2017 Summer Kansas Child


A publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Summer 2017 Volume 16, Issue 3













Kansas Child

is a publication of

Child Care Aware ®

of Kansas

Executive Director

Leadell Ediger


BWearing Consulting

Angie Saenger, Deputy


Publication Design

Julie Hess Design

On the Cover

Landon Carroll, 15 months, son of

Jason and Shanna, of Atwood, KS,

enjoys playing outside. Photo by

Shea Finley Photography

Child Care Aware ® of Kansas,

1508 East Iron, Salina, Kansas 67401,

publishes Kansas Child quarterly,

and is made possible through the

financial support of the members

of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas and

sponsorships from our corporate,

private, and foundation partners.

Kansas Child is intended to provide

a forum for the discussion of child

care and early education issues and

ideas. We hope to provoke thoughtful

discussions within the field and to

help those outside the field gain a

better understanding of priorities

and concerns. The views expressed

by the authors are not necessarily

those of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

or its sponsors.

Copyright © 2017 by Child Care

Aware ® of Kansas, unless

otherwise noted. No permission

is required to excerpt or make

copies of articles provided that

they are distributed at no cost.

For other uses, send written

permission requests to:

Child Care Aware ® of Kansas,

1508 East Iron, Salina, KS 67401


Executive Director

Child Care Aware ®

of Kansas

This week, my thoughts have been focused on that popular childhood game,

“follow the leader.”

It was a special moment with my not-quite 2-year-old grandchild, Aaron. We were

checking on the remodeling progress of the home he and my daughter, his mom, will

soon move into. I noticed a piece of siding about 4 inches wide lying flat on the floor.

Aaron started to walk on it like a “tight-rope” artist. I was standing right behind him,

so I decided to follow his lead and began to sing, “I’m following the leader.” (Even

though my singing voice is not even shower worthy, he doesn’t seem to mind!) When

he reached the end of the board, he turned around to walk the opposite direction.

Before he could jump ahead of me, I turned and started singing, “Nana is the leader

and Aaron is the follower,” at which point he gave me a broad smile and a little

chuckle. Warms a grandmother’s heart!

Quality early childhood education helps children learn both leadership and

following skills, along with empathy, friendship and listening skills, patience,

curiosity and so much more! These important skills, learned at an early age, can last

a lifetime.

Our legislators in Topeka practice leadership skills every day as they

make decisions that affect the lives of every Kansan. This year, as

you probably know, was an extremely difficult year because of the

gaping hole in the budget. The good news is that lawmakers

voted in a tax plan estimated to bring the state more than $1.2

billion in additional funding over two years. They were able

to override Governor Brownback’s veto of the plan, with

a vote of 27 to 13 in the Senate and 88 to 31 in the House.

Republicans and Democrats worked together to accomplish

this. That shows incredible leadership!

I believe legislators have to find their spark while they do

their collective work for Kansas. Your spark is what gets you

excited and makes you want to get up in the morning. In this

issue of Kansas Child you will find an article titled, “Why

Sparks and Mindset Matter,” written by Bridget Patti and

Rebecca Gilliam. Recently, I heard both women give

their thoughts about the topic. An activity they

suggested was to identify your spark – figure out

where you find joy and excitement. If your spark

Kansas Child is distributed at

no cost to Child Care Aware ®

of Kansas donors. Single

copies are available

to anyone at $5 each, prepaid.

is related to your work life, then chances

are you will be more successful in your job,

because you love what you do. (Do you

love it every day? Perhaps not, but if you

love it MOST days, what a great feeling!)

I find my spark in the work we do here

at Child Care Aware® of Kansas, because

I firmly believe it is incredibly important.

We help families who are looking for child

care that fills their family’s needs. We

assist child care providers to be better at

their jobs by helping them obtain more

knowledge and helping them hone their

skills, and we work with communities

to help them see the true value of highquality

child care.

I go to work every day to ensure that

young children, like Aaron, have the things

they need to grow up happy, healthy and

ready to succeed when they enter school.

If you are a family member, a child care

provider, a city or county commissioner

or a funder, I hope you see yourself in our

work. Together, we can make this vision

of high-quality child care a reality for all

children! We’re looking for leaders, and

followers. Whichever you are, join us!

p. 4

p. 14

p. 18


Whole Leadership

for Family Engagement............................4

Avoid the Pull of the

Immediate Need Over

the Important Goal................................... 8

The Importance of Setting Goals.............9

Merging Generations

in the Workforce...................................... 10

Self-Care as an Essential

Part of Leadership...................................13

Why Sparks and Mindset Matter........... 14

Professional Organization Grows

Leadership Skills......................................15

Partners 4 Success................................. 16

Youth Making a Difference Council........18

Establishing Trust................................... 19

Cultivating Curiosity in Children............20

Book Nook: A Journey of Relating...........21

The Impact of Kindergarten on

Professional Success.............................. 22

Child Care Provider Coalition

of Kansas.................................................23

Whole Leadership

for Family Engagement



Director of Research

and Evaluation,

McCormick Center for Early

Childhood Leadership

Mike Abel is the Director of Research and

Evaluation at the McCormick Center for

Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis

University where he designs and implements

original research studies regarding

administrative practice in early childhood


His education includes an Interdisciplinary

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership Policy

and Foundations, an M.A. in Educational

Administration, and an M.A. in Early Childhood

Education. Mike has extensive experience in

higher education, child care management, and

service with NAEYC.

Family engagement

increases children’s


cognitive skills

FOR DECADES, the value

of partnering with families to support

children’s learning and development

has been touted among early childhood

care and education leaders. Initiatives

to enhance family engagement in early

childhood programs and schools is

increasingly prevalent, and with good

reason. Family engagement increases

children’s age-appropriate cognitive skills

(Roggman, Boyce, and Cook, 2009),

improves student achievement (Forry,

Bromer, Chrisler, Rothenber, Simkin,

and Danieri, 2012; McWayne, Hampton,

Fantuzzo, Cohen, & Sekino, 2004), and

supports early literacy in diverse families

(Barrueco, Smith, and Stephens, 2015).

Involving parents and other family

members in the learning opportunities

that occur in child care settings and

building bridges between the home and

the program extend learning and promote

child development in a meaningful and

authentic way.

Early childhood administrators might

feel unprepared to lead efforts that foster

family engagement. However, being

intentional about involving families

in program activities and choosing to

consider family members’ perspectives

in decision-making go a long way toward

overcoming any reticence the leader might

have about reaching out to families. A shift

in the leaders’ thinking aids in creating

an organizational culture that welcomes

4 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Directors who

make family engagement

a priority actively seek

parents’ and extended family

members’ support and


family partnerships.

Leadership for family engagement might

include creating policies and practices

that respect differing family structures,

involving family members in decisions

related to their children, and regularly

asking for feedback from family members

about their experiences with the program.

