Psyched About Kids is a platform where parents, educators and therapists can find great information, tools, and community networks that focus on healthy child development.

The Psyched About Kids philosophy is based on a heart-centred approach to parenting and uses strategies from the latest brain science research.

A warm, supportive, and trusting relationship between caregiver and child, a consistently nurturing environment and stimulating interactions forms the ultimate foundation for raising happy, successful children, youth and adults.

We provide the knowledge, techniques and tools to take you down the parenting path in the most successful way possible.


To promote healthy child development by making brain science accessible and practical.


Every parent acquires and implements the knowledge to help optimize their child's development.

Meet our Child Development Specialists


Joanna Piekarski

Hons. BA Psychology, M. Ed Developmental Psychology and Education

Joanna is originally from Toronto, Ontario. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology from York University. She started in the field of child development as a behavioural therapist where she gained valuable experience and acquired knowledge of proactive behavioural strategies.

She became interested in learning more about brain science research and attachment-based interventions and continued her studies at the University of Toronto, completing a Masters Degree in Education, specializing in developmental psychology.

Joanna is currently a Registered Provisional Psychologist in Calgary, Alberta.

Lara Higgins

BA Sociology from the University of Western Ontario

The journey of parenting is humbling, one of ongoing learning, self-reflection and personal growth. And for Lara, there was a profound moment where her parenting approach shifted - a memorable 'light bulb moment'.  Instead of giving into her impulsive, emotional reaction and lecturing her little boy for doing ‘something wrong’, she consciously recognized it as a teachable moment - not a time to humiliate or punish, but a time to coach, guide and build skills.  With appropriate expectations - calmly reminded him of their family rules (hanging on the wall), and stuck to the pre-established consequences.   Simple strategies that are difficult to implement on an ongoing basis.  It’s simple, but not always easy.


With a background in financial services, Lara’s children were young when she shifted careers and started channeling her energy into supporting child development at CUPS in Calgary. With a passion for building strong families and communities, she has spent the last 10 years absorbing and applying core research to early childhood learning and brain development.  With her partner Jo, taking scientific knowledge and translating into practical and simple tips, tools and strategies that can have a powerful positive impact on parent child relationships and healthy child development.


Lara has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Western Ontario, along with a variety of certifications to support a philosophy of lifelong learning, including the Brain Story Certification through the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative and her Child Development Professional certification. At CUPS, she led the implementation of the CUPS Resiliency Tool that led to CUPS winning the 2017 United Way Social Innovation Award.