Always Learning From You - Wildwood CACFP Child Care Conference

I recently had the opportunity to speak at the Wildwood CACFP Child Care Conference.  My talk was about valuing what you do, as child care providers, and providing ideas on how to do that, with a focus of creating an online presence.  While I do hope that the providers were able to take at least one thing (hopefully more!) home with them from, I wanted to share with you the several things I took home with me.  I love being able to talk to you all, I always learn so much!  Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

A Few Things...

  1. Opinions vary regarding the importance, value, and security of having a website or a Facebook page.  Although, most seem to have some sort of an online presence such as a listing on, craigslist or some other type of directory.  Some providers were very interested in attending a webinar to learn how to create their own website. Comment below if you'd be interested in attending!
  2. When talking about your program and it's value to your community and future families it is important to consider what makes you unique such as a "grandma type atmosphere for children who don't get to see their grandmas."  I hadn't thought of this one before and I love it.  What makes your program unique from others?
  3. There are some really neat things people are doing for literacy!  Depending on where you live (and seemed like all of Colorado does this) librarians from your local library will come to your child care, read to the children (some do a craft) and then leave books.  They come twice a month (depending on where you live)!  Someone else mentioned there was a mobile book and snack program that came to their curb every week.  Look for community services that come to your home!
  4. You forget to tell people how hard you work, in the most positive way, of course!  Make sure parents know about all of the training and continuing education you are attending. Tell them about industry magazine subscriptions so they know all that you are doing to stay up with trends in the field.
  5. You like the idea of being called Brain Architects, which you are.  Who is with the children the most other than the parents?  You!  90% of a child's brain develops in the first 5 years of life.  (First 5 California).  You are helping them build their brains.  When people ask you what you do, tell them you are a brain architect. 

Thank you to those who attended the Wildwood CACFP conference and shared with me your thoughts and experiences.  It is always humbling to be with the wonderful people that are child care providers.

Questions, comments or thoughts - Please share below!


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