Training FAQ

General Training Questions

What types of trainings do you offer?

Our online and in person sessions revolve around three main topics: play, caregiver self-care, and play related do it yourself projects.

You’ll find a list of training titles and descriptions here.

Can you do custom topics or mix and match?

If time allows we can generally build custom sessions related to play or caregiver self-care to fit your needs. What we often do for clients wanting to book a whole day of training is to weave together the best parts of 3 or 4 sessions.

What audience are your trainings for?

Our sessions are for both early learning professionals and parents of young children.

Where can we see your available dates and times?

You can check out our training calendar here.

How far in advance do we need to book an event?

In general, the sooner the better–especially if you want a specific event date.

Three months in advance is good. Six or more is idea.

That said, we’re able to be more flexible with online events since there are not travel arrangements involved.

Where have you presented?

I’ve spoken at lots of events since starting out way back in 2000, more than I can remember.

A few highlights:

  • I’ve keynoted the NAFCC National Conference.
  • I’ve keynoted many state AEYC conferences.
  • I’ve keynoted the IFDCA International Conference in Cork, Ireland.
  • I’ve presented to at the NAEYC conference. 

Here’s a fairly current list of the states, provinces, and territories where I have keynoted in the United States, Canada, and Australia:

United States

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming 


  • Alberta
  • British Columbia 
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan


  • New South Wales
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia
  • Northern Territory

How do I book an event?

Contact us to start the booking process.

Can we pencil in a date to keep it safe while making a decision?

Sure. Just ask when you contact us about booking the event. My only request is that you contact me as soon as possible if you decide not to use me for your event so I can make the date available.

Will you help publicize our event?

Sure. We’re happy to share info about events via our social media feeds and via our training mail list. We’ll just need links and images we can share.

If you set up a Facebook event for your training, you add Explorations Early Learning as a host so the event shows up on our Facebook feed.

We can also do a short promo video you can share to help promote the event.

How do you like to be introduced?

As simply as possible. “Here’s Jeff” is the preferred introduction, but sharing a few beat from my bio is fine too.

Do you require a contract?

Yes. We’d prefer a handshake, but a contract keeps things clear and outlines what is expected of both parties. After you book an event, we will email a contract for your review. When everyone is happy with the document you can sign and email us a copy.

Do you require a deposit?

Yes. We generally require a 50% deposit due two months before the event. with the balance due the day of the event. Different arrangement can be negotiated, if needed.

How do you prefer to be paid?

We can accept payment by check or online with any major card or via bank transfer through PayPal. 

What if we need an invoice to get you paid?

Just ask. We invoice through PayPal and just need to know who to email the invoice to.

What are your feelings about paperwork?

Over the last few years, some states have implemented complicated procedures for having trainings approved that involve mountains of paperwork.

While we understand this is a reality that many event organizers must deal with, our training fees do not cover paperwork so we will have to negotiate a additional paperwork fee if someone on our end has to complete mad stacks of paperwork.

We’ve tried to make it easy for the person on your end responsible for paperwork. For example, each session description includes three learning goals and you can just click below to grab a bio and resume.

I have a question not answered in the FAQ, what do I do?

Contact us and we’ll find you an answer.

I found a typo , error, or bad link–want to know about it?

Yes, please! Contact us with details and we will get it fixed.

In Person Trainings

What do you charge for an in person training?

The fee for an in person event within 1,000 miles of Sioux City, IA is $4,000.

The fee for an in person event beyond 1,000 miles of Sioux City, IA is $6,000.

These fees include up to 6 hours of speaking time and include all travel expenses.

You may want to consider a live online presentation if these fees are beyond your budget–you can learn more about them further on in this FAQ.

Do you currently do live events outside the United States?


What audio visual equipment do you need?

Depending on the size of the group and room acoustics, I may need a wireless lapel microphone. No other gear is usually necessary. We can discuss details when you book your event.

Can you do a book signing or toy vending at our event?

That can probably be arranged, just mention it when you contact us and we can work out the details.

Live Online Trainings

What do you charge for a live online training?

The cost for live online trainings varies based on session length and day of week. Here are some base prices:

  • An hour session on a weekday starts at $150.
  • An hour on a weekday evening starts at $200.
  • Up to 3 hours on a Saturday starts at $1500.

Contact us and we’d be happy to gather some information and quote an exact price.

What online meeting platform do you use?

We us the Zoom online meeting platform. We’ve used lots of platforms over the years and Zoom is the most versatile and reliable.

Can you provide an overview of how an online training works?

Sure, here’s a graphic we put together that helps explain it:

Here’s a look at some of the capabilities the combination of our home studio and the Zoom meeting platform offer:

  • Because there’s plenty of space in the studio, Jeff’s not forced to present from behind a desk like many online trainers. He’s up and moving around just like at an in person making presentations more dynamic and engaging.
  • The studio is equipped with both a regular broadcast-the-presenter camera and an overhead camera used for a better view during demonstrations.
  • Zoom allows attendees to share their video feeds. This makes sessions feel more like in person interactions.
  • Beyond facial expressions, attendees can communicate with Jeff during sessions via their device’s microphone or the Zoom chat box.
  • Zoom allows Jeff to share slides, photos, video, audio clips, and more during presentations if they are called for.