Directors who make family engagement

a priority actively seek parents’ and

extended family members’ support and

assistance. They also encourage staff to

allow families easy access to the classroom

and school. Supervisors can urge teachers

to make families a visible presence in their

classrooms by posting photos or displaying

artifacts from children’s experiences

outside of the program (Pelo 2002).

Encouraging teachers to bring family

life into the classroom is a function of

the administrator exercising pedagogical

leadership. The McCormick Center for

Early Childhood Leadership at National

Louis University recently developed the

Whole Leadership Framework to clarify

and differentiate various aspects of

leadership in early childhood programs

(Abel, Talan, Masterson, 2017). This

broad view of leadership can be explained

through three domains: leadership

essentials, administrative leadership, and

pedagogical leadership.

Leadership essentials include

foundational skills in reflective practice,

communication, and relationship-building.

They include such personal attributes

as self-efficacy, empathy, creativity,

authenticity, humility, transparency,

adaptability, and a learner’s perspective

on which administrative and pedagogical

leadership are built and are often expressed

in leadership styles and dispositions.

Leadership essentials are foundational for

influencing and motivating people around

a shared vision.

Administrative leadership involves

maximizing capacity to develop and

sustain an early childhood organization.

It is about setting goals, orchestrating

work, and mobilizing people to sustain

Continued on page 6

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 5

Continued from page 5

an early childhood organization, with

both operational and strategic leadership

functions. Operational leadership is

accomplished through such critical

functions as hiring, evaluating, and

supporting teaching staff, developing

budgets aligned with program goals

and needs, and maintaining a positive

organizational culture and climate.

Strategic leadership involves guiding

the direction of an early childhood

organization with the future in mind.

Strategic leaders clarify mission and

values, inspire staff to pursue a shared

vision, and ensure that program goals

and outcomes are attained. Effective

administrative leaders establish systems

for consistent implementation of program

operations to meet the needs of children,

families, and staff.

Pedagogical leadership involves

supporting the art and science of

teaching, including ensuring high-quality

interactions with children and affecting

the dispositions of teachers. Pedagogical

leadership includes instructional

leadership and family engagement. As

pedagogical leaders, directors continually

assess whether classroom activities are

implemented with fidelity to the program’s

philosophy and curricular objectives.

They examine the learning environment

from the child’s perspective and consider

whether it is authentic to their life beyond

the classroom, and inclusive of families’

cultures. Is it provocative enough to

capture children’s interests and challenging

enough to affect their development?

Pedagogical leaders also create systems

of accountability for assessing children’s

development and learning, using

evaluation data to guide and differentiate

instruction, and optimizing learning


Instructional leadership in an early

care and education setting involves

establishing and maintaining an

organizational culture that functions

as a learning community. Program

leaders attend to teaching and learning

as the primary focus of the program

and make it a priority in their work. As

instructional leaders, directors can affect

classroom practices by establishing peer

learning teams, increasing awareness

Whole Leadership Framework



Leading the art and science of teaching with an

emphasis on educator dispositions and high quality

interactions with children. This includes ensuring

fidelity to curricular philosophy, assessing children’s

development and learning, using data for evaluation,

and optimizing learning environments.

▪ Instructional leadership: Supporting

classroom teachers in implementing


▪ Family engagement: Promoting

partnerships with families and

fostering family leadership



Foundational competencies and

individual qualities necessary for

leading people that are expressed

in personal leadership styles and dispositions.

Leadership essentials are often developed through reflective practice.

of emerging pedagogical methods, and

allocating resources for professional

development. Reflective supervision can

support child development and learning

by providing feedback to teachers about

their practice and drawing attention to

the children’s individual needs. Fostering

an organizational culture that values

reflection and continuous improvement is

a powerful tool for effective instructional


Engaging families to support children’s

learning and development requires

leadership and organizational focus.

In tandem with establishing a

community of learners among staff,

pedagogical leadership requires

including families in the process. When

administrators acknowledge the primary

role of parents and family members in

their children’s learning and development,

it influences the program’s pedagogical

approach. The director’s role in shaping

expectations for family engagement and

establishing an organizational climate

that supports families’ participation in

learning activities is critical. Hilado,

Kallemeyn, and Phillips (2013) found that

administrators who had a more flexible

definition of family involvement tended to



is an inter-dependent

relationship that exists

between leadership domains.

A balanced perspective

is necessary when

performing administrative



Coordinating work and mobilizing people to ensure

the organization remains stable and continues to grow.

▪ Operational leadership: Hiring and supporting

staff, overseeing budgets, and fostering positive

workplace climates

▪ Strategic leadership: Goal setting and guiding

future program direction

▪ Advocacy leadership: Acting as an

ambassador for the needs of children,

families, and programs

▪ Community leadership:

Collaborating with organizations

within the local community on

behalf of the children and

families served

Personal Attributes:

▪ Self-efficacy ▪

▪ Empathy ▪

▪ Creativity ▪

▪ Authenticity ▪





have more positive views of parents and

perceived higher levels of involvement.

Bornfreund (2014) emphasizes that

random acts of encouraging family

involvement aren’t enough. Simply inviting

parents to center celebrations, distributing

a newsletter, or creating a parent resource

room is not likely to lead to improved

outcomes for children.

Pedagogical leadership that affects

children’s learning and development

requires establishing family-center

partnerships where power and

responsibility are shared. It can be

challenging to shift attitudes and

perspectives within an organization to

embrace a philosophy that families are

central in the learning equation, but

effective leaders are able to articulate a

vision for partnering with families and

manage change processes that influence

the collective core beliefs about shared

responsibility for children’s learning.

Ongoing individualized communication,

home visits, and multiple opportunities

for families to be involved in the life of

the program and classroom can aid in

changing the organizational culture with

regard to family engagement.

It is important to recognize that

6 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

the domains of Whole Leadership —

Leadership Essentials, Administrative

Leadership, and Pedagogical Leadership

— do not operate independently. Few

leadership roles and functions are

mutually exclusive. Rather, leadership

exercised in one domain affects and/or

requires reciprocal leadership in the other

domains. Administrative and pedagogical

leadership are separate but connected.

The interdependent relationship between

the domains is vital to organizational

success, especially as it relates to family

engagement. Implementing family

engagement efforts that affect teaching

and learning requires strategic and

operational leadership, such as planning

for coordinated and aligned activities,

establishing objectives for shared decisionmaking,

and allocating resources to

involve families. It is through a balanced

approach to leadership that family

engagement can flourish. n


Abel, M. B., Talan, T. N., & Masterson, M. (2017, Jan/

Feb). Whole leadership: A framework for early childhood

programs. Exchange (19460406), 39(233), 22-25.

Barrueco, S., Smith, S., & Stephens, S. (2015). Supporting

parent engagement in linguistically diverse families to

promote young children’s learning: Implications for early

care and education policy. New York, NY: Child Care &

Early Education Research Connections.

