Shine: A child and youth development podcast

Tips for staying sane while balancing work & healthy family living with Caroline Chambers

On this episode of Shine, we are joined by Caroline Chambers, a recipe developer, food writer, and the author of "Just Married: A Cookbook for Newlyweds." She's also a mom of 2 (with one on the way!) and has made a name for herself on Instagram as a superstar working mom, constantly sharing tips for how to balance it all. 

In this episode, Caroline and Allie discuss tips for staying sane while running a business and trying to keep the family fed and healthy, as well as tricks for getting veggies in, and building healthy eating habits at home.  Find Caroline at on Instagram @carochambers, and be SURE to sign up for her incredible newsletter/digital cookbook, What to Cook When You Don't Feel Like Cooking. 

Importance of Family Choice in Childcare

Today we’re speaking with our internal experts about the importance of Family Choice regarding childcare with the recent passing of AB 22. What is AB 22? AB 22 will extend universal access to full-day transitional kindergarten (TK) programs to all 4-year-olds statewide at no cost to families. Unfortunately, the proposed legislation (AB 22) that expands TK across California, falls short for many families, communities across the state, and especially for childcare workers who kept our state functioning during the long year of COVID. Alison Michel-Hall, who is leading today’s discussion is joined by Heather Slimp and Lizelle Wulff, who have experience as not just experts in the field, but a vested interest as parents themselves seeking the right option to meet the individual needs of their children.

AB 22 Resources:

Supporting Families with Children’s Dreams with Carolina Fonseca Jimenez

Carolina was brought to the United States at the age of 2 years old. Her parents came to the U.S. in search of a better life and in hopes of achieving the American Dream. She grew up in the public-school system, went to East Carolina University to study Psychology and then to Central Law School. Throughout her educational career she faced the complex immigration process like many other Dreamers. She noticed the sacrifices her parents made throughout her life and knew she had to bring unity to the family even if it was divided by a man-made border. She used her passion to unite her own family to write Lupita and the Magic of Mexico and to share this message with others who may be going through similar situations. As she shared this message across our NC schools, many children could relate to her story and shared nightmares they had about family separation, so she wrote, Lupita and her Magical Dreams for kids to understand the meaning of their nightmares. In writing these books she learned that love has no borders and that stories can unite us in a magical way. Carolina’s passion is to inspire those around her by her example, and her mission is to provide guidance with Dreams and nightmares.   

Carolina fue traída a los Estados Unidos a la edad de 2 años. Sus padres llegaron a los Estados Unidos en busca de una vida mejor y con la esperanza de lograr el Sueño Americano. Creció en el sistema de escuelas públicas, fue a la Universidad de East Carolina para estudiar Psicología y luego a la Facultad de Derecho, Central. A lo largo de su carrera educativa enfrentó el complejo proceso de inmigración como muchos otros Dreamers. Ella notó los sacrificios que sus padres hicieron a lo largo de su vida y supo que tenía que traer unidad a la familia incluso si estaba dividida por una frontera. Ella usó su pasión para unir a su propia familia para escribir Lupita y la Magia de México y compartir este mensaje con otras personas que pueden estar pasando por situaciones similares. Al compartir este mensaje en nuestras escuelas de Carolina del Norte, muchos niños pudieron relacionarse con su historia y compartieron sus pesadillas que tenían sobre la separación familiar, por lo que escribió, Lupita y la Magia de los Sueños para que los niños entendieran el significado de sus pesadillas. Al escribir estos libros aprendió que el amor no tiene fronteras y que las historias pueden unirnos de manera mágica. La pasión de Carolina es inspirar a quienes la rodean con su ejemplo, y su misión es brindar orientación con sueños y pesadillas. 


Book Information 


Lupita and the Magic of Mexico 

After growing up in the United States, Lupita finally has the opportunity to explore her birthplace of Mexico with her mother, Ma. Lupita and Ma go on an adventure to learn about the beauty Mexico has to offer. Along the way, they see the culture of Mexico as they explore a parade, the music, and even a castle! Lupita and Ma journey across their home city and find that the magic they were looking for may not be tied to one place at all! 

Lupita and her Magical Dreams  

Have you ever woken up terrified from a scary dream? Lupita has, and she's determined to find out what it means! Join Lupita as she explores the meaning of her scary dream. Her journey begins in bed and before you know it, she is flying through the universe! How you ask? Let's join Lupita on her journey as we are invited into her Magical Dream World! 

These books are available in English and in Spanish and offer Highlights of the other language for a spark of learning!  



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 on becoming a new parent during the pandemic with Emily Oster, co-founder of NAPS and Nurture by NAPS. She is a certified nurse practitioner and board-certified lactation consultant.  



Emily Oster's Decision Making Model

Instagram: @NurturebyNAPS

Podcast: Unswaddled

Nurture by NAPS Online Membership

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

It is National Bilingual/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 


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

·— (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)

·         NAEYC also has a resource (also organized by specific age groups)


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