Singing, Marketing, Legislative Bills, and Competition

Yesterday, my morning started at 8:00 a.m. (which is admirable for a conference hosted in Las Vegas) with happy messages of how I am wonderful, teachers are wonderful and the children are wonderful...oh…and marvelous and curious and full of dreams.   I learned some sign language, danced a little, and found out a great way to get the brain (both sides of it) awake!

Debbie Clement, of Rainbows Within Reach, sang some of her songs and gave us some tips about keeping the kids engaged.  She was in full character as she sang and taught us the sign language that went along with her music.  

Did you know that when you laugh or giggle you retain more of what you are learning?  Not just you as big kids, but children too!  
Did you know that signing and singing uses both sides of the brain? 
How about body language being the syntax of American Sign Language?

I attended two sessions discussing how legislation affects the child care industry and how we can take action to make a difference.

Questions and concerns are being posed such as: 

Can the Chamber of Commerce do anything to help deregulate some of the unnecessary and costly regulations being strapped to centers?  What can be done about the national push for head start centers, not-for-profits and moving pre-K to the public school system?  Parents are beginning to look to the government to tell them what quality child care is.  How do we get the legislation to hear us?

From the discussions these questions inspired we learned to:

Educate, Educate, Educate
Don’t just say “You are putting me out of business.”  Frame the conversation within the existing infrastructure.  Show them COSTS.
Develop working relationships with different people.  Find out who you need to know to get things done.

Get Parents Involved.
Get statewide chapter involved.
Provide a brief summary of what is at stake.
Create and distribute a timetable for action.
Give people some talking points.
Draft a sample letter.

You'll have to wait to hear about the marketing one!  I have to run to the next class...Outdoor Learning Spaces with Roger Pryor!


Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building