Bloom, P. J., & Abel, M. B. (2015). Expanding the lens—

Leadership as an organizational asset. Young Children,

70(2), 8-13.

Bornfreund, L. 2014. Family Engagement Is Much More

Than Volunteering at School. http://www.edcentral.org/


Forry, N., Bromer, J., Chrisler, A., Rothenberg, L., Simkin,

S., & Daneri, P. (2012). Review of conceptual and empirical

literature of family-provider relationship, OPRE Report

#2012-46. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research

and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families,

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Hilado, A., L. Kallemeyn, & L. Phillips. 2013. “Examining

Understandings of Parent Involvement in Early Childhood

Programs.” Early Childhood Research and Practice 15(2):


McWayne, C., Hampton, V., Fantuzzo, J., Cohen, H.L., &

Sekino, Y. (2004). A multivariate examination of parent

involvement and the social and academic competencies

of urban kindergarten children. Psychology in the Schools,

41(3), 363-377.

Roggman, L. A., Boyce, L. K., & Cook, G. A. (2009) Keeping

kids on track: Impacts of a parenting-focused Early Head

Start program on attachment security and cognitive

development. Early Education & Development, 20(6),


Pelo, A. (September 2002). From borders to bridges:

Transforming our relationships with parents. Exchange

(147): 39–41.

Engaging families to support children’s

learning and development requires

leadership and organizational focus.

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 7

Avoid the Pull of the Immediate Need Over the

Important Goal



Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist,

Early Childhood Development, Kansas State

University, School of Family Studies and

Human Services, K-State Research and

Extension and the College of Human Ecology

As professionals, we often are caught between the

pull of the immediate need and the importance of

the longer-term goal.

In the leadership development opportunities I’ve

participated in, goal setting continually emerges as a

crucial component to becoming an effective leader.

For me, the process includes setting short-,

medium- and long-term goals. In addition,

it is important to create goals that are

achievable, but might be more difficult, or a stretch (called a stretch goal).

Whenever I am asked to help with any job-related request, I first ask myself how, and in what

ways, would the work contribute to my goals. When requests do not help meet my goals, I do

my very best to refer the requestor to someone else who can meet their needs. This adherence

to my goals is beneficial to my supervisors, collaborators, and clients/constituents.

Understanding why my professional position exists and what expectations leadership

and administration have for my role greatly shapes my goal setting.

For example, as a tenure-track professor, there are certain requirements (let’s

call them goals) I have to achieve to get promoted and earn tenure. These are

my medium- and long-term goals. I am required to publish research and

practice findings, support Extension agents in the field, and provide

service to the university, the College of Human Ecology, the

School of Family Studies and Human Services, and the field

of early childhood development. While these goals might

seem to provide an easy framework, the pull of activities

from outside these domains is relentless. The curse of

the curious mind is that everything is interesting.

Goal setting helps us to focus on those things

that will help us achieve in the long term.

Goal setting also helps us avoid the pull

of the immediate. How many times have

we carved out time to do important work,

only to be pulled away by immediate needs that

do not contribute to our overall goals? Some of these

immediate needs require us to address them, but some of them

are immediate needs for only someone else, and they do not advance

us toward our goals. These times are when goal setting truly pays off, as we can

provide a reasoned explanation of why we cannot address immediate needs

that do not contribute to our goals.

If you take only two things away from reading this piece, I hope

they are: 1) Goal setting is important, but is not enough. We

must adhere to our plans to reach these goals. 2) The

curse of the curious mind is that everything is

interesting, and thus we need our goals to help

us focus on the important work, and not

allow the immediate needs of others

to pull us off track. n

8 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Breaking Down

Goal Setting

Goal setting is an important

process in developing your

leadership skills. You might want

to learn more about relationshipbuilding

techniques, effective

communication strategies or how

to foster teamwork among your

peers. These large aspirations

might seem difficult to attack.

Breaking down large goals into

bite-sized pieces has been proven

time and again to be an effective

way to ensure success. Clarify

your goal by thinking S.M.A.R.T.

Remember this simple tip and

you’ll set clear, memorable and,

most importantly, achievable














By Tom Copeland, National Leading Trainer,

Author, and Advocate for the Business of

Family Child Care

There’s never a bad time to start setting

financial goals.

Maybe yours is to remodel your home

or take a long vacation. Or maybe you

want to start a retirement fund.

The best way to reach any goal is to

write it down. Where do you want to be

at the end of 2017? How about 2025? Start

thinking and jotting down your ideas.

Make a list of your goals and indicate

which one is most important to you.

Then determine which is the second most

important goal, and so on.

Writing down your goals is important

for a couple of reasons. First, this process

makes you stop and think about what your

big goals really are. We are often bogged

down in daily life and have little time to

think long term. Thinking about your

goals, or even writing them down, doesn’t

make them come true, but you first must

identify what you want before you can

plan for the reality.

Secondly, writing down your goals

helps motivate you to stay on track to

reach them. As with any dream, it might

take a while to reach. A written list will

help remind you of your goals and help

you stay on track so that you do not get

distracted along the way.

Lastly, a list will help you to assess your

goals when things change. As the saying

goes, “Life happens when you are making

other plans.” Life is full of change. When

it happens, your goals also might need to

change. With a written list, you will be

able to change or adjust your goals more


If the idea of putting down goals in

writing seems too hokey to you, consider

this: Those who put their goals in writing

are much more likely to reach their goals

than those who do not. It’s up to you. n


www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 9





Using Gartrell’s Democratic Life Skills


are older than 50

ONE of the more critical opportunities present

in high-quality preschool settings is collaboration and problem

solving among the children. High-quality preschool is the most

effective job training available. So, why are collaboration and

problem solving among early childhood educators so challenging?

We can learn a lot about this issue simply by looking at the

demographics of the early childhood workforce. Five generations

are represented, according to data from Who Cares for Kansas

Kids? 2015 Child Care Workforce and State Child Care Profile,

published by Child Care Aware® of Kansas. The data show family

child care providers follow a natural progression that logically fits

traditional family patterns and economic factors.

Millennials (age 21-30) represent a small percentage of family

child care providers. With each generation represented, the

percentage of Family Care providers increases. Thirty eight

percent are older than 50. And even though family providers

work the most hours, as compared to providers in child care

centers, they are more likely to stay in the child care workforce

more than 15 years. The data seem to show that family care

providers either stay engaged until their own children are school

aged, or stay in as a lifelong career. There is no middle ground.

Directors of child care centers are overwhelmingly from

Generation X (age 31-50) or earlier, and yet the majority of

directors have been in the field only 3-10 years. This raises

questions regarding experience and education levels. There is a

distinct generational divide between administrative positions

in early childhood and teachers and assistants. Interestingly,

assistant directors are overwhelmingly from the late Generation X

years or are Millennials.

Center teachers and assistant teachers are extremely diverse

across generations. Although more than a third are Millennials,

there are significant numbers from each generation in both

groups, without a distinct majority.

