I became interested in early childhood approximately ten years ago when I started working as a fundraiser for youth development organizations in Harlem. I became the Director of Development for an early intervention program that targets high-poverty kindergarteners in low-resourced schools who were already identified as "at risk" of not completing their educations. Through my work, I came to know so many wonderful four and five-year-olds who were scarred by life’s circumstances at no fault of their own. I also come to see that the program was relatively late to reverse some of the social and emotional patterns that develop from ages zero to five. Therefore, I became interested in infants and toddlers with the question in mind: How do you help them build competence, confidence, and resilience from day one?
The answer came in the form of RIE©, an organization that helps parents and caregivers understand what respect looks like in practice. It bridges the gap between theory and action. As a part of my training, I' ve been fortunate to have co-facilitated courses for parents, educators, and professional caregivers with amazing mentors: Johanna Herwitz, Ruth Anne Hammond, and Deborah Carlisle Solomon. As a RIE© Associate, I teach and train professional caregivers and nannies and also facilitate parent-infant courses throughout New York City, always with the goal of helping caregivers feel more confident in how they acknowledge, communicate, and respond to a child's cues.
I’m motivated by empowering women to attain that so called work-life balance, which seems more challenging after the arrival of children. I’ve seen a lot of women struggle with their new identity as a “mom” while working just at hard at the office or having little down time. For others, the lack of choices in quality childcare makes it impossible to justify staying in a job. Regardless of the choices one makes, I think RIE can offer an important perspective by providing a concrete answer to what "high quality care" looks like.