Shine Podcast

Shine: a child and youth development podcast

We are experts in child and youth development and the impacts that has on families and communities. Together, we explore all things in the world of childcare and education, starting with diving into the virtual world during a pandemic.

Creating Healthy Habits in the Kitchen with Stephanie Collett

In this episode of Shine, we speak with Stephanie Collett, a nutrition and health educator at Catalyst Family for over 20 years. We dive into the importance of family meals, helping your kids form lifelong healthy eating habits, and how and why to get kids involved in the kitchen, as well as some practical tips for getting those healthy foods into your children’s diets!

And be sure to check out the show notes — Stephanie was kind enough to leave us with some fun recipes that your kids will surely want to get involved with. Thanks for joining us!

Black Bean and Avocado Salsa

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Pineapple Pomegranate Guacamole

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadilla

Zucchini Pizza Bites


Navigating Pregnancy and Infant Care in a Pandemic and Beyond with Emily Silver

Tune in for a conversation with Emily Silver, co-founder of NAPS and Nurture by Naps, a provider of prenatal education and postnatal support services. The NAPS team of Registered Nurses practices to the highest standards, providing clients with seamless, experienced, evidenced-base care that empowers them as parents. Emily is most passionate about educating and supporting families through NAPS in a way that makes them feel confident, comfortable, and free of judgment in all of their parenting decisions. She is relatable when working with clients, pulling from her own experiences from pregnancy and early parenting as a mother of two, going on three! She’s a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

On this episode, we dive into some of the challenges of pregnancy and early parenthood, especially those made unique during a pandemic.

Find Emily:

Instagram: @NurturebyNAPS

Podcast: Unswaddled

Nurture by NAPS Online Membership

Additional Resources:

Emily Oster’s Decision Making Model


Inspiring Childhood Confidence and Creativity Through Music with Diana Ladio

In this episode of Shine, we are joined by Diana Ladio, a professional musician and educator based in Nashville, TN. She tours playing shows with her electric strings ensemble, The Moxie Strings, and bringing enrichment workshops to schools across the country. She is an avid emotional health advocate and mentor, and as comes through in this episode, she cares deeply about helping children become empowered through music.

In this conversation, we discuss the importance of creative endeavors in child development and tactical things you can do to weave music and creative pursuits into your children’s lives to build lifelong confidence and creativity.

Find Diana on Instagram @dianaladio and @themoxiestrings, and on her website at


Coping Mechanisms, Self-Care & Supporting Children Through a Pandemic

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Today we’re joined by Megan Vincent, Senior Director HR Ops, Cynthia Gallardo, Program Quality Manager, and Sarah Richie, Program Coach. We dive into topics surrounding self-care in the Field of Education, especially during these challenging times. We navigate behavioral challenges in children, how we can be more present in the classroom and be more emotionally available to children. We also provide resources for families at home to better support their children.

Placer County SELPA
Lighthouse Community Center
Walking Up the CA Teaching Pyramid: Tools to Support Children’s Return

Summertime: Importance of Play + Time in Nature

The importance of play, especially as we head into the summer months, is more important than ever. We’re slowly transitioning into this new normal as we grow closer to post-pandemic. For this particular episode, as things re-open and it’s physically possible to be together again, we’re focusing on the importance of play in nature. Kids will be returning to summer and day camps. We’re joined by Site Supervisor of South Lake Tahoe Catalyst Kids, Alexis Hughes, and Program Coach, Sarah Richie who will share their passion and experiences with us as well as valuable resources that can be found below.

Supporting Dual Language Learners

April is National Multilingual Learner Advocacy month! We will be highlighting resources for families, teachers, and providers to support our state’s Dual Language Learners (DLLs). Nearly half of California households represent multilingual families and we recognize the increased significance of supporting our multilingual communities here at Catalyst.