With regard to experience, fewer than 15 percent of center

teachers have taught more than 10 years, while 67 percent have

taught from one to 10 years. Almost half of all assistant teachers

fit in this same range, but alarmingly, a third of assistant teachers

have been in their position 6 months or less.

Generations Affecting the Workplace

“This is just a job to her.”

“We have always done it this way.”

“You just do not like change.”

“He thinks he should get a raise or promoted just because he

has worked here a year!”

Such are comments that you might have heard when on the

receiving end of a generation slam. But just as the children

we serve come from families across generations, ethnicity, and

life experiences, so do our colleagues. Instead of focusing on

generational stereotypes, our challenge should instead be to put

Dan Gartrell’s five democratic life skills into practice in our own


10 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas


Early Childhood

Education Specialist,

Allen Community College


have taught from

one to 10 years


of assistant teachers

have been in their

position 6 months

or less

Beth Toland joined Allen Community

College in the fall of 2009. Earning her

degrees from the University of Kansas,

Beth is certified in Elementary Education

and Early Childhood Education. Beth

is a local advocate for young children,

organizing Talk, Read, Play Allen County,

initiating the preschool class for the

Heritage Arts program in collaboration

with the Bowlus Fine Arts Center, and the

science camp for young children at the

college. Beth is a member of the National

Association for Young Children and

the Kansas chapter KAEYC. Her areas

of expertise include developmentally

appropriate practices, working with

children with special needs, and

assessment. Beth is also a Professional

Development Specialist for the Council

for Professional Recognition. Before

coming to Allen Community College, she

taught kindergarten, first, fourth, and

fifth grades in the Alexandria, Va., Public

School District.

Life Skill 1: Finding Acceptance

as a Member of the Group



Life Skills

Gartrell argues in this first life skill that none of us can have a positive

identity without trust, low stress levels, and a sense of belonging.

As we work with others across generations, rephrase your negative

emotions to validate the other person and recognize the positive.

A person who is resistant to change is often a person who values

tradition and longevity. An individual who shoots out the door as soon

as her shift is over could be someone who values family and friend

relationships or is trying to transition from living at home to being

solely independent and struggling to meet the demands of adulthood.

More than 56 percent of child care providers work 50 hours a week or

more. How exhausting!

Greet your coworkers and families by using their names and asking

one personal question. Dale Carnegie stated in his classic book,

How to Win Friends and Influence People, “A person’s name is to

him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Simply by using each other’s names we can begin to create a sense of

membership, trust, and value.

Continued on page 12

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 11

Continued from page 11

No. 2: Expressing Strong Emotions

in Non-Hurting Ways

Working with children is chaotic! And in that organized chaos great

learning happens. But, that organized chaos also includes big

emotions, and in early childhood education very few of us work alone.

What do you do when your emotions are big? Whether it is a joyful

or angry emotion, big emotions are challenging. We can disrupt and

offend others with loud laughing and joyful screams just as much as

we can with angry yelling or slamming books on a counter. Watch

those in your work groups and leadership teams to see how they

express emotions. Just like with children, we cannot control how

others act, but we can always control how we react.

Admit when we are having big emotions. It is OK to say that you

are angry, hurt, or ecstatic! It is OK to walk away until you can

better express that strong emotion in a non-hurting or non-offensive

way. And, when typing that email, text or social media post, wait a

minimum of one hour before sending or posting. We need to get our

emotions out, but that does not mean that we always need to share

those emotions with others.

No. 3: Solving Problems Creatively,

Independently and in Cooperation with Others

Gartrell argues that “to engage in creative problem solving, the

individual must withstand the uncertainty of what is to be decided,

the urge to leave the task if it gets hard, and often other people’s

expectations about how to proceed.” What Gartrell is presenting

here is the concept of grit. Some of our oldest, early childhood

professionals were raised by parents who had survived the Great

Depression. They have strong connections to families and yet the

ability to “not sweat the small stuff.” They come, they work, and they

do it all over again the next day.

Generation X hit the workforce as the Internet burst onto the scene

and thus learned quickly to adapt to change. Millenials experienced

9/11 as children and young adults. They saw families crushed in the

financial crisis and have become hyper-connected. Generation Z is

pulling back on social media, but sees technology as a resource. They

are often looking for more meaningful careers or goals rather than

financial stability or impressive resumes.

Each of these perspectives and stereotypes acknowledges a different

type of grit as it relates to problem-solving. How do you empower

others to engage in solving problems? Just as with children, we

sometimes want to just do it for them! It can be quicker and less

painful … for us. But, empowerment leads to a better solution.

In our jobs, how do we open problems up for solutions? How we do

open ourselves and our challenges up to collaborative problem-solving

that includes searching for the underlying reasons and identifying the

potential avenues to solution? Open yourself up. Ask questions. And

utilize that powerful grit.

No. 4: Accepting Unique Human

Qualities in Others

As a Kansan, I paused when I came across Megan Phelps-Roper’s TED

talk a few months ago. She keenly notes, “… we celebrate tolerance

and diversity more than at any other time in memory, and still we grow

more and more divided. We want good things — justice, equality,

freedom, dignity, prosperity — but … we’ve broken the world into

us and them, only emerging from our bunkers long enough to lob

rhetorical grenades at the other camp.”

She goes on to encourage all of us to talk and to listen to people

with whom we disagree. She lays out four steps that fit nicely with

Gartrell’s fourth democratic life skill.

Do not assume bad intent. When we assume that people are coming

from good intentions then we offer a stronger foundation for solution.

Ask questions. Instead of jumping into assumptions, stereotypes, or

our own thoughts, seek more information from others.

Stay calm. Remember your big emotions and breathe. No matter

what you hear or see, take it in as if you are collecting data.

And lastly, make the argument. Do not assume that others

understand your intentions or reasoning. Instead, lay these out

respectfully and calmly. When we communicate appropriately with

each other, not only are our thoughts heard and valued, but we

demonstrate a value and respect for others that is immeasurable.

12 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas


as an Essential Part of Leadership

By Ladan Soleimani, Executive Director, Women’s Fresh Start Project

“Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead

others, as what he does from day to day to lead himself.”

— Thomas J. Watson

No. 5: Think Intelligently and Ethically

The National Association for the Education of Young

Children (NAEYC) offers us a code of ethical conduct.

But in order for us to honor this code, one of the first steps we have

to take is to understand our own values and seek to understand the

values of others. We also must be aware of how our values affect

the abilities of our co-workers to think intelligently and ethically.

In the NAEYC resource guide, we are challenged to acknowledge

that our values alone “are not sufficient to guide [our] actions in a

professional setting” (Feeney, Freeman & Moravcik, 2016).