So, we could bring you to our conference live via the internet?

Yes. If your venue has a good internet connection, a large screen, and some very basic computer gear they can pipe me in via the web. This a much more cost effective option than bringing me in live.

What are some of the benefits of online learning sessions?

Benefits include:

  • Cost. Across the board, online events are more affordable to host and attend.
  • Flexibility. Online events are easy to customize and allow attendees a lot of autonomy. For example, events can be scheduled at attendee-friendly times,¬†attendees can participate from the comfort of their own homes, and everyone is responsible for their own care during the event–no more hassles about the venue, menu, or room temperature.
  • Opportunity. Online events make it easier to bring a wider variety of training topics to parents and caregivers in remote locations where training options are traditionally limited.
  • Hassle. Attendees don’t have to arrange babysitters or fight traffic, organizers can avoid the busywork surrounding room setup, and presenters avoid the headaches of travel.¬†
  • Followup. After a traditional live event, everyone kinda goes their own way. After an online event, there are built in opportunities to provide followup support via online groups, email, and digital resources that benefit attendees in changing their practice.
  • Green. Online trainings have a much smaller carbon footprint than in person events. Not only am I not driving or flying a long distance to get to the event, in many online learning scenarios the attendees are not commuting to the event either.

How long are online sessions?

Our recommendation is to keep individual sessions to less than an hour in length and find that 30-45 minutes is the sweet spot. People’s attention tends to drift after an hour.

With that in mind, we like to break bigger topics up into multiple shorter sessions.

That said, we can do longer sessions if that’s what’s needed.

When can session occur?

We can present live online session pretty much any time that fits your needs. From our central time zone location in Iowa, we’re comfortable starting sessions from as early as 6:00AM to as late as 11:00 PM.

Can sessions be recorded?

Yes, they can. There are a few ways we can do this. If it is something you’re interested in, mention it when you contact us and we can talk details.

What experience do you have with online trainings?

We’ve presented online in a number of formats for over 10 years.

Why are you offering online trainings?

We’re offering online learning sessions for a number of reasons:

  • Budgetary limitations prevent some organizations from booking our in person conference presentations. Online trainings are an affordable alternative.
  • There are lots of Training Deserts where training variety and availability is limited. Online trainings can bring our trainings to these areas.
  • For a number of years we were away from home for around 6 months a year doing presentations. The travel side of things was sucking the joy out of the work. Online trainings allow us to spend more time at home while still doing (and loving) what we enjoy.

How do attendees access an online training?

Attendees can log on to a session via a url we provide. They can access the url with any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer running Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android operating systems. The better their internet connection, the better experience they will have.

Attendees can also listen in on sessions via phone.

How many people can participate in a session?

We’re currently set up so that 100 locations can log on to a session and it is possible for more than one person to view a session from a location.

If need be, it’s possible to host attendees from up to 10,000 locations.

Can people test their device and internet connection before a session?

Yes, people can join a test meeting to test their device and connection.

Asynchronous Trainings

Can you provide an overview of how an asynchronous training works?

Sure, here’s a graphic that helps explain it:

What do asynchronous trainings cost?

The cost for these sessions depends on how long you want them to last, the size of the group involved, and some other variables, so it is impossible to quite a flat rate.

Since there’s no travel involved, the cost is generally much less than an in person event. Contact us and we’d be happy to gather some information and quote an exact price.

How do we track in-service training time for an asynchronous event?

We don’t know how to easily measure such training in terms of time. Over the course of a week, person A may spend twice as much time engaged asynchronously as person B. Who knows what the right amount of training time to record on their certificates would be? This is probably the main reason asynchronous trainings are not more popular.

Hybrid Trainings

Why hybrid trainings?

Over the years, we’ve worked with a handful of organizations looking to reach outside the traditional early learning training box to create unique learning experiences for their members. It’s been fun and rewarding. We’d like to do more of it, so we’re sharing it here as an option.

What’s a hybrid training?

Hybrid trainings are a chance to pick and choose parts of our in person, live online, and asynchronous trainings to create something that best meets the needs of your audience.

For example, you may want to proceed an in person event with an online event that gauges the attendee’s prior knowledge of the topic and then follow the in person event with a few weeks of asynchronous discussion while attendees work to implement new ideas.

Or maybe you want to create a recording of a live online event that other can view asynchronously.

Or maybe you want a series of short videos discussing play branded with your agency’s logo that you can use during staff or parent orientation.

Or maybe you have an idea we haven’t thought of–if so, reach out and let is know. We love working with fun and interesting people on fun and interesting projects.

What do hybrid trainings cost?

That depends on what you need, but rest assured we will do our best to keep it affordable and make sure you get a lot of bang for your buck. Contact us and we’d be happy to gather some information and quote an exact price.

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