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Holly Hill Childcare Forms Partnership

September 28, 2023
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Holly Hill Childcare Forms Partnership
Debbie Fedorko & Ally Soule

Holly Hill Childcare and Learning Center is pleased to announce its partnering with Ally Soule of Heart and Soule Speech Therapy.  This exciting partnership is the first of its kind!

Ally Soule is a resident of Orange, mom to a two-year old little girl, and a pediatric speech language pathologist with over six years of experience.   Ally received her undergraduate degree from Southern CT State University and her Master’s degree from University of MA Amherst.  Ally and her family moved back to the area last summer after living in Massachusetts for several years.

Throughout her career, Ally has worked in the school, inpatient hospital, outpatient clinic, and the birth-to-three settings.  In each setting, Ally found herself working hard to support parent and teacher education, advocacy, and involvement.  However, in each setting, Ally found it difficult to find the time to effectively communicate and connect with families in the way that she wanted.

Now back “home”, she decided it was time to open her own private speech therapy practice, Heart and Soule Speech Therapy, LLC.  The biggest goal for Ally in opening her practice has been to empower parents, families, and caregivers and to help others better understand child development.  Research on development, past and present, supports the effectiveness of collaboration and parent/teacher education in order to facilitate learning and increased success for our children.

Having a toddler at home, while simultaneously serving the young children in her practice, generated an idea for Ally that she presented to Holly Hill Childcare and Learning Center.  This proposed plan would allow Ally to provide hands-on coaching and consultation with directors and teachers, to answer questions about development, and to be available to support families as needed.  After the idea was proposed, director Debbie Fedorko and educational liaison Margaret Dana-Conway were in agreement-this could be something great!  From there, Ally and Debbie began working collaboratively with Holly Hill staff to develop the program to include the opportunity to share strategies to better understand and support communication, behavior, play skills, and overall development for the children at Holly Hill.

“A partnership of this kind, with our childcare center and speech language pathologist working proactively to best serve children and teachers, is one of a kind, unique, and innovative”, stated director Fedorko.  Most often, a child is identified as significantly delayed and a speech language pathologist (or another professional/clinician) begins working with the child and family.  Although this is an effective and important model, the current need of our youngest learners is calling for creativity from clinicians and a change in the traditional way of meeting the needs of our children.

With this proactive model, the teachers at Holly Hill are learning strategies to support language development, play skills, and behavior.  They are given the opportunity to problem-solve with Ally by asking questions, sharing concerns, and trying different strategies with hands-on support available.  Childcare providers are feeling more confident and empowered when interacting with children of different ages and skill levels.  Additionally, with this model, the childcare providers are gaining knowledge related to identifying delays more quickly in order to facilitate earlier intervention as needed.  Soule stated, “We must remember, our dedicated staff spends more time with our children than most of us are able to.  By educating and empowering childcare staff and teachers, we are able to give our children skilled, intentional support throughout the majority of their days.”

Both Ally and Debbie hope that, with Heart and Soule Speech Therapy, LLC, Ally will be able to reach as many children, providers, and families as possible and to empower them with knowledge related to speech language development.  When we can all come together in collaboration and with shared knowledge, the community becomes a powerful place.

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