We must remember the goals of our professional setting, whether

we work in a center or we are a family child care provider. For more

information on this, seek professional development opportunities

to further your understanding of NAEYC’s Code of Ethical

Conduct, as well as how to make ethical and moral decisions as a


So much of what we do with our young children directly applies

to ourselves as well! The challenges are just as daunting and

meaningful to our littlest as they are to our oldest. The core

behaviors, skills, and strategies that we teach children are no

different for us as adults. Instead of seeing the age differences or

stereotypes across generations, I challenge you to step through

Gartrell’s Democratic Life Skills to refocus and renew your own

collaboration and problem-solving skills. n

To be a leader and inspiration to others, you must first take care

of yourself. Too often in our lives and our search for success and

meaning, we put ourselves at the bottom of our priority list. Our

physical, mental, and emotional health take a backseat to life’s

daily rigors. This is especially true for those in poverty, where

each day is a struggle to make ends meet. At the Women’s Fresh

Start Project, a nonprofit organization in Lawrence, Kan., that

works with women in crisis, we understand that if we truly wish

to change our lives or our communities, we must start by looking

inward and meeting our own needs.

Hannah, a woman in Women’s Fresh Start Project’s

employment program, proves every day how essential it is to

make yourself a priority.

Hannah is a single mom, raising two adorable kids, 2 and 11. She

was recently homeless, but is now in a rotational housing program

with several other families who sleep in a different location every

week. She has no car, and so each day spends an hour walking and

more than two hours on the bus just to take her son to day care

— a day care she can barely afford even with a full-time job and

government assistance. Hannah doesn’t get back from picking up

her son until the evening. The rest of her night is spent getting her

kids ready for the next day and doing household chores.

It’s a grueling schedule that would exhaust most people, but

Hannah is full of energy and hope for her and her family’s

future. After a lifetime of neglecting her own needs, Hannah has

learned the importance of taking care of herself. She gets up 30

minutes early every morning to meditate. She texts her mom and

aunt every morning to tell them she loves them and that they’re

beautiful. In order to manage the unavoidable stress of her daily

life, she attends counseling sessions. Every day she is careful to

pack a variety of healthy snacks for her and her kids.

Hannah has finally embraced the belief that she matters, and

that ensuring that her own needs are met isn’t selfish. She also

recognizes that when she is mentally and physically healthy, she

is able to be more present with her kids and be a better mom. She

strives to lead by example, so that her kids will never doubt their

self-worth or hesitate to put themselves on their own priority list.

At Women’s Fresh Start Project we hire women who have

multiple challenges that prevent them from getting jobs. They

might struggle with mental health or substance abuse issues.

They might have been homeless or incarcerated. Many are single

mothers. We provide stable, supportive employment while also

teaching them the life and work skills they need to be successful

and change their future. We help them become role models for

their families, friends, and communities. You can donate to the

project or purchase the handmade bath and body products made

by our participants by visiting womensfreshstartproject.org n

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 13



Have you thought lately

about your spark? The word

spark refers to that thing that makes you

excited to get out of bed in the morning.

If you’ve never considered it before, you

might take some time and self-examination

to determine your spark. It’s a worthwhile

exercise. Research has found that when

youth know their spark and have people

who support their spark, they are more

likely to succeed at just about every

measure of achievement (Benson, 2008).

Whether its soccer or reading or Pokémon

cards, youth are motivated in all aspects

of their life when they get to connect to

something that they love. We suggest that

the same is true for adults.

As adults, we often don’t spend time

thinking about our sparks. We get into

our daily routine and focus on the

things we have to do. Stepping back

and thinking about what really gets

you excited can help you to succeed.

Let’s say that you discover your spark is

gardening. Ask yourself what you like

about gardening. Is it the time spent

outside? Is the act of weeding meditative?

Perhaps you like the process of planting

and tending to a seed, and helping

something grow to its full potential.

There is no right or wrong answer.

The trick is finding a way to connect

that spark to your work. Why is this

important? Because it will provide a sense

of personal buy-in to your work. Making

that connection helps you feel personal

satisfaction when you run across those

inevitable bumps in your workday, or

when you encounter those mundane tasks

that are a part of every job.

Your mindset also plays a critical role

in helping you thrive in your work and

life. In Carol Dweck’s (2007) research on

what contributes to a person’s success, she

found that there are two basic mindsets:

fixed mindset and growth mindset. People

with a fixed mindset believe that their

intelligence, ability, talent, etc., are static;

you are born with a certain amount and

there’s not much you can do to change

that. People with a growth mindset believe

that through attitude and effort, you can

always improve.

Dogs are a great example of having a

fixed mindset. They like having routines,

they have their favorite person, and they

might have their favorite toy or bone —

and they don’t like to or want to deviate

from these familiar things. It is important

to remember that we all have those times

when we can act the same way.

Young children are a great example of

growth mindset. Learning to crawl or walk,

they try new pathways and never give up.

They are always learning new things. Young

children try and fail and then try again.

There are instances when we are better

at growth v. fixed mindset, and it often

can change from day to day. The most

important thing is that you notice these

times or instances, and take time to

reflect on the “why” of the fixed mindset

moments and instead “how” having a

growth mindset might look.

Think about lifting weights at the gym,

and how fixed v. growth mindset affects

success. When lifting weights at the gym, I

never add up the total number of pounds.

I just keeping adding weights to the bar

until I fail at the lift, keeping in mind that

14 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas


Research Project Specialist

at the Center for Public

Partnerships and Research,

University of Kansas


Associate Director at

the Center for Public

Partnerships and Research,

University of Kansas

the last weight I was able to pick up was a

successful lift. This is because as soon as I

know how much weight is on the bar, I get

a fixed mindset about the numbers. In my

head, I hear, “Wow that is really heavy,” or,

“There is no way you can pick that up.” If I

focus on those thoughts, I might fail before

I even touch the bar, even if the reality is

that I have successfully lifted that weight

many times before. By purposefully not

knowing how much weight is on the bar,

I force myself to have a growth mindset.

Some days, I might lift 10 pounds more

than I did the day before, and sometimes it

is 10 pounds less, and that is OK. At some

point I will always fail, but at least I picked

up the bar.

Whether we think about them or not,

sparks and mindset play an important role

in our daily lives. Embracing your spark

and recognizing your mindset can lead to

greater happiness, satisfaction, and success

in work and life.

For more information on sparks, visit

www.search-institute.org. For more

information on mindset, visit www.

mindsetonline.com. n



for the


of Young


Professional Organization

Grows Leadership Skills

By Michelle Gilbert, KSAEYC President-Elect

Early Care & Education Specialist, Child Care Aware of Eastern Kansas, Topeka

Professional organizations bring people with diverse backgrounds together

for a common purpose. The Kansas Association for the Education of Young

Children (KSAEYC) strives to link early childhood professionals from around

the state to network, share resources and to promote high-quality early learning

experiences for children and families. By engaging with other members, early

childhood professionals have opportunities to develop and strengthen their

individual philosophy about how children learn. They also are able to grow their

communication skills and learn to advocate for issues that affect the children and

families in their care. These are all characteristics needed to be an effective leader

in our field.

