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Event Recap: The Kids 'R Alright Childcare Changemakers Retreat

Yesterday (May 24, 2024), we had the privilege of hosting the first-ever Childcare Changemakers Retreat in collaboration with Ford Philanthropy and Watson Institute . The event was a celebration of the dedication and hard work of childcare providers, parent entrepreneurs and organizations creating change positive change in the childcare space. Here are some highlights and insights from this impactful gathering (thank you to Nadia Boone for photographing this event!):

A group of mothers and entrepreneurs sit on stage for a panel
The Mompreneur Panel. From L-R: moderator Felicia Miller, Simona Miller, Briaca Duesette, Terrina Firmin

Why This Event? Why Now?

The childcare crisis in the United States is a big challenge for many families. With the shortage of affordable and quality childcare options, parents are finding it tough to balance work and family life. Many childcare centers have closed due to financial strains or staffing issues, leaving parents scrambling to find reliable care. This situation is especially hard on working parents who need to ensure their children are safe and well-cared for during the day.

Children are also feeling the impact. Without access to quality childcare, they miss out on early education and socialization opportunities that are crucial for their development. Childcare providers, who are essential workers, are often underpaid and overworked, leading to high turnover rates and burnout. This makes it even harder for families to find consistent and dependable care. The childcare crisis highlights the need for more support and investment in the childcare system to help families and providers alike. 

With all of this going on, it was a no-brainer for our CEO, Founder and 2024 Ford Philanthropy Fellow Sierra L. Boone to curate an event catering to solve these needs.

Mindful Beginnings

The retreat kicked off with a much-needed mindfulness meditation led by our CEO Sierra Boone (a.k.a. Siesta). Set to the tune of Andre 3000's flute album, it was a great way to set the tone for a meaningful event ahead.

Sierra L. Boone leads a mindfulness meditation
Breathe in, breathe out.

The Current State of Childcare in the U.S.

After meditation finished, we discussed the current state of childcare in an opening session with our Gold Sponsor, Upwards. Rachel Peterson, VP of Marketing at Upwards, joined Sierra to talk through challenges, solutions, frameworks and more.

Standing on Business: Moms Talk Entrepreneurship

One of the most memorable moments was the engaging #mompreneur panel, where successful parent entrepreneurs shared their journeys, emphasizing the importance of self care and boundaries in the world of momhood and entrepreneurship.

Who was on the panel?

"These mothers are truly inspiring. They spoke so beautifully about life's demands and struggles with such poise and wisdom. To hear their transparency and takeaways, not to mention the pure dedication they have to their families? Unforgettable."
  • Sierra L. Boone


Resources Galore!

After the panel, attendees were given insightful resource presentations tailored to address the unique challenges and opportunities encountered by those in the childcare industry. Sessions focused on topics such as financial support, acquiring and maintaining clients, best practices and more.

A mom and her daughters
Roshni S. of Wonderschool

2 women stand behind a booth
The Great Start to Quality Program was in the building!

two women speak on a stage
Ayoka Mobley, owner of Friendship Childcare Center in Detroit, spoke to guests during our "Turning Passion to Profits in Childcare" session.

Refuel and Refresh

The day wouldn't have been complete without a delicious lunch, generously sponsored by our nonprofit arm Pour Forward. The meal provided a space for attendees to connect, share experiences, and forge new relationships within the childcare community.

Accessibility to the Front!

The Childcare Changemakers Retreat featured a free soft play area sponsored by Upwards and set up by local, Black-owned and family-owned company Little Movers Soft Play. The littles loved it!

Mental Health for Kids: A Thoughtful Discussion

Yes, there's more! This impact event also featured a fireside chat between our very own Eric Boone (a.k.a Mister Boots) and Andre Charley, MSW, LMSW. Charley, a clinical therapist dedicated to mental wellness in youth populations, gave some AMAZING tips and advice to child caregivers on nurturing family wellness, supporting their child's mental health, dealing with stress and more.

You really had to be there to witness this amazing session!

Plus, a lil' somethin' somethin' just for coming!

It wouldn't be a Nap Time Show event if we didn't express our gratitude with a good ol' GIVEAWAY...or 4! Giveaways featured dinner vouchers (donated by sponsor Famous Dave's), scavenger hunt vouchers (donated by sponsor Let's Roam), limited edition merch from The Nap Time Show, AND a cash grant sponsored by Upwards!

It felt a little bit like that infamous Oprah car episode 😉

Boy, we had a time! (IYKYK)

From the interactive sessions to the meaningful discussions, it was evident that the Childcare Changemakers Retreat provided a platform for growth, learning, and collaboration. The retreat not only inspired attendees to enhance their services but also fostered a sense of empowerment and camaraderie among child caregivers.

The response to the Childcare Changemakers Retreat was overwhelmingly positive, with attendees expressing gratitude for the valuable insights gained and connections made during the event. The engagement levels reflected the attendees' keen interest in investing in their children and making a positive social impact within their communities.

The journey of a child caregiver can sometimes feel like a solitary path, but initiatives like the Childcare Changemakers Retreat remind us of the power of coming together, learning from one another, and inspiring change in the lives of children and families. Shout out to the Ford Philanthropy Fellowship for sparking the beginnings of this amazing Basecamp!

Join us in recognizing the impact of parents, educators and childcare providers who are making a difference every day. Together, we can empower and uplift our communities.

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