Small Talks, No. 55
April 15, 2022
Dear Small Talker,
Welcome to the fifty fifth edition of Small Talks. Every Friday, I highlight 6 areas of weekly joys and reflections in early childhood and the whole family. Small Talks leverages my experience at the intersection of education, philanthropy, and impact investing. Enjoy!
What I’m celebrating -
New study of a Tulsa preK shows greater academic engagement for those who attended preschool.
The Audacious Project (affiliated with TED) has come together to catalyze more than $900 million for nine bold projects globally. A new and inspiring take on philanthropy.
For example, Code for America is launching a new Safety Net Innovation Lab that will work with state governments to reimagine and rebuild delivery of equitable and accessible benefits. Their goal is to reach 13 million people and unlock $30 billion in benefits in the areas of food assistance, health care, and other basic needs.
Interesting to see the largest private U.S. employer Walmart prioritize child care for its future headquarters and design for the child-parent relationships. While it is only a partial solution to a larger child care issue, it is a signal for the private sector to do more in support of families.
Spotlight on an impactful innovator: Binti was named this past week one of Financial Times’ fastest growing companies. Binti supports children in foster care. Agencies using Binti have increased the number of families approved by 80%, meaning that more children across the nation can have loving families.
Beautiful thread and visuals on attachment.
What I’m listening to -
Nadine Burke Harris explains the science of toxic stress and the importance of relationships to transform health and learning outcomes.
What I’m reading -
In Raising good humans: A mindful guide to breaking the cycle of reactive parenting and raising kind, confident kids, Hunter Clarke-Fields offers practical guidance on how healthy parenting stems from our ability to be self-aware and embody what we want most for children. Good book review here.
What I’m watching -
Anyone else enjoying Old Enough!, a Netflix series from Japan with 10 minutes reality videos of little ones running errands for the first time by themselves? The fascination likely comes from the striking cultural differences in parenting children in the U.S. and Japan.
What I’m learning and exploring more deeply -
New & troubling data on child care staffing challenges: In Louisiana, 75% of publicly funded child care sites reported a teacher vacancy. Nearly two thirds reported turning families away due to staffing charges... and almost all (92%) worried about negative impacts for kids. Similar stories in other states.
States are rapidly innovating to address child care shortages. This piece by Jackie Mader at the Hechinger Report highlights how Milwaukee is offering programs to attract high school graduates to enter the early childhood workforce: financial support, free tech, mental health, flexible scheduling.
Sobering data on pandemic effects: Analysis finds average eighth graders may have skills indicative of fifth grade in California.
In this Atlantic piece, Derek Thompson analyzes 4 drivers of teen depression.
Interesting piece on philanthropy trends over the past 2 years of pandemic. Overall philanthropic giving down during the pandemic, if we exclude MacKenzie Scott’s donations.
Poem I’m pondering -
April is poetry month. Sharing one of my favorite poems.
Feedback is a gift. Which part above is your favorite? What did I miss? What do you want more or less of? Other recommendations? Please kindly let me know. Thank to all of you who are sending me amazing suggestions.
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Have a wonderful week. Please stay safe and care for each other.