This leadership is important, according to Dr. Jennifer Francois, Assistant

Professor at Kansas State University and KSAEYC Board Member. Dr. Francois

states, “As professionals in the field of Early Childhood Education, it is essential

that we possess effective leadership skills. One way that that we, as professionals,

can learn how to be leaders is through membership and active participation in

professional organizations. They are a great tool for building a person’s capacity

to serve as a leader in their community or field of study.

“Professional organizations not only allow us to become better advocates for

children and families, but they provide us a way to connect with others who hold

those same beliefs and values. By having opportunities to engage in these types

of conversations, we strengthen our own ability to be effective communicators

around issues that are important to children and families.”

As a professional organization, KSAEYC supports annual Week of the Young Child

efforts in local communities. When early childhood professionals work together

to plan and implement a variety of activities to celebrate young children and

families, they are displaying leadership in action. They are learning to negotiate

and solve problems in a group setting, articulate the importance of their work

to those outside the field, and think on their feet when plans change without

notice. In many cases, the Week of the Young Child events are also an opportunity

to recognize professionals for all they do throughout the year on behalf of our

youngest learners. Celebrating and highlighting excellence in the field helps other

early childhood professionals envision what high quality can look like and strive to

do the best in their own classroom or home.

According to Beka Meitler, Early Childhood Instructor and KSAEYC Board

Member, “Engaging in professional organizations has supported my growth

as a professional in the field, and allowed me the opportunity to assist other

developing, young professionals in understanding the commitment we have to

serving children and families with best practices in mind.”

For more information about the Kansas Association for the Education of Young

Children and how you can get involved, please visit www.kaeyc.net. n

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 15


Rising to the Challenge

Partners 4 Success (PS4), is an employment

readiness program that addresses student mindset,

decision-making skills and other skill set gaps,

including confidence and self-efficacy. An initiative

of the Salina Adult Education Center and part of

USD 305, P4S assesses students’ strengths and

weaknesses and invites community employers and

volunteers to work with students to improve skills,

learn to juggle work-life balances and to rise to life’s


Through P4S, the Salina Adult Education Center

team members have the opportunity to work closely

with area employers. Staff recognize that employers

are searching for key components in their new hires,



attending work regularly and showing

up on time,


communicating effectively,


evaluating one’s performance

and growing from feedback.

P4S works because of employer involvement. It

is community employers who educate and empower

students through feedback on applications, resumes,

and mock interviews. Employers also provide tours

at their facilities and participate in guest panels in

class. The employers and other partners work with

the P4S students to help them make sustainable life

changes that benefit their families, employers and

the community.

Rebecca Rhaesa, long-time instructor and

coordinator at the Salina Adult Education Center,

designed the P4S curriculum for adults motivated to

move out of poverty and into a life with living wage

employment. Primary student needs have been

identified, including the need to:


build self-esteem,


understand workplace norms and expectations,


identify and manage their ability to create good

and bad outcomes, and


intentionally create a positive future.

P4S is a six-week course that gradually increases

from three to eight hours a day. The curriculum is

research based, focusing on emotional intelligence,

growth mindset and neuroscience. It combines

performance and problem solving concepts from

many disciplines, including behavioral psychology,

education, business, human resources and computer

science. Its “in the trenches” experience—teaching

adult life and work skills as well as math, reading

and writing skills—is a core part of the program.


Director of Adult Education,

The Salina Adult Education Center

Kelly Mobray has been the Director of Adult Education

at the Salina Adult Education Center for 14 years.

Previously, she spent two years at Kansas City

Kansas Community College. She holds a Bachelor’s

of Fine Arts in communication and a Master of

Science in counseling with a concentration in

student personnel services from Emporia State

University. Kelly has served in leadership roles for

the Kansas Adult Education Association and the

Emporia State University Alumni Association.

Locally, she is involved with Altrusa, Circles Big

View Team, Salina Human Resources Management

and the Smoky Valley ESU Alumni chapter. Her

greatest joy is her family, which includes her

husband, Todd, her 9-year-old daughter Rylee,

and her 3-year-old son Maxx.

Core Salina P4S employers participate

in class and, where there is a good fit,

hire P4S graduates at the end of the

class. Some of those employers include

Crestwood, Schwan’s, Kasa Companies,

USD 305, Salina Regional Health

Center, Affordable Home Health, and

Acoustic Sounds.

Other community partners crucial

to the success of P4S include Hays

Academy of Hair Design, Catholic

Charities, Circles of the Heartland,

Consumer Credit Counseling,

Greater Salina Community

Foundation, Salina Area Technical

College, Community Corrections

and the Department for Children

and Families. As of this article,

Salina P4S has endorsed 46

participants in seven classes.

More than 70 percent of those

endorsed are currently working

quality jobs. P4S also has been

replicated under the DCF

GOALS initiative in parts of

Kansas, including Topeka,

Wichita, Garden City, Liberal

and Dodge City. n

16 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

More than 70 percent of those endorsed

are currently working quality jobs

70 %

Leadership Developers

The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) is a non-profit organization committed to

fostering leadership for stronger, healthier and more prosperous Kansas communities.

It’s not difficult to see the challenges facing our world today. Look around you.

Situations crying out for more leadership are everywhere. Most of us have someplace

in our lives where we’d like to see greater leadership, more action and better outcomes.

That’s where KLC comes in.

For more information visit www.kansasleadershipcenter.org.

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 17


Making a



By Holly Poindexter, South Central Community Foundation

18 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Youth select grants and learn

the importance of philanthropy

In 1994, a group of philanthropists in Pratt, Kansas, established a much-needed

community foundation. The South Central Community Foundation (SCCF)

is designed to address needs on a local level. This Foundation covers seven

counties: Barber, Comanche, Kingman, Kiowa, Pratt, Rice, and Stafford. SCCF

is headquartered in Pratt and offers many unique opportunities for charitable


In 2002, SCCF received a Youth Philanthropy grant from the Ewing Marion

Kaufman Foundation in conjunction with the Coalition of Community

Foundations for Youth. This grant formed what is now known as SCCF’s Youth

Making a Difference (YMAD) Council.

Today, 15 years later, YMAD involves high school students from SCCF’s

seven-county service area. These young people select grants for their respective

communities while also learning the importance of philanthropy and its affect

in rural areas. Our program is the only one of the original five grantees from the

Kaufman Foundation to enjoy long-term success.

Engaging youth in the grant review process is important for many reasons to

SCCF’s Board of Directors and staff. For one thing, the youth offer a different

perspective than the adult committee members. In addition, many of them have

spent their entire childhood in their communities and are well-versed in the needs

and wishes of each county.

SCCF Program Director Holly Poindexter makes it a priority in the YMAD

program to teach the youth how to effectively research a grant proposal and to ask

themselves when deciding what grant to fund: How big of an effect will this make

for the dollars being spent, and is the program sustainable?

