and its Facebook and Instagram pages. You also can email 

Season 3, Episode 5: How to Successfully Onboard and Retain Employees, with Kris Murray

May 25, 2023

Today's millennial and Gen Z workers are mission driven, tech savvy and they expect to be onboarded and given professional development and coaching, says Kris Murray.

Kris is the founder and president and founder of The Child Care Success Company and a leading child care business expert. 

In this podcast, she talks about how to help child care staff grow within your organization and the importance of professional development to make that happen.

Her tips for successfully onboarding and retaining employees include: 

  • Offering a retention bonus after a certain number of days
  • Creating a roadmap for each employee
  • Hiring someone just because that person is a "warm body," even in today's tough staffing environment, does not work
  • Encouraging younger employees to help with your social media accounts
  • And more!

To learn more about Kris and her company, and the services she offers, check out her company's website. She also offers the a free Empowered Educators training course to help teachers align with their school’s mission and goals.

Season 3, Episode 4: Why Early Childhood Education Can't Be Delayed, with AJ Crabill

April 10, 2023

AJ Crabill has strong opinions about early childhood education and he's quick to dispel any notion that it should start around preschool.

He is a champion of ECE, and his education experience includes chairing the Kansas City School Board and serving as the deputy commissioner of the Texas Education Agency where he helped spearhead statewide incentives for school districts to expand their pre-K offerings outcomes statewide.  He's now a conservator with the DeSoto Independent School District and he coaches school systems nationwide to get clear about what they want for their students.

In this podcast, he talks about why ECE needs to begin WAY earlier than many believe  and about the the importance of supporting families and students to help children accelerate when they start kindergarten.

To learn more about AJ and the work he's doing, or to contact him, visit

Season 3, Episode 3: Insights From an ECE Professor, Including What her Students Want in a Career, with Dr. Rosemarie Allen

March 22, 2023

Dr. Rosemarie Allen has served as an educational leader for over 30 years and her life’s work is centered on ensuring all children have access to high-quality early childhood programs that are developmentally and culturally appropriate. 

She’s an associate professor in the school of education at Metropolitan State University in Denver, and other career highlights include serving as Colorado’s director of the division of early learning, and she oversaw the state’s licensing program. She also helped implement the state’s professional development plan and helped create its early learning guidelines. 

In this podcast, she talks about how she got into early childhood education, why educators can't keep doing the same things just because that's the way they've always been done (think having children stand in lines!) and she shares her insights about what her ECE students want in a career (and no, it's not a typical 9-5 job with no flexibility).

To learn more about Dr. Allen and to reach her, visit her website!

Season 3, Episode 2: Highlights of the 2023 Child Care Management Software Industry Trends Report, with Jon Pollock

February 21, 2023

The child care industry is at a crossroads. Many programs are resisting technology to help educate the children in their care and simplify running their businesses. 

That's why Procare Solutions surveyed over 100,000 stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding of their child care management software usage, as well as other technologies in place for their business operations. 

The results of the survey comprise the 2023 Child Care Management Software Industry Trends Report.

In this episode, Procare Solutions Chief Product Officer Jon Pollock gives his insight into the report. He also discusses solutions to challenges that respondents cited including finding and keeping staff as well as with curriculum —  challenges that exist across the child care industry, in programs large and small. 

To learn more about the report, join Jon on March 2 for a free live webinar and have your questions ready! Save your spot here

Season 3, Episode 1: Introducing Gen Z! Strategies to Engage our Newest Generation in the Child Care Workforce

January 11, 2023

Child care centers are seeing five generations of employees working together: traditionalists, boomers, generation X, millennials and now generation Z, who are ages 10 to 24 years old. 

As this group becomes a larger part of the workforce, it’s important to understand how they’re different from other age groups, says Kathe Petchel. She has been in early childhood education for more than 30 years, both as a teacher and a center owner, and is an expert on hiring and training staff, as well as staff development and onboarding. Kathe also is the head of business development at Hinge Advisors.