Joining us today are our Dual Language Learning experts Lizelle Wulff, Karla Delgado, & Jennifer Escamilla. They previously joined us for an interview over on our connection hub last year where we initially learned about the DLL program. You can find it over on our website 

Learn more about our DLL program:


Speak Your Language – Family Resources

(A concise handout for families that are in MANY different languages.)

Early Edge California – Bills We Support

(This page has information about AB 1363, which we briefly talked about during the podcast)

Colorin Colorado – Family Resources

(Bilingual site for parents of multilingual learners)

How to look for quality childcare

Today we’re going to get advice on How to look for quality childcare, a topic that is on a lot of parents’ minds right now.

As we know, the childcare sector has been devastated by the pandemic, with thousands of licensed childcare centers in California either permanently or temporarily closed during 2020.

Now we’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and many families who had their kids at home with them over the last year are back to looking for quality childcare for their children. There are many factors to consider, from curriculum and programming to health and safety, communication styles, location, and so much more. I’m so glad that we were able to speak with two experts on the matter for this episode: Alison Michel-Hall, Senior Director of Education for Catalyst Family, and Heather Slimp, Program quality manager for Catalyst Kids. Please enjoy and be sure to get in touch with us to let us know your thoughts on the episode and any follow-up questions you might have! You can reach us at


·        Choosing Quality Childcare on (five steps to choosing care, selecting a program and visiting, Child care Quality Rating QRIS, and more….) 

·       Choosing Quality Childcare on (several resources to guide you in your center visit, choosing a program if your child has special needs and a list for infant/toddler as well as school-age)

·        What to Look For in a Program on NAEYC (also organized by specific age groups)

Friends, fresh air and free-play: The Importance of Summer Camp in the Wake of a Pandemic

The pandemic has provided challenges on a scale that none of us have seen in our lifetimes. It’s been up to us as adults to help our youth navigate this with compassion and grace in the moment while also fueling their optimism with opportunities to reconnect with meaningful people and places in their lives — like summer camp.

Sometimes it takes the smallest of assurances, like playing outside, tossing a ball, riding bikes, taking a hike, having a snack together while the leaves rustle in the breeze that can do the best talking and offer the best reassurance.

Summer Camp is important not just for kids who need to get back to nature, but for parents who have pulled double and triple duty as unexpected homeschooling teachers this past year. Parents will need to refill their cups, and healthy time apart from our kids can help us refuel this coming summer as we get ready for the Fall 2021 school year.

In this episode, we interview two Catalyst employees who are intimately familiar with the magic and benefits of summer camp.

  • Ronnie Hanks, Senior Manager for Catalyst Camps
  • Kassie Vargas, Assistant Site Supervisor for Catalyst Kids and former Catalyst Camp Manager

Learn more about Catalyst Camps at, or contact Ronnie directly with questions about Catalyst Camp:

Doing Less to bring More Peace to your Family in 2021 with Mary Van Geffen

We all want our home to be a sanctuary from the stress and demands of the world – a place where our child’s play is encouraged and social/emotional development is protected. Yet, often, we find ourselves white-knuckling it through the drama of unexplainable meltdowns and wildly inappropriate behavior that make parenting So Not Fun.

Join Simplicity Parenting Counselor® Mary Van Geffen to learn how choosing Simplicity in 4 key areas can give your child the space they need to tantrum less and come back to calm:

· The Environment

· Rhythm & Predictable Transitions

· Your Schedule

· Media/Screens

Listen to the episode for ideas of small doable changes you can make to support your child’s mental health and make parenting a whole lot easier.

How to Stay Calm when Your Child is Acting Crazy. 

A downloadable step-by-step process for how to regulate yourself for less yelling and more calm.

Connect with Mary on Instagram @maryvangeffen and on her website:

Shine Podcast Introduction

Welcome to Shine, a child, and youth development podcast. As we push into the New Year, we’ll share helpful parenting resources and advice, interview experts, and dive into relevant issues such as how to find quality childcare, the importance of play, virtual learning, and more.

Click here to follow the podcast.