As of 2016, YMAD has awarded more than $280,000 in grants. Even with their

busy schedules, the youth make time to read more than 130 applications in a twoweek

time frame.

“We allow the youth to grant nearly 50 percent of our available grant dollars,”

said Bekki Pribil, SCCF Executive Director. “It’s important for these young men

and women to know we respect their research and ultimately, their selections.”

YMAD members also are educated about how non-profit organizations work

and why we need the help of the communities and individual donors. While

volunteering time is incredibly important to SCCF, those serving on YMAD

understand that without monetary donations, there would not be grant money to


Proof of the program’s success was confirmed when YMAD was recognized for

their hard work and awarded the 2015 Bob Carter Companies Outstanding Youth

in Philanthropy National award.

“It was a great honor to be recognized at the AFP National Philanthropy Day in

New York City,” said Pribil, “Being recognized on a national platform cements

the fact that Youth Making a Difference IS an incredibly impactful program!”

Please contact us for more information or to complete an application

for YMAD: SCCFKS.org, 620/672-7929 or email sccf@sccfks.org. n

Holly Poindexter, a native of Kiowa, KS, is a 2012 graduate of Emporia State University

and received a BS in Business with an emphasis in Marketing. She discovered the

nonprofit world in 2013 at South Central Community Foundation (SCCF) in

Pratt, KS. After spending 6 months as the Coordinator of Marketing for Pratt

Community College, she returned to SCCF in 2017 to take over as Program

Director and Marketing Manager. With an interest in leadership and rural

communities, Holly has completed training at the Kansas Leadership

Center (Wichita, KS) and was a 2016 graduate of the Pratt

Leadership 2000 Class.

Establishing Trust

Trust just might be the foundation for

all relationships. Whether you are a new

parent searching for child care, a 5-yearold

entering kindergarten, or a boss hiring

a new employee — a certain level of trust

is necessary for meaningful interactions

and relationships. Trust must be built

and earned over a period of time through

communication. Relationships that

support building trust and produce results

don’t just happen; they require conscious

effort. These intentional efforts start with

a few common-sense approaches around

authentic communication.

Have a mutually beneficial attitude to

build a relationship and trust.

Communicate in person and ask for


Ask open-ended questions.

Be an active participant and share your

own experiences.

Answer questions openly and honestly.

Invest time in communicating regularly

and often.

Be a good listener, communication is a

two-way street.

Remember, trust-building is


www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 19

A Journey of Relating

By Alice Eberhart-Wright, Child and Family Specialist

From the time we first discover there are other people in the world, we begin a lifetime

journey of relating. With the help of my trusty librarian friends, I found these books

that deal with behaviors and skills we want to help develop in

our children to help them

navigate a future full of

positive relationships.

Nobunny’s Perfect

As hard as we try not

to label children as bad

or good, toddlers and preschoolers learn the

concepts very early and soon are playing bad guys

and good guys. In Nobunny’s Perfect, by Anna

Dewdney, every bunny starts out being good, but

one bunny soon begins to do things that other

bunnies don’t like. The bad bunny doesn’t share,

he is rude, he hits and kicks, he screams and

shouts or slurps and burps. He even bites! Often,

he does this when he’s mad or sad. Things get better when two bunnies

try harder to get along. They share and don’t tease, follow rules, and just have good times

together. This book is a tool to help us promote healthy social skills and discuss actions

that no one likes. It supports the message that there are

no bad children, just children who need to work on

behaviors that will help people look to them as good, and

pave an easier path as they grow and develop.

Pip and Posy, The Bedtime Frog

The Pip and Posy books are nice books about peer

relationships for children old enough to be invited to a

friend’s house to play. Pip and Posy, The Bedtime Frog, by

Alex Scheffer, illustrates how a good friend works hard

to help a friend who is upset. Posy has a great time at

Pip’s house until it’s bedtime, and she realizes she has left

her stuffed froggy at home. Pip listens and tries to

find a substitute that will work but several offerings

just won’t do the job. Posy wails as Pip keeps trying.

Finally, Pip sacrifices his own sweet piggy that he

always sleeps with. Posy calms down and goes to

sleep. Like Pip, good leaders listen, empathize, and

respond. If we teach our children these skills when

they are young, they learn to practice them without

our direction as they grow up.

Grace for President

Although it is a picture book, Grace for President, by

Kelly DiPucchio, and illustrated by Le Uyen Pham, is

a good choice for older children, maybe first through

fourth grade. In the story, candidate Grace listens to

people and works hard to show her classmates that she will do things that are important

to them. The other candidate focuses only on his own sports talents and academic skills

and loses by a few electoral votes. Because the book explains how the Electoral College

works, it is also good for adults who need a review of that process. If a child is not ready

for the electoral vote information, that’s OK. The message is equally powerful if the story

is told with a little revision and a simple vote count. n

20 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Kelly Harlow (left)

Cornelia Stevens (right)

O.W.L.S. Studio at TOP

Early Learning Centers

Cultivating Curiosity in Children

At the TOP Early Learning Center in Wichita, early childhood

educators have created a special studio to encourage curiosity as a

learning tool. When the studio was created, it was given the name

O.W.L.S., which is an acronym for Open Windows Learning Studio. It

operates as a school within a school. The studio initially was inspired

by principals in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Schools there facilitate learning

using these fundamental principles:

1. Children are capable of constructing their own learning.

2. Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in

the world through their interactions with other children and adults.

There is a strong focus on developing social skills by encouraging

children to work in groups, where each child is an equal participant.

3. Children are encouraged to use their words as they discuss their

experiences. They are listened to with respect, believing that their

questions and observations provide an opportunity for learning and


4. The environment is the third teacher and is recognized for its

potential to inspire children. The studio is filled with natural

lighting, free from clutter and includes materials that encourage

curiosity and creativity.

5. The adult’s role is to mentor and guide children, listen to their

thoughts and ideas, find what interests them and then provide

them with opportunities to explore these interests further. The

projects aren’t planned; they emerge based on the child’s interests.

6. Children express their thoughts and creativity in many ways. There

are a hundred different ways of thinking, discovering and learning,

and each one of these ways must be valued and nurtured.

We recently expanded the approach used in the studio and have

merged the Reggio philosophy with science, technology, engineering,

arts and mathematics, or S.T.E.A.M.

Educators first used the acronym S.T.E.M., but later realized there

are many benefits to incorporating the arts. S.T.E.A.M. is designed

to integrate S.T.E.M. subjects and the art of design into education.

When the preschoolers visit the studio, they are invited to explore

one of the learning labs or participate in the featured S.T.E.A.M.

activity of the week. This past school year, students have enjoyed

pendulum painting, catapult painting, observing the reaction of

mixing baking soda with vinegar, and drawing with a color bot. The

arts might get a child interested in a project.

