Kandi Novak

Kandi Novak
Kandi Novak is the Technical Assistance Specialist for the Vroom Partnership initiative at Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA). Her work focuses on providing technical assistance and training to child care resource and referral agencies on integrating science-based resources and tools that promote early brain development into their outreach and services to families, child care programs, and community partners. Kandi brings experience in child care resource and referral, early childhood mental health, and early childhood education along with a BA in Psychology and a MA in Human Development and Family Studies.

Recent Posts

Promoting Wellness with Child Care Providers in the New Year

By Kandi Novak on January 10, 2024


Child care providers play an essential role in the development and well-being of young children. However, the demanding nature of the job coupled with low wages may negatively affect their physical health, emotional well-being and overall quality of life. It is important for child care providers to prioritize self-care and wellness to ensure they are able to provide the best care possible for the children and families they serve. Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) can offer the support providers need to care for themselves while they care for everyone else.  

Topics: Family & Community Engagement, Best Practices, Health & Safety, Brain Building Tips

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Strengthening Family and Community Engagement through Brain Science

By Kandi Novak on February 25, 2022

Vroom®, a national program, helps families support children’s learning during everyday moments and routines with free, science-based tips and tools. Across the United States, Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies are reaching families with the science of early brain development and brain-building resources that get families excited about boosting their children’s learning.

CCR&Rs frequently express how simple it is to fold the brain-building resources into their existing programs and outreach to families, providers, and community partners. Further, CCR&Rs, who share Vroom with families, report improvement in their agency’s family and community engagement practices.

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) recently had an opportunity to hear Viki Palmer and Renesha Lee, Family Engagement Specialists at Community Child Care Solutions in New Jersey, share how their agency is empowering families with brain-building tips and tools. Community Child Care Solutions is a member of CCAoA’s Vroom Community of Practice.

Topics: Family & Community Engagement

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Child Care is Essential: Celebrating Provider Appreciation Day® May 7

By Kandi Novak on April 13, 2021


Celebrate child care professionals on May 7! Join Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) in saying thank you to providers for taking care of our nation’s children. To say that being a child care provider this past year has been challenging would be an understatement. Providers were essential long before COVID-19, but the pandemic has underscored how essential child care is. Child care provides opportunities for families to go to work, children to learn, businesses to operate and the economy to grow. Child care providers are “opportunity makers.” Child care providers are brain-builders. They are among our nation’s unsung heroes!

Topics: Business Operations for CCR&Rs, Family & Community Engagement, Brain Building Tips

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Supporting Early Literacy Through Innovative Partnerships & Resources

By Kandi Novak on March 26, 2021

Each time parents or caregivers spend time reading books with children, the neural pathways in their brains are strengthened. In a recent blog, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) celebrated National Reading Month and shared ideas for engaging families to promote the importance of reading with children to ensure continued learning and support early brain development. To expand on this conversation and encourage reading with children every day throughout the year, CCAoA is excited to share stories from child care resource and referral agencies(CCR&Rs)  who have engaged families around reading through innovative tools and community partnerships and from national programs that have created science-based tools to empower and support families.

Topics: Family & Community Engagement, Parenting, Brain Building Tips

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Building Brains with Books! Kick off National Reading Month on March 2

By Kandi Novak on February 26, 2021

Get ready to read! March is National Reading Month, and children across America will kick off the month-long celebration starting Tuesday, March 2 - National Read Across America Day. Whether you’re planning one big Read Across America Day celebration or activities throughout the month of March, the celebration is designed to encourage families and children to spend more time reading and make reading a part of everyday moments with children all year long.

Topics: Family & Community Engagement

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Innovative Strategies for Partnering with Families to Boost Children’s Learning

By Kandi Novak on November 04, 2020

Without a doubt, families are an essential part of children’s learning and educational journey - starting at birth. “Engaging families as partners early in the educational journey allows parents to establish strong home-school connections that support their children’s achievement long-term “(Start Early, September 25, 2019). So, it is not surprising that “family engagement” is a frequent and important theme of discussions and planning in child care programs.

Topics: Family & Community Engagement, Professional Development, Parenting, Brain Building Tips

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