And How are the Children..?

About this Blog…

Dear Reader,

I created this blog as a space to share my thoughts and prompt discussion about issues of relevance in the field of early childhood/early care and education.  I also use it to chronicle some of my experiences as a practitioner in this field.  All ideas that are shared in a respectful way are welcome to be expressed, and subject to debate.  Comments are encouraged, and links and references that provide supportive evidence are especially valuable.  As an educator, I believe that we all should have learned something by the time we log off, or navigate away from this web page.

Thank you for visiting, and participating.


Atena Danner-McPhaden is an early childhood specialist in Chicago, IL.  She envisions a society where children are valued and their families are supported.  Atena’s objective is to advance her education and training to better serve children and families.  Her goal is to serve as a leader in the field of Early Care and Education, and support the people who shape the lives of children and families in Chicago, in the United States, and around the world.


8 Responses to "About this Blog…"

Can’t wait to return often…….

Thanks, David. You are always welcome, and I look forward to your feedback! Tell your friends!

Atena, just came across your blog via a Tweet. It’s great! Wonderful to see an Erikson Institute alumna out there leading and inspiring thoughtful conversations about issues and practice. You’re the only one I’ve found blogging so far. I was unable to attend the HCZ panel with Barbara Bowman so I really appreciated your live blog and wrap-up, which I just retweeted. Keep on sharing your thoughts.
Follow Erikson on twitter @Earlychildhood

Thanks so much, Toni! I’m glad you’ve found the blog useful – I’m having a lot of fun writing it! Please stay tuned for more, and thanks for reading!


I am a freelance writer for the Regional Office of Education and I am writing an Op-Ed for our Superintendent about the budget mess. Thanks for all the good info! Do you have more? E-mail me if you get a chance–I’d like to pick your brain.

Mary McNeil


It was great to meet you today at the Leadership Connections conference. I look forward to following your blog, and making many more connections.

Katy Andrijowych

Thank you very much, Katy – I enjoyed talking with you and comparing notes of ECE in our respective states. Have a great time in Chicago, and I hope we’ll connect on Friday!


I too am an early childhood educator and current graduate student in the area of curriculum, instruction and assessment. I am an advocate of early education as I have seen remarkable student progress from ages 3-5. I have taught full-day Pre-K in a tite I public school and I am in the process of gathering research regarding the academic growth comparisons between students receiving full-day or half-day Pre-K. I came across your blog as a result. I hope to have further conversations with you. My aim is early education inclusive of students with ASD, with additional teacher support. As a result of co-teaching along with a full-time aide, I have seen 2 mentally retarded students and 2 autistic students learn to read!

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