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“It is the quality time you can give your child that counts.” With Dr. Ely Weinschneider & Jessica Chang

We all strive to be good parents. No parent is perfect, but it is the little things you do that count. For example, my work schedule may be extremely demanding a particular week and I will have several work dinners. If the only time I spend with my children is during bedtime, I make sure […]

We all strive to be good parents. No parent is perfect, but it is the little things you do that count. For example, my work schedule may be extremely demanding a particular week and I will have several work dinners. If the only time I spend with my children is during bedtime, I make sure I am really present. Even if I only get thirty minutes before bedtime, I make that time count. I will play and splash during bathtime or act out a bedtime story. It is the quality time you can give your child that counts.


Asa part of my series about “How extremely busy executives make time to be great parents” I had the pleasure to interview Jessica Chang, the co-founder and CEO of WeeCare. Jessica has always been passionate about childcare. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a dual degree in Psychology, with a focus on Early Childhood Development, and Economics. When Jessica was pregnant with her first child, she began touring daycares only to discover that all spots were full with long waitlists and exorbitant costs. Unable to comprehend why there were so few spots available and so many parents searching for childcare, she decided to dive into the childcare space and become an investor and owner of a preschool. Jessica co-founded WeeCare in 2017 to empower educators and daycare directors to start, fill to capacity, and efficiently operate a licensed home daycare business. WeeCare eliminates parents’ stress of finding a quality daycare by matching them with the best small home daycare environment for their children. In addition, Jessica is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Early Childcare Planning Committee of LA County and the Santa Monica Early Childhood Task Force. Jessica lives in Los Angeles with her husband Witt and two children, Maddy and Teddy.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us your “childhood backstory?”

Igrew up in China after the Cultural Revolution, an era of the one-child policy and when China first opened to the West. I still remember as a child the first McDonald’s opening in China. My family, like all families, lived in community housing where I spent my early years playing outside at the community center. I spent my last year in China attending an International School in Beijing and my baby brother was born the same year. After leaving China to attend college in the U.S., my brother started displaying signs of autism. This event inspired me to major in psychology as a first-year college student. I focused on early childhood development to help educate my parents. I wanted them to understand what it meant to be autistic as in those days developmental disorders were dealt with very differently in China as compared to the U.S.

Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was not prepared for how expensive childcare was or how difficult it would be to find available childcare. I began touring daycares only to discover that all spots were full, with long waitlists and exorbitant costs. I was unable to comprehend why there were so few spots available and so many parents searching for childcare. I decided to dive into the childcare space and become an investor and owner of a preschool. I applied my background in finance to streamline the school’s operations. I grew the school to full capacity within months of ownership. In 2017, I co-founded WeeCare to empower educators to start, fill to capacity, and efficiently operate a licensed home daycare business that provides quality and education-based childcare.

Can you tell us a bit more about what your day to day schedule looks like?

As a ‘mompreneur,’ I have the opportunity to build my schedule and dedicate time to being with my children. I allocate 6 to 8 in the morning and evening each day to “mommy time” without any work interruptions, no exceptions. I never stay too late at the office. Instead, I arrive home early, cook dinner, put my kids to bed, and then I continue my work. My time at home and at the office is always scheduled. Each day, I spend around thirty minutes in the morning sorting my priorities. This is followed by a team stand-up meeting in which we align on the daily priorities and recap the day before. The majority of my day is spent in meetings with outside partners, potential investors, or internally with team leads. I block out time during the day to focus on completing my other work, and to give myself a break from my day-to-day tasks.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the core of our discussion. This is probably intuitive to many, but it would be beneficial to spell it out. Based on your experience or research, can you flesh out why not spending time with your children can be detrimental to their development?

Children need social interaction. They need it from their peers and their parents. Children also are quick learners. They have inquisitive minds and learn from their parents. They can pick up on behaviors quickly. It is imperative as parents that we are also good role models for our children and that we spend time reinforcing good behavior. Children want to feel needed and loved. Allow them to ask questions and play with them as this is key to their developmental progress.

