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Erikson Policy & Leadership presents

Get on the Early Childhood Bus Podcast

Focusing on children and their rights.

Erikson Institute Early Childhood Leadership Academy | Get on the Early Childhood Bus

About Our Podcast

Get on The Early Childhood Bus is a podcast from Erikson Institute hosted by early childhood champions, Penny Smith and Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas, who dive into the trending headlines and hot topics to understand how children and their rights are being centered: finding the baby in every situation. Hear the stories and the science on why we need to prioritize the well-being of infants and toddlers.


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About the Hosts

Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas

Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas is the senior policy advisor consultant for Erikson Institute. She co-established the Early Childhood Leadership Academy and previously served as Erikson Institute’s Policy and Leadership Department’s associate vice president of policy before joining the state legislature as the Illinois state senator representing the 20th district. Her service in Chicago Public Schools and Enlace Chicago built a track record for leveraging community partnerships, implementing restorative justice practices, and supporting the leadership of young people, parents, and educators.

Penny Smith

Penny Smith is a Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD®), IDI®(Intercultural Development Instrument) Qualified Administrator, and co-creator of “Decolonizing Data and Language” workshop. She leads the Policy and Leadership Department at Erikson Institute as the director of learning and impact and is focused on developing capacity-building learning models that activate a base of committed Illinois leaders who can protect and increase investments in early childhood; contribute to building back the early childhood system; and amplify awareness of the importance of early childhood locally, statewide and nationally.

More about Penny Smith