As a college junior I had watched many of my peers graduate and enter the professional world. Many of my friends with similar interests and work experience fell into social media entry level positions, specifically communications. Because my small liberal arts college does not offer a Communications major I began to wonder what the draw was to public relations and communications outside of college. I wanted to know more. I needed a contact in the business to chat with. It is easy to search major PR firms online and compile a list, but without a name or some sort of connection I was in trouble.
Barbara Sawyer is the Director of Special Projects at the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) and has worked in the early care and education field for over thirty years. From the time Sesame’s Healthy Habits for Life initiative launched in the early 2000’s, the NAFCC has been a key partner with Sesame Workshop to deliver these crucial messages on nutrition and physical activity. With the NAFCC’s support and through their national network of providers, Healthy Habits for Life materials have reached thousands of children in family child care.
Last week in continuation of this partnership, Barbara joined with Sesame Workshop’s Outreach staffers at the NAFCC’s Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, to host a roundtable discussion of experts, representing the nutrition, physical activity, and early education fields.
Before the event, we caught up with Barbara to talk about family child care and the NAFCC’s work in obesity prevention.
Sesame Workshop: What can you tell me about the National Association for Family Child Care and the particular ways it supports child care providers?
Barbara Sawyer: The National Association for Family Child Care is a non-profit organization that promotes quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care. The goals of the association include strengthening state and local associations as the primary support system for individual family child care providers, promoting a professional accreditation program which recognizes and encourages quality care for children, and representing family child care providers by advocating for their needs and collaborating with other organizations. The NAFCC is one of the only membership organizations that is dedicated to family child care providers who work in their own home with primarily a small group of children. About 65% of these providers work independently and do not have an assistant; therefore they are the only adult with the children. One of the ways the NAFCC works to improve the quality of this care is by inviting the providers to belong to a peer support group.
Congratulations to the Growing Hope Against Hunger team, Chrissy Ferraro and the rest of Sesame Workshop on its two newest Emmy nominations!
Sesame Workshop has been nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction, Reality or Reality-Competition Program category. Growing Hope Against Hunger, made possible by the generous support of Walmart and aired on PBS, makes manifest the invisible crisis in the United States, food insecurity, by introducing a new Muppet named Lily whose family has an ongoing struggle with hunger. Food insecurity is a growing and difficult issue for adults and children to discuss. This one hour primetime television special presents families’ personal stories to raise awareness of hunger as well as strategies that have helped these families find resources and grow stronger together. In this special, Brad Paisley, Kimberly Williams Paisley and the Sesame Street Muppets help families cope and live the healthiest life possible by providing the tools families need and by educating the general population about the widespread issue of hunger and food insecurity in the United States.
In addition, writer Christine Ferraro has been nominated for an Emmy in Writing, Nonfiction Programming for Sesame Street: Growing Hope Against Hunger. Christine Ferraro has been a writer for Sesame Street since 1994.
Sesame Street: Growing Hope Against Hunger • PBS • Sesame Workshop
Carol-Lynn Parente, Executive Producer
Melissa Dino, Supervising Producer
Mason Rather, Senior Producer
Kevin Clash, Producer
Special thanks to Academy Award winning director and filmmaker Cynthia Wade for her documentary films as part of the special.