In this podcast, Kathe walks us through several key things that center owners and directors must understand about the newest generation in the workplace, including:

  • What makes them different
  • What key factors must they navigate that are different from other generations
  • Their strengths and fears
  • Brands they like and why that is relevant
  • Their needs especially post-Covid
  • Best team members to pair them with
  • Unique characteristics to leverage
  • How to find them and how to keep them

Learn more about Kathe here and she can be reached at! 

Season 2, Episode 13: Thirty Years of Growing Together: Procare's Founder and an Early Customer Recount the Early Days

December 12, 2022

The story of Procare Solutions begins with a dad who saw a child care center needed help. 

That dad was Jeff Blum, and he remembers dropping off his 2-year-old son and watching the center’s owners struggle with their accounting system. 

So he wrote them a computer program to help. That program — limited, yes, but incredibly innovative for its time  — can lay claim to being the very first version of what eventually would become Procare Solutions.  

Procare Solutions is celebrating its 30th anniversary, so we invited Jeff to share his memories of those early days. In his podcast, he recounts how Procare got its start and the changes that came before his retirement. He’s joined by Carol Levins, who owned many child care centers and is among the first of Procare’s customers. Her feedback helped Jeff shape the software to fit the needs of early childhood educators. 

Listen as Jeff and Carol discuss the evolution of Procare from its origins on a computer with two floppy disk drives but no hard drives, to its growth to today, when Procare Solutions is the largest providers of child care management software and provides much more than just accounting help!

Season 2, Episode 13: Five Tips to be a Successful Child Care Center Director, with Ty'Heim Clark

November 9, 2022

Ty’Heim Clark, perhaps better known as Mr. Ty, is the founder of The Childcare Whisperer, a consulting business that works with child care center directors to help them meet their goals and take their centers to the next level.

His experience in early childhood education started when he was a child and he helped his mother at her child care center. Since then, he has worked as a pre-kindergarten teacher, an assistant center director, director of curriculum and he has managed centers with enrollments ranging from 80 to 200 children.

In this podcast, he shares five tips to improve your success as a child care center director, including how to lead when it's difficult to find staff.

You can find out more about Ty on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. His website is and his email address is 

Season 2, Episode 12: Building Resilience Among Early Childhood Educators, with Donna Skea

September 30, 2022

As child care centers struggle to find and keep good teachers and other staff, building resilience is key. 

In this podcast, Donna Skea joins us from Quebec to share some tips on doing just that! 

Donna is the founder of The Infinite Educator, which provides workshops on all aspects of early childhood education, including on building resiliency in the childcare workforce, which is what she’ll be discussing with us today.

 She also is an early childhood education professor at Vanier College.

Listen as Donna talks about getting back to the basics of why we love child care and early childhood educationand the importance of building community and offering professional development, as well as more!

Check Donna's Facebook page if you'd like to learn more about her services, as well as her page on LinkedIn! You also can email her at 


Season 2, Episode 11: Back-to-School Tips for Your Child Care Center, with Aliya Johnson Roberts

September 2, 2022

Aliya Johnson-Roberts, an education and business consultant who leads Consulting with AJR, is the executive director of the Bustleton Learning Center and Pratt Street Learning Center in Philadelphia, serving more than 250 children.

Her mother was an in-home child care provider, and Aliya went into the fashion industry before realizing her passion is early childhood education.

Aliya has a master’s degree in early childhood education and educational leadership from Arcadia University and is a PhD candidate in educational leadership. And she’s preparing to expand Bustleton’s Learning Center’s services to include kindergarten through the third grade.

In this podcast, Aliya shares some useful tips to help prepare your child care center for back-to-school season, which is something we traditionally think of as happening in a school setting like elementary school and in older grades. But it's vital for child care providers too!

Learn more about Aliya's consulting business at and search her name on the social media channels you follow!

