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Acknowledgments W We would both like to acknowledge Linda Hein and the great people at Redleaf Press who made this book possible: David Heath, Kyra Ostendorf, Laurie Herrmann, JoAnne Voltz, Inga Weberg, Paul Bloomer, Douglas Schmitz, Jim Handrigan, Carla Valadez, Heidi Hogg, Devin Kormanik, Renee Hammes, Eric Johnson, Shaun Ward, Cindy Haider, and Steven Rhoden. Oh, and Janet Ward. If you’re reading this book, then it’s because Janet made sure it was safely shipped. Thanks to Beth Wallace for your fresh eyes and mindful editing. You’re awesome. Thanks to all the early learning professionals who shared stories, opin- ions, photos, and ideas. We don’t have room to name you all here, but your experience, thoughtfulness, and dedication to children have been inspiring. All of these people are Artists, not Cogs. I would like to thank my husband for his unfailing support while I chase my dreams. I would also like to acknowledge “my Jenn” for all the times she’s let me bounce ideas off of her, vent, cry, and laugh. She’s been the best gift any family child care provider could ask for. Finally, I give a huge thank-you to Jeff for offering me the opportunity of a lifetime. —Denita A special thanks to my wife, Tasha, for putting up with all those random moments when my eyes darted up and off to the side as I contemplated, wrestled with, and composed this book in my head. Thanks to Denita for being just as bullheaded and opinionated as I am. Thanks to the Big Island and Starbucks 9602. I also need to thank my early learning buddy, Sue Erpelding of Providers Empowering Providers in Wyoming, for letting me delay projects I was working on for her to make time for this book. —Jeff xv Use your smartphone to scan this QR code to visit Denita’s website, or go to Use your smartphone to scan this QR code to visit Jeff’s website, or go to www .explorationsearlylearning .com.