RIE® Associates

The RIE Alliance of Associates are dedicated infant/toddler specialists offering RIE certified classes in various locations worldwide.

Certified RIE Associates offer several options for parents and professionals that support our mission: To improve the lives of infants and toddlers through respectful care.
Before Baby for those expecting, waiting to adopt, or thinking about becoming a parent, and designed to start them on their journey with confidence in themselves and trust in their baby’s unique ability to show them the way.
Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes encourage parents to provide an environment where babies can be attentive, active, exploring and aware of self and others. Designed to support children’s authenticity and responsibility, they help parents be confident in their supportive role towards these significant discoveries.

Parent Guidance Online Classes are composed of small groups of no more than 8 parents of children similar in age or development coming together to better understand how to take pleasure in the child’s unfolding and personhood.

Introduction to Educaring® offers an overview of Educaring®. Topics include trust in the child, the guidelines of sensitive caregiving, facilitating optimal development through play, and communicating respect for children through our everyday interactions.
Nurturing Nanny™ and Cuidadoras Cariñosas is for in-home caregivers and offers knowledge and practical suggestions that can help make this work easier and more enjoyable, resulting in advantages for the infants and young children who receive professional care.

RIE Foundations: Theory and Observation is a professional development course offered to enhance the skills and competencies of parents, professionals who work with infants, teach in a college environment, work with parents, or train students in infant care and development.RIE online classes are facilitated by a RIE Associate and are composed of small groups of no more than 8 parents of children similar in age or development coming together to better understand how to take pleasure in the child’s unfolding and personhood.

Please read about our RIE Associates below to find out if there is a class near you!

United States Arizona | California | Colorado | District of Columbia | Florida | Indiana | Ohio | Oregon | Massachusetts | Minnesota | Missouri | New Jersey | New York | PennsylvaniaSouth Carolina | Washington
Around the World 
Australia | Canada | China | Israel | Japan | KoreaNew Zealand | SingaporeSwitzerland


Kimberley Lewis (Tucson, Arizona) became a RIE Associate in 2010. She has an MEd in Early Childhood Education from Antioch University New England. Kimberley has taught parent/child, nursery, preschool and kindergarten classes in Waldorf settings since 2007. She’s also an avid student of Emmi Pikler. She is passionate about integrating RIE, Pikler, Waldorf and other studies in embryology, neuroscience and embodiment towards educating others on the foundational first three years of life. Kimberley is currently retired from teaching to make time to research and write a book entitled “Conception to I-Consciousness.” kimberleylewis.com kimberley.lewis@gmail.com