Season 2, Episode 10: A Look at Colorado's New Law to Fund 10 Hours a Week of Preschool, with Nicole Riehl

July 26, 2022

In this podcast, Nicole Riehl, president and CEO of Colorado Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (better known as EPIC), discusses a new Colorado law that will pay for 10 hours a week of preschool for all 4-year-olds, and what that means for child care providers and families.

 Nicole was an early childhood teacher for five years and her background includes extensive work with Denver’s preschool programs as well as coordinating various early childhood quality improvement events, resource, and activities across Colorado. She was the CEO of Denver’s Early Childhood Council before taking over the helm of EPIC in 2019.

She discusses how this new state law was designed for flexibility to allow parents to choose what preschool their children can attend and still be eligible for those 10 hours of preschool, as well as the importance of making the program accessible and easy to use for providers and families.

To learn more about Colorado Epic, visits its website:

Season 2, Episode 9: How States are Responding to Child Care Staffing Shortages, with Jacob Stewart

July 14, 2022

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.

Season 2, Episode 8: Setting Expectations for — and Connecting with — Your Child Care Staff, with Chanie Wilschanski

June 29, 2022

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 think
  • Not to show you what you’re lacking, but remind you that everything you need is inside you
  • Instead of showing you 50 steps, the next one step that gives you a win

Learn more about Chanie's work at her Schools of Excellence website and you can find her own podcast series here!

Why Curriculum Matters in Early Childhood Learning

June 1, 2022

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

Season 2, Episode 6: Shared Leadership: Letting Go and Working Toward the Same Goals, with Lisa Polk

May 3, 2022

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 systems
  • why you must make sure relationships with parents stay professional
  • the importance of communication
  • how to build a team and work toward the same goal
  • and more!

Reach Lisa at, and learn more about her nonprofit Poly-Anna's Place on Facebook and on Instagram!

Season 2, Episode 5: How the Employee Retention Tax Credit Affects Child Care Providers, with Gary Romano

April 20, 2022

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, or visit!

Season 2, Episode 4: Creating A Strong Foundation for Sustainable Child Care Programs Through Shared Services, with Karla Houghtalin

April 11, 2022

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.


Season 2, Episode 3: How Shared Services Benefit Child Care Providers, with Monique Reynolds

February 28, 2022

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.


Season 2, Episode 2: Tips for Leading Your Child Care Center's Team with Carla Ward

February 16, 2022

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 input
  • The benefits of closing your center for an entire day, twice a year, for professional development
  • Doing 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 themselves
  • And more!

You can connect with Carla by visiting her website:
And she's active on social media!

Additional Resources:
To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at

Contact Us:
Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at 

Season 2, Episode 1: A Deep Dive into How 'Build Back Better' Would Affect Child Care

January 4, 2022

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.  

Episode 20: Understanding what the Build Back Better Plan Means for Child Care, Plus Talking Accreditation with Storm Webb and Cindy Lehnhoff

December 1, 2021

In this episode, we talk with Storm Webb, executive director of the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation organization, and with Cindy Lehnhoff, director of the National Child Care Association. 

 These women have been on the front lines of seeing how daycares are dealing with challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic and are closely monitoring the Build Back Better plan being debated by Congress.

In our discussion, we talk about everything from accreditation and what the Build Back Better plan would mean for child care centers, as well as the expected increased number of middle-class families who will receive subsidies for child care, as well as universal free preschool, should the Build Back Better plan pass as it stands. 

Episode 19: Brain Development in Young Children and the Effects of Stress with Prerna Richards

November 3, 2021

 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.


Episode 18: Opting to Open a Franchised Child Care Center & Helping Other Owners Run Their Businesses with Nannette Ray

October 21, 2021

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!

