The Child Care Business Podcast

Procare Solutions

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 2, Episode 9: How States are Responding to Child Care Staffing Shortages, with Jacob Stewart
Jul 14 2022
Season 2, Episode 9: How States are Responding to Child Care Staffing Shortages, with Jacob Stewart
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 2: Tips for Leading Your Child Care Center's Team with Carla Ward
Feb 16 2022
Season 2, Episode 2: Tips for Leading Your Child Care Center's Team with Carla Ward
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 inputThe benefits of closing your center for an entire day, twice a year, for professional developmentDoing 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 themselvesAnd more!You can connect with Carla by visiting her website: www.elfoundations.com. And she's active on social media!Instagram:  www.instagram.com/elfoundationsFacebook: www.facebook.com/elfoundations/Additional Resources:To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at Us:Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at ltwoodbury@procaresoftware.com.
Episode 18: Opting to Open a Franchised Child Care Center & Helping Other Owners Run Their Businesses with Nannette Ray
Oct 21 2021
Episode 18: Opting to Open a Franchised Child Care Center & Helping Other Owners Run Their Businesses with Nannette Ray
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 www.tnraccounting.com!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:To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at www.procaresoftware.com/resource-center.Contact Us:Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at podcast@procaresoftware.com!
Episode 17: How to Funnel More Money to Your Child Care  Business | Louise Stoney
Oct 14 2021
Episode 17: How to Funnel More Money to Your Child Care Business | Louise Stoney
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 tableWhat shared services are, how they work and the benefits they offer to child care businessesHow she works with public policymakers to help them better understand the child care landscape and make the right funding availableThe ways child care management software can transform recordkeeping to  drive better decision-making at every levelThe concept of one-stop-shopping or subsidy management, and how to do itThe three most important things you have to do to run a successful child care business, also called the Iron TriangleAnd 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  www.oppex.orgAdditional Resources:To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at Us:Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us atpodcast@procaresoftware.com!
Episode 16: The Power of Play for Both Children and Grown-Ups | Emma Tempest
Sep 30 2021
Episode 16: The Power of Play for Both Children and Grown-Ups | Emma Tempest
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:Website:  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 podcast@procaresoftware.com.
Episode 15: Reimagining a School District’s Extended Learning Programs | André Amoor
Sep 16 2021
Episode 15: Reimagining a School District’s Extended Learning Programs | André Amoor
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: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 podcast@procaresoftware.com.
Episode 14: Growing and Engaging Your Child Care Waitlist | Mike Hook
Sep 2 2021
Episode 14: Growing and Engaging Your Child Care Waitlist | Mike Hook
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 signageHow to best capture parent informationHow to keep parents enticed while they’re on your waitlist through fun, informative and regular communicationHow automation can help alleviate issues with consistent communication when you’re buried in the other tasks required to run your centerThe importance of proactivity in nurturing strong parent relationshipsHow to classify families to ensure you’re meeting them at the right point in their buying journeyAbout 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 mhook@childcarecrm.com.  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: Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at podcast@procaresoftware.com.
Episode 13: Thriving Through Multiple ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime’ Crises | Paula Polito
Aug 19 2021
Episode 13: Thriving Through Multiple ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime’ Crises | Paula Polito
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 trainerMTP Credentialed CoachMMCI TrainerCLASS 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 paulampolito@gmail.com. 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 podcast@procaresoftware.com.
Episode 12: Daring to Dream When the Odds Are Against You | LaFarris Risby
Aug 5 2021
Episode 12: Daring to Dream When the Odds Are Against You | LaFarris Risby
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: www.lafarris.com. 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 podcast@procaresoftware.com.
Episode 11: A Framework for Child Care Financial Success | Kathy Ligon
Jul 22 2021
Episode 11: A Framework for Child Care Financial Success | Kathy Ligon
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:  Website: Conference: 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 podcast@procaresoftware.com.