This is Your Quality Time

Step Up to Quality’s podcast was created especially for Nebraska’s early childhood education professionals.

While it does have great information for parents, educators of older students, administrators and really anyone who cares about kids, we purposefully plan episodes with child care providers in mind.

Each episode focuses on uplifting those in early childhood education — providing a self-care space, showing appreciation for professionals in the field and creating a new platform to learn from others in Nebraska. And we know your time is valuable, so each episode is about 30 minutes, give or take.

How to Listen to Quality Time

From your mobile device:
You can listen (and subscribe!) to Quality Time from all the popular podcast apps. If you’re reading this from an iPhone or other Apple mobile device, click this link to listen in Apple Podcasts. If you’re on an Android device, tap this link to listen in Stitcher or this link to listen on Google. You can also listen to Quality Time on Spotify.

From a desktop or laptop:
You can always find the latest episode, and the library of previous episodes, at the bottom of this page. Click the “play” button on each episode to start the show. Be sure to keep the window open on your internet browser. If you close the window, the audio will stop.

About Our Host

We are fortunate to have the most wonderful host for Quality Time, Colleen Schmit. Colleen has worked in early childhood education as a teacher, consultant, program evaluator and speaker for 20 years, and she has also authored two books about the field.

Colleen earned her master’s degree in early childhood education at Concordia University and began her career as a teacher in Omaha, Nebraska. She is also a certified CLASS trainer and online CDA facilitator through Teachstone. Colleen and her husband, Bob, enjoy spending time with their four kiddos and eating lots of pizza.

Have Ideas for Quality Time?

If you have any suggestions about episode topics, people to interview or just general feedback, email us at nde.stepuptoquality@nebraska.gov.

RSS Quality Time Podcast

  • Wrapping Up Season 1 May 17, 2023
    If Season 1 of the Quality Time podcast were a baby, it would be all swaddled and ready to nap! We're officially done with Season 1...and we will see you soon for Season 2! Our host Colleen has some great things in store for us, including more national speakers and also more features on Nebraska […]
    Nebraska Step Up to Quality
  • Mindful Moment #2 May 3, 2023
    We know being a childcare provider is a difficult job. You are appreciated, you are supported and you deserve a moment just for you. Treat yourself to a mindful moment by listening to our second guided meditation episode on the Quality Time Podcast. This episode is brought to you by our coaching specialist and meditation […]
    Nebraska Step Up to Quality
  • Mindful Moment #1 April 19, 2023
    We created the Quality Time podcast especially for early childhood educators in Nebraska. Our intention at Step Up to Quality was to uplift and support all the teachers, directors, administrators and others who educate our future leaders. We know it can be a difficult and exhausting job, so we went a step further and recorded […]
    Nebraska Step Up to Quality
  • Episode 12 - Self-Care is Not Selfish April 5, 2023
    As an Early Childhood Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Dr. Holly Hatton-Bowers focuses on identifying and implementing effective ways of promoting well-being among early childhood educators, families and young children. In this episode, Dr. Hatton-Bowers talks about what self-care is, what it's not and why it matters. She […]
    Nebraska Step Up to Quality
  • Episode 11 - Overcoming Barriers March 22, 2023
    Jené Chapman, a Program Specialist with the Office of Early Childhood at the Nebraska Department of Education, discusses the successes and challenges of her experience in the field of child care and education. She talks about growing through professional development and helping providers overcome barriers to earn their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential in Nebraska.
    Nebraska Step Up to Quality
  • Episode 10 - It's a Team Effort March 8, 2023
    One of the most difficult parts about being a child care provider is facing challenging behaviors and the lack of support in some instances. In this week’s Quality Time podcast, Charity Wright, teacher at Cathedral Daycare in Grand Island, talks about how she receives support from the Step Up to Quality program during challenging moments […]
    Nebraska Step Up to Quality
  • Episode 9 - Small Town Center, Big Impact February 22, 2023
    For this episode, we sat down with Angie Lang, director and owner of Bright Beginnings Child Enrichment Center in Scriber, NE. She talks with us about her experience achieving Step 5 status through Step Up to Quality, her relationship with her coaches and why it's important to have those cheerleaders in your corner as a […]
    Nebraska Step Up to Quality
  • Episode 8 - Continued Learning for Early Child Care Professionals February 8, 2023
    In this episode of Quality Time, our host Colleen discusses the importance of child care professionals continuing their education with Becky Morton. Becky has worked in the field of early childhood for over 10 years as a early childhood coach consultant at Educational Service Unity #3 (ESU3) and is an adjunct early childhood instructor for […]
    Nebraska Step Up to Quality
  • Episode 7 - Men in Early Childhood Education January 25, 2023
    In this episode of Quality Time, we get the chance to talk with Mike Stiehl. Mike is a coach for Step Up to Quality and has worked in the field of early childhood education for more than 40 years. Mike discusses what it's like being a male in a female-dominated workforce, what his job entails […]
    Nebraska Step Up to Quality
  • Episode 6 - From Teacher to Leader January 11, 2023
    In this episode of the Step Up to Quality podcast, we welcome Jill Garrett. Jill is an early childhood program manager in Omaha. We talk to her about her Step Up to Quality experience and how she got her and her team to achieve a Step 5.
    Nebraska Step Up to Quality