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:

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Episode 17: How to Funnel More Money to Your Child Care Business | Louise Stoney

October 14, 2021

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 table
  • What shared services are, how they work and the benefits they offer to child care businesses
  • How she works with public policymakers to help them better understand the child care landscape and make the right funding available
  • The ways child care management software can transform recordkeeping to  drive better decision-making at every level
  • The concept of one-stop-shopping or subsidy management, and how to do it
  • The three most important things you have to do to run a successful child care business, also called the Iron Triangle
  • And 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

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Episode 16: The Power of Play for Both Children and Grown-Ups | Emma Tempest

September 30, 2021

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:

Additional Resources:

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Episode 15: Reimagining a School District’s Extended Learning Programs | André Amoor

September 16, 2021

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:

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Episode 14: Growing and Engaging Your Child Care Waitlist | Mike Hook

September 2, 2021

Mike Hook joins us for this episode of the Child Care Business Podcast. As the VP of Sales for ChildcareCRM, Mike sees first-hand the issues child care owners/directors encounter when connecting with parents and building their enrollments. And he has a lot of great tips on how to tackle those issues. 

In our discussion, Mike covers a variety of strategies and tips, including: 

  • How to go beyond advertising your openings via physical signage
  • How to best capture parent information
  • How to keep parents enticed while they’re on your waitlist through fun, informative and regular communication
  • How automation can help alleviate issues with consistent communication when you’re buried in the other tasks required to run your center
  • The importance of proactivity in nurturing strong parent relationships
  • How to classify families to ensure you’re meeting them at the right point in their buying journey

About Mike:

Mike Hook is the VP of Sales for ChildcareCRM, and his passion is to help grow and empower child care centers seeking to boost their enrollment. He sees firsthand the challenges that centers encounter when looking to grow their businesses, and has a ton of great advice to share. 

You can connect with Mike by visiting his website: or by emailing him at  

Additional Resources:
For more tips from ChildcareCRM on waitlist management, visit

To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at

Contact Us:
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Episode 13: Thriving Through Multiple ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime’ Crises | Paula Polito

August 19, 2021

In this episode, we chat with Paula Polito, owner of Beary Cherry Tree in New Orleans. From humble beginnings 45 years ago to a four-building, 16-classroom operation, Beary Cherry Tree is a thriving business that boasts a four-star rating, low turnover and low ratios. However, the journey hasn’t been an easy one. From navigating the loss of her house and severe building damage during Hurricane Katrina to a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, Paula has seen it all. But her resilient spirit, business acumen and focus on culture have helped her weather the storm (pun intended). 

Topics we talk about with Paula include:

  • How she hires and retains teachers through culture-building, caring leadership, professional development, lower ratios and a strong focus on mental health.
  • Strategies for communicating with parents and staff in a transparent and compassionate way.
  • Her approach to the latest COVID outbreaks.
  • How she’s implemented a structure that allows for her to spend more time doing work outside the center, such as child care advocacy and earning her PhD.
  • Paula’s storied background, including spending six years as a New Orleans Saints cheerleader as well as a stint on the show “Fear Factor.” 

About Paula:

Paula is owner of Beary Cherry Tree in New Orleans. Beary Cherry Tree is a family-owned and operated day care center that is 45 years old and spans three generations. They have grown from 1,000 square feet in 1976 to what is one of the largest in the area.

Paula's center has a four-star rating from Louisiana’s Quality Start Program and is a 5210 Partner, which means her center is all about kids health, providing 5 or more fruits/vegetables, 2 hours or less of recreational screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity and 0 soda or sweetened drinks. 

Paula is currently getting her doctorate in Urban Studies/Affairs from the University of New Orleans and has a number of certifications, including: 

  • Pathways Level 3 trainer
  • MTP Credentialed Coach
  • MMCI Trainer
  • CLASS TTT (Train the Trainer)
  • CLASS Reliable (Infant/Toddler / PreK)

She’s also the Department of Education Advisory Board Chair.

You can connect with Paula by visiting her website: or by emailing her at

Additional Resources:
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Episode 12: Daring to Dream When the Odds Are Against You | LaFarris Risby

August 5, 2021

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:

Additional Resources:
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Episode 11: A Framework for Child Care Financial Success | Kathy Ligon

July 22, 2021

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:  

Additional Resources:
To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at

Contact Us:
Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at