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Feature Fridays!

Welcome to Feature Fridays: Women in Business!

Every Friday, we are excited to shine a spotlight on the incredible women making a significant impact in the business world. From entrepreneurs and innovators to small business owners and industry leaders, these remarkable women are breaking barriers, inspiring others, and carving a path toward success.

Today I would love to introduce Carla Ward an amazing women who I got to meet at a photoshoot last year. She runs Early Learning Foundations which collaborates closely with early childhood educators, offering support and resources to enhance their teaching methodologies and enrich the educational experience for young learners. Through specialized training programs, tailored curricula, and educational materials, the business aims to empower educators with the tools and knowledge necessary to create dynamic, engaging, and developmentally appropriate learning environments. Early Learning Foundations prioritizes partnering with educators to incorporate innovative teaching strategies, play-based learning approaches, and assessment techniques that cater to the diverse needs of children in their crucial early years. The focus is on fostering professional growth among educators while ensuring they have the resources and expertise to provide high-quality education that lays a strong foundation for children's lifelong learning journeys.

What inspired you to start your business?

My passion for early childhood education and a firm belief in its profound influence on a child's future inspired me to launch Early Learning Foundations. Witnessing the incredible impact of quality early learning environments firsthand, I was driven to create a business that could redefine the approach to early education. My experiences fueled a desire to bridge the gap between traditional education and a more holistic, child-centric approach. I aimed to make a significant difference in children's lives while empowering educators with innovative tools and resources. This vision motivated me to establish Early Learning Foundations, driven by a heartfelt commitment to transforming early education for the better.

Looking at where you are now what would you tell your younger self?

Just start! You are going to make mistakes and you are going to learn from those mistakes. Do not let the fear of messing up hold you back.

What is the biggest challenge you faced being a woman in business?

As someone who works in a female dominated profession, the biggest challenge has been having Early Childhood Education be taken seriously. It seems that the careers that are deemed "women's work" are grossly underpaid and disrespected. I look forward to working towards changing that.

What aspects of your work are you most passionate about, and how does it drive your business forward?

The work that resonates with me deeply revolves around empowering educators to advocate for Early Childhood Education and create vibrant and nurturing learning environments for young minds. I am driven by the profound belief that early childhood education lays the cornerstone for a lifetime of learning and success. Collaborating with educators to develop innovative teaching strategies, curriculum enhancements, and specialized training programs brings me immense joy.

What advice would you give an aspiring female entrepreneur who are just starting their journey?

You can do hard things! The world is going to throw you some real doozies and you are going to tackle them one by one because you can. And one day you will look back and realize that all of those difficult things were learning experiences that needed to happen to help you grow and you are better because of it.

In what ways do you believe women can uplift and empower each other?

We're not in competition with each other. Talk about women when they're not in the room in a good way. If you know someone that is good for a project, say their name.

What are your future goals and aspirations for your business, and how do you plan to achieve them?

There is BIG things coming to Early Learning Foundations in 2024! Right now, I have a wall of 50 post-it notes that each represent something I want to achieve in 2024. As those things happen, I'll write them on the post-it note. Making your goals visible makes them an action plan.

How do you handle setbacks and failures in your business, and what have you learned from them?

Sometimes you have to walk away and come back to it the next day. Journal, reflect and decide if you would have done the same thing if you knew the outcome and if not, what would you have done differently.

How do you maintain self care while running a business? (Any specific strategies or tips you would like to share)

Daily Starbucks. That's my vice. Self-care looks like a spa weekend every summer and weekend walks with my hubby and pup.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your journey to experience?

Being an entrepreneur is a journey. You are in it for the long haul and there is no such thing as an overnight success. Keep showing up and putting in the work.

Stay connected and encourage Carla by checking out her website and following her on IG.



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