S.T.E.A.M. focuses on questions, children seeking their own answers

and valuing their own opinions. It celebrates experimentation by

trying and failing. It is so important for kids to be comfortable with

failure. Our best innovators have failed many times but got back up

and tried again. S.T.E.A.M. is interactive and hands-on. Children are

not being told what to make. Instead, our students are creating from

their imagination and learning from​ the process! n

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 21


Director of Student and

Community Initiatives and

Marketing Lecturer, W. Frank

Barton School of Business,

Wichita State University

Dorothy Harpool has conducted training

seminars both for public and in-company

audiences on behalf of the Center for

Management Development at Wichita

State University for more than 20 years.

She is an award-winning Wichita State

University Instructor and has taught

courses in marketing, entrepreneurship,

consumer behavior and design thinking.

The Impact of Kindergarten on Professional Success

Recently I discovered my kindergarten

report card in a storage box hidden deep

in my storeroom. I smiled when I saw

the “subjects” on that card. Most were

not academic in nature; they were all

about being emotionally intelligent. Is

what we learned in kindergarten the key

to becoming a successful professional?

Research indicates organizations thrive

when emotional intelligence is embraced.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the

ability to recognize and manage your

own emotions while recognizing and

understanding the emotions of others,

even if those are not ones you share. An

encouraging aspect of EI is that it can

be improved dramatically in a relatively

short period of time. Your IQ was

established when you were 2 years old,

but your Emotional Intelligence Quotient

(EIQ) can improve today.

Emotional Intelligence is based on

four dimensions: self-awareness, selfmanagement,

social awareness, and

relationship management. People with

a high EI don’t eliminate their emotions;

rather, they have learned to use those

emotions in a productive way.

One key to increasing emotional

intelligence is to recognize when your

emotions are driving your actions. I

call emotion-based behavior “caveman/

cavewoman” behavior. When faced

with any situation, humans feel before

they think. High EI people learn how to

move from a purely emotional status to

a more rational one. They have learned

to be aware of emotions such as anger or

irritation before those emotions get them

into trouble.

Recognizing your emotions is only

the start of improving your EI. We have

all heard the advice “think before you

speak,” a statement that reflects the selfmanagement

component of emotional

intelligence. High EI people don’t just

think before they speak, they think

before they hit the send key. Buying time

helps improve your EI and reduces the

appearances of caveman/cavewoman in

the workplace.

We were taught in kindergarten the

importance of sharing and working

together — both skills vital in the

workplace. High EI employees are great

team members and recognize that every

employee plays a role in the organization.

We can increase our EI by observing and

listening. Stepping back and noticing

people’s tendencies and preferences can

lead us to more effective interactions. We

need to be aware that we are not the only

one in the sandbox.

High EI workers are effective

communicators, because they recognize

that the best communication strategy

Keys To Improving

Emotional Intelligence


Be aware of your emotions


Think before you speak (and also before

you hit send)


Be a listener — not just a talker


Recognize that not everyone thinks/feels

like you do


Include people


Catch people doing things right


The workplace is the like the playground

— remember to play nicely with others!

is one that is based on the receiver of

the message — not the convenience of

the sender of the message. Statements

like “I win/you win” or “Let’s get this

done together” are reflective of a high EI

employee. “I win/you lose” is what a low

EI manager would say. High EI managers

recognize it is important to catch people

doing things right instead of just looking

for mistakes employees have made.

They use their EI skills to build strong


Are you looking to have a positive

effect on your organization? Examine and

improve your EIQ. High EI employees

are certain to be an invaluable member

of any team. Really, we learned what we

need to know back in kindergarten. n

22 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Child Care Provider Coalition of Kansas

Child Care Providers Coalition of Kansas (CCPC) is a nonprofit

organization founded by and for Family Child Care Providers in

Kansas. Voting membership is open to all licensed family child

care providers in Kansas. Supportive memberships are also

available for child advocates, agencies supporting early childhood

education and families.

CCPC is governed by a diverse board of directors representing

all of Kansas. Our goals include promoting professionalism in

Family Child Care, strengthening local associations and support

systems for providers, and advocating for the needs of family

child care providers on different local and state committees and

commissions. CCPC also supports regulatory requirements that

protect the health and safety of Kansas children.

CCPC provides a network for providers to mentor, collaborate,

and encourage each other. The organization supports strength and

unity and recognizes the beauty of diversity in family child care as

well as the daily challenges providers face.

Child Care Providers Coalition of Kansas’ annual professional

development conference includes educational speakers. It’s also a

forum to recognize providers with awards for Kansas Child Care

Provider of the Year and the Hunter Award for those outstanding


Members receive a bi-monthly newsletter that includes state

and national information. For more information about CCPC,

visit our website at: http://www.ccpcofks.com or email us at



President of Child Care Providers

Coalition of Kansas

Corinne Carr is currently serving as president of CCPC. She has owned Special Blessings

Child Care since 1992. She holds an Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood

Education from Butler Community College, a CDA from the Council for Professional

Recognition, and NAFCC accreditation to meet high quality standards in child care. Her

outdoor classroom, “Outdoor Adventures,” is certified through Nature Explore and New

Dimensions Research Foundation.

She is involved in her local child care organization, HOPS (Helping other Providers

Succeed); and was appointed as a council membership representative in 2014 and 2015

to the National Association for Family Child Care, Region 12 (Kansas, Nebraska and

Colorado). In 2015, she was recognized as an Emerging Leader by Exchange Magazine. In

2015, she joined the KDHE Child Care Licensing Systems Team as an adviser. In 2016, she

joined the T.E.A.C.H and WAGES$ Advisory Council, the Quality Links, QRIS Monitoring

Work Group Team, and the Quality Links Peer Learning Group. In 2016, she was honored

with the Advocacy Award through the National Association for Family Child Care in San

Diego, Calif.

“My passion is to help others, for those who have helped me along the way. Through my

enthusiasm for the field of family child care, I have become involved in many local, state

and national organizations as an early childhood professional. I will continue to be of

service on the CCPC board as a past president. I am inspired to inspire others!”

“Belonging to a professional organization or network and

informally networking with other providers has been associated

with higher scores on measures of global quality and provider

sensitivity.” (Kontos, Howes, Shinn, & Galinsky, 1995; Doherty et


www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 23




SALINA, KS 67401


PO Box 2294, Salina, KS 67402-2294


Call Toll Free 1-855-750-3343

NEW Texting Program!

Child Care Aware ® of Kansas has launched a NEW Texting Program.

The program is divided into two campaigns, one for providers and one for parents.

When a subscriber enrolls in a campaign, he/she will receive

approximately 3-4 messages* a month. Enrollment can be completed

on a cellular phone and via our website at www.ks.childcareaware.org!


Texts about family engagement,

child development, healthy recipes,

activity ideas, safe sleep, training updates/

opportunities and more!

To Enroll: Text CCAKS to 59925


Texts about child development,

healthy recipes, illness prevention,

activity ideas, emergency planning

and more!

To Enroll: Text KSKIDS to 59925


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