Small Talks, No. 56
April 22, 2022
Dear Small Talker,
Welcome to the fifty sixth 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 -
Two new pieces of global research highlight the benefits of play.
Inspiring dialogue between Joe Waters at Capita and Ascend at the Aspen Institute on climate change and childhood, and the concept of “risk multiplier” for children. Great to read that 4 localities have named “chief heat officers” to address the effects of climate change.
“How society fails parents” features a dialogue between Emily Oster and Dana Suskind with three clear policy recommendations for parents to thrive: paid parental leave; expanded child tax credit; portable worker benefits. Dana Suskind’s new book “Parent Nation” will be released next week if you have not ordered it already.
Excellent report on global innovation in early childhood education & care highlights three pillars: 1/ community; 2/ feedback; 3/ partnership
If you need a smile, watch this.
What I’m listening to -
Gerry Diamond is a counselor in Scotland, and a wise global voice on relationships, attachment and more, and those beautiful Irish and Scottish accents…
What I’m reading -
Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired To Connect by Matt Lieberman is mostly about adults or teenagers, but effectively makes the strong case that our brains from an early age (2 days old) are wired to connect with others.
What I’m watching -
As promised a couple of weeks ago, sharing three video recordings from ASU GSV.
“How are out little learners doing? Latest neuroscience findings from COVID-19”, features three leading neuroscientists at Stanford, Brown and Columbia. While initial findings are sobering, there may be better news coming from the recent phase of the pandemic.
Early Childhood AI and Voice highlights five innovators at SayKids, Amira Learning, SoapBox Labs, Ello Technologies, and StoryPod using audio/voice/AI in a range of applications for children and schools.
The Edge of Early Childhood features four innovators in early childhood - Winnie, Wonderschool, Loveevery and Common Sense Networks.
What I’m learning and exploring more deeply -
Babies born during COVID talk less with caregivers, according to a study by LENA.
New care.com study suggests that employers providing childcare benefits have risen to 56% of employers in 2022, up 20 pts since COVID!
Encouraging, yet 56% employers does not mean 56% employees have childcare: 1/ most cover only a few backup care hours; 2/ onsite childcare spots are limited; 3/ some benefits are not offered to all employees.
On a related note, interesting to see funding activity in new models of childcare. Good overview and data from HalogenVC, a fund looking to invest in the Future of Family. In this regard:
The real and perceived income gap in America.
Poem I’m pondering -
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.