On the flip side, can you give a few reasons or examples about why it is so important to make time to spend with your children?

Children pick up both good and bad behavior from their parents. The ability to share, be patient and have empathy are all examples of social responses that our children learn from our actions.

Can you give a 3–5 stories or examples from your own life about what you do to spend quality time with your children?

  1. I love playing with Play-Doh with my children. It allows me to interact with them while my kids use their imagination and express their creativity through art.
  2. I also take my children to interactive museums such as the aquarium and the zoo. They can learn lessons in history and science, the origins of things, about the ecosystem, and animals.
  3. My children also love to garden. Even though it is a super messy activity, it is a great way for them to learn about biology. They help me plant the garden. It teaches them where food comes from, and why it is important to protect the earth.

Can you share with our readers 5 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention? Please include examples or stories for each, if you can.

  1. I make an effort to keep parenting time separate from work time. I allocate 6 to 8 a.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. to “mommy time” each day, without any work interruption — no exceptions. Children grow up so fast, and I don’t want to miss anything, or to be distracted by my phone or email.
  2. A support system is key. I delegate. I trust others to help me achieve my goals. It makes me a better leader for my team and my family. It also gives others the chance to step up and lead.
  3. On the weekends, my husband and I trade mornings. I have Saturdays, and he has Sundays. It is a way to take a little breather. I have “me time” to reset and catch up on some much-needed rest. Every Saturday, I sleep until 9 am. I don’t have to worry about the kids or breakfast. This gives me a chance to wake up naturally, read the news, and see what my friends are doing on social media.
  4. When I pick-up and drop-off my children, I make sure that this time is spent interacting. I ask them about their day or we sing a song. I will ask them to identify colors by pointing out different colored cars.
  5. I make time at bedtime. Whether it is bath time or story time, nighttime means quality time with my children. They are always very attentive during those last minutes before bed.

How do you define a “good parent”? Can you give an example or story?

We all strive to be good parents. No parent is perfect, but it is the little things you do that count. For example, my work schedule may be extremely demanding a particular week and I will have several work dinners. If the only time I spend with my children is during bedtime, I make sure I am really present. Even if I only get thirty minutes before bedtime, I make that time count. I will play and splash during bathtime or act out a bedtime story. It is the quality time you can give your child that counts.

How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?

As adults, we often create mental blockers about why something can’t be done, such as it will create a mess or you’ll be disappointed with the results. Children believe that anything is possible. My son loves to play with water, especially in puddles after a rainstorm. One day, when it was raining, we went outside, he saw a river of water flowing down our street, and we decided to follow the water and see where it would go. Even though it was pouring outside and I was nervous he might catch a cold, I felt it was important for him to explore his curiosity. We put on our rain jackets and boots and headed outside to chase the stream. which eventually led to a drain. I felt this was an important opportunity to teach him where the water goes during a rainstorm. We got in the car, and I took him to the opening of the LA river. He watched a big stream of water lead into the ocean. This allowed him to fully explore his curiosity and to learn a lesson.

How do you, a person who masterfully straddles the worlds of career and family, define “success”?

As a parent you are always juggling competing priorities, calm when craziness ensues, and you are wonderful at managing hectic schedules. I define success as using my passion and drive to work towards a goal that will help other parents, specifically working moms. Success to me is about making change happen. I believe in the mission that I am working towards and I define success as changing the way parents and providers think about early childcare.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?

The book “How to Raise Successful People” by Esther Wojcicki. It is based on the T.R.I.C.K. philosophy (trust, respect, independence, collaboration, and kindness) Esther utilized while raising her three highly successful daughters. Esther is also an advisor to WeeCare. I have the privilege of working with her and together we created WeeCare’s “Early Learners Program.”

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Growing up in China, we use proverbs as life lessons. My favorite and probably the simplest proverb translates to “talk does not cook rice.” I am a big believer in taking action instead of talking about a solution, regardless of how difficult something is. It is hard to balance a family and a career. But instead of talking about it, I take it day by day, and I find new ways to balance being a parent and running a company.

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