Rebecca Bowler (San Rafael, California) has been a RIE Associate since 1994 and a member of the RIE Alliance since 2008. A former RIE nanny, Rebecca is fortunate to have trained with Magda. Rebecca has been practicing Esalen Massage® since 1994 and is the former Managing Editor at Underwood Books. Presently, she is an Independent Sales Rep for Spa, Resort, Hotel and Wellness. Blessed with a young daughter, Rebecca is passionate about RIE parenting and community, Waldorf education, gardening, theater, and anything orange. She plans to offer RIE Parent-Infant Guidance and RIE Before Baby classes in Marin in the future. Rebecca@rbhealingarts.com 
Deborah Carlisle Solomon (Los Angeles, California) is the author of ‘Baby Knows Best: Raising a Confident and Resourceful Child, the RIE Way’ and was RIE Executive Director for eight years. Since then, she has had a private teaching and consulting practice, working with parents and professionals around the world, in-person and in her online membership and Peaceful Toddler course. Deborah is also a RIE Mentor who teaches RIE Foundations and Parent-Infant Guidance classes. She is a frequent speaker at events and studied at the Pikler Institute in Budapest, Hungary. http://www.deborahcarlislesolomon.com •  deborah@deborahcarlislesolomon.com
Michelle Cescatti (Los Angeles, California) is a former elementary school educator. Profoundly moved by the Parent-Infant Guidance classes she attended with her child, she began her RIE training in 2014, and became a RIE Associate in 2017. She is grateful for and inspired by the wise and experienced counsel of her mentors, Deborah Carlisle Solomon, Elizabeth Memel, and Ruth Anne Hammond. Michelle is particularly committed to seeing children as unique individuals who thrive as their authentic selves when given the freedom and space to do so. She facilitates RIE Parent-Infant Guidance classes in the Los Angeles area, and looks forward to facilitating Parent-Infant Guidance classes of her own very soon. mcescatti@gmail.com
Elsa Chahin (Pacific Palisades, California) is one of only two certified and accredited Pikler® Trainers in North America, Ms. Chahin is currently President and CEO of the internationally renown non-profit corporation, Pikler/Lóczy USA, through which she carries on the mission of Dr. Emmi Pikler, that of raising healthy, happy children. A PITC Trainer, UCLA Certified Lactation Educator, and Certified Interpreter-Translator, Chahin teaches Nurturing Nanny courses and collaborated in the translation into Spanish of Magda Gerber’s Your Self Confident Baby and translated and narrated several videos for RIE. Elsa is a Working Group Leader for World Forum Foundation and co- author of In Loving Hands with Anna Tardos on the Rights for Children Living in Children’s Homes. mamadeleo@aol.com
Valorie Cole (Santa Barbara, California) has been a student and advocate of RIE and the Educaring Approach since 1989, when she attended her first RIE course. This led to in-depth studies in infant and toddler care and development, including attending PITC and traveling to Budapest to see and experience Loczy. She was a part of the planning and implementation of Cottage Hospital’s RIE Accreditation in 1991 and later worked with teen parents at two local high schools, teaching parenting skills and caring for their infants and toddlers. Valorie was then hired by Discoveries Learning Center to open and direct Early Discoveries Toddler Center, and later became the Director of both programs. Her current goals are to conduct Parent-Infant Guidance classes, to mentor RIE students on their own journeys, and to spend lots of quality time with her 11 grandchildren. valoriejean@yahoo.com 
Melissa Coyńe (Pasadena, CA) RIE’s Program Director, is an Early Childhood Educator who has over 30 years of experience building relationships with children and adults who care for them. In addition to holding a Master’s degree in Child Development, she is a RIE Associate and a certified PITC (Program for Infant/Toddler Care) trainer. Melissa was first introduced to the Educaring Approach from the early childhood program where she worked for 22 years and cultivated her commitment to philosophical integrity. She facilitates RIE courses in the Los Angeles area and has presented workshops on how to respectfully parent tweens and teens. As a mother of a young adult and older teen, Melissa has learned the power of relationships built on connection and collaboration that began in infancy. She is passionate about inspiring adults and children to be critical thinkers in areas of anti-bias practices, equity and self-awareness.
Jennifer Curtis Jennifer Curtis (San Rafael, California) was first introduced to the teachings of Magda Gerber by her Montessori mentor in 1997. Over the years to follow, first while classroom teaching, then as a school director, teacher trainer, professional nanny and community-based service provider, the Educaring Approach deeply informed and elevated her practice with children and adults, alike. In 2015, Jennifer embraced a long-held dream of professionally sharing the Educaring Approach with others and became a RIE Associate in 2022. With an enduring passion for promoting the importance of primary relationships from birth, Jennifer provides nurturing, respectful, holistic support and guidance for families in the perinatal year and beyond through Heartful Birth. She offers classes for parents and professionals, private family support and program consulting in Marin and Sonoma Counties. Jennifer is a DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Instructor of Infant Massage, and credentialed Montessori ECE teacher, and now holds RIE Certified Parent-Infant GuidanceT and Before Baby classes in her beautiful Novato classroom. heartfulbirth.comjennifercurtis@heartfulbirth.com.
Catriona Davies (Santa Monica, California) attended RIE Parent-Infant Guidance classes with her two young children. In 2001, she began her RIE Professional Development training. Catriona has been teaching Parent-Infant Guidance classes at Hari’s RIE studio in Santa Monica since 2005. She also co-facilitates parent workshops. catriona-davies@verizon.com
Jennifer DoeblerJennifer Doebler (Berkeley, California) When a friend gave her Your Self-Confident Baby by Magda Gerber, Jennifer had no idea it would change her life. With an MBA and 15-year career in brand management/marketing in the US and Asia, she followed her two babies into Magda Gerber’s world of respect and appreciation for infants and the adults who care for them. They attended RIE Parent-Infant Guidance classes and Jennifer began RIE training in 2014, once both children were in school. An Associate since 2017, she has completed Introductory and Advanced-Level Pikler Training with Anna Tardos & Agnes Szanto. Jennifer holds an MA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College specializing in infants and toddlers, and wrote her thesis on early sharing behaviors. She is the Secretary of the RIE Board of Directors, Chair of the Marketing Committee and a Practicum mentor. She facilitates RIE classes in San Francisco’s East Bay and consults with parents, professionals and programs. She has spoken at the RIE, CAEYC and EHS conferences. She loves helping parents and carers do the world’s most important job. Contact her at www.forbabyandme.com.
Lee Fernandez Lee Fernandez(Half Moon Bay, CA) is inspired by the work of infant specialist Magda Gerber and physician-educator Maria Montessori. She currently conducts RIE Parent-Infant Guidance classes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lee has 55 years of experience in Early Childhood Education as a parent educator, preschool teacher, author, and administrator of university, military and private programs. Lee has a MA in Human Development, specializing in Infants and Toddlers from Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena, CA where she trained directly with Magda Gerber, and a Montessori Teaching Certificate from Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL and St. Nicholas Montessori in London, England.www.discoveryourbaby.org
Marcela Giannini (Newport Beach, California), RIE Associate and Alliance Member, studied and mentored under RIE Founder and Infant Specialist, Magda Gerber and is currently facilitating RIE Certified Parent-Infant Guidance classes In Orange County. She also conducts Introduction to Educaring, Before Baby, Nurturing Nanny and other workshops locally introducing RIE’s Educaring Approach to parents and infant/toddler caregivers interested in practicing respectful care-giving based on the RIE philosophy.
Lisa Sunbury Gerber (Santa Cruz, California) www.regardingbaby.org and https://respectfrombirth.mn.co/  Lisa has dedicated her life to caring for, supporting, and advocating for infants and toddlers and their families, and enjoys introducing future early childhood professionals to respectful caregiving practices through her role as an adjunct professor of ECE at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA. Lisa holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University and was introduced to Magda Gerber’s RIE philosophy during a conference for infant teachers held in Boston in 1998. This eye-opening experience led to Lisa relocating to Los Angeles to become an intern and study with Magda Gerber at the original home of RIE in Silverlake, California, where she also served as RIE’s Office Manager for four years, and on RIE’s Board of Directors for two years. For more than 20 years Lisa has shared her knowledge and love of RIE through her varied roles in the field of early care and education including as a professional nanny, as an infant/toddler teacher and program administrator, via conference presentations, and by facilitating Parent-Infant Guidance classes and workshops for parents and professionals. She’s proud to have collaborated with Janet Lansbury to introduce RIE to a global audience through social media. She is a founding member of the non-profit organization Magda Gerber Legacy. Today, Lisa homeschools her ten-year-old daughter, as well as offering Parent-Infant Guidance classes, consulting with families by phone, and offering an on-line support and discussion group via Mighty Networks. Contact her at lisa@regardingbaby.org.
  Hari Grebler (Santa Monica, California) studied and worked with Magda Gerber from 1984 to 1990, and trained at the Pikler Institute in Budapest, Hungary in 1994. She completed her Waldorf Early Childhood Education training in 2000. Hari taught intensive RIE courses at the Rudolf Steiner College summer program (2004-2006) and has presented workshops at numerous early childhood conferences. In 1990, Hari established Hari’s RIE Studio in Santa Monica which offers parent-child classes as well as educational workshops for those involved with young children from birth to three. Hari started Bueno Baby, a company which makes natural wood stools, tables and other RIE-friendly furniture. Hari also mentors RIE students.  Classes are available online and in-person.   www.harisriestudio.com •  rieclass@aol.com
Ruth Anne Hammond (Los Angeles, California), author of Respecting Babies: A Guide to Educaring for Parents and Professionals (2019, 2009), is a RIE Mentor, having studied under its founder, Magda Gerber and served on the board for many years. She was RIEs President from 2005 to 2011.  She speaks and teaches RIE courses across the globe and offers Parent-Infant classes in Pasadena. She taught in the Human Development Department at Pacific Oaks College and led its Infant/Toddler-Parent Program for 17 years. She is PITC certified and has trained at the Pikler Institute. Ms. Hammond is currently on the board of directors of Families Forward Learning Center in Pasadena, a multi-generational education and support agency for low income families. She has been a participant in Dr. Allan N. Schore’s interpersonal neurobiology study group for over a decade. A former professional dancer, she continues to express her love of movement in her work with infants and their families. ruthannehammond@gmail.comruthannehammond.com
Linda Hinrichs (Topanga, California) is a Child Development Specialist and former Chair of the RIE Alliance of Associates. She met and began her work with Magda Gerber in 1978 and served on the RIE Board of Directors from 1985-1990. She is a graduate of Cedars-Sinai Hospital Therapeutic Nursery Training Program and the Director of The Children’s Corner Play Center in Topanga, California, which she founded in 1980. Linda also consults with parents and offers parent education classes at her Center which serves children from 2-5 years of age.  Linda  began her studies at the Emmi Pikler Institute in Budapest, Hungary, with Anna Tardos and colleagues, in 1986 and has returned numerous times for every available English training over the past 30 years.  She was a presenter at the 2007 Pikler International Conference in Hungary. While Children’s Corner closed from March until September, 2020 Linda re-opened with 1/3 the number of children in order to continue to carry the RIE message to families and to serve her community during the pandemic. justus@netwood.net 
Wendy Kronick (Pacific Palisades, California) served on the RIE Board of Directors from 1999-2004. She became passionate about RIE in 1992 as a result of attending Liz Memel’s Parent-Infant Guidance class with her then four-month-old son. She became certified as a RIE Parent-Infant Guidance Class Facilitator in 1997 and has taught in Santa Monica and the West Side. Wendy now facilitates three classes at the RIE Center in Los Angeles.wenkronick@aol.com
Karla Lee Kuester (Santa Monica, California) has been a RIE Associate since 1989. She holds degrees in Early Childhood Education, Developmental Psychology, Fine Art. Karla has been working with young children and families since 1977, as a Certified Montessori preschool teacher, infant specialist, an Early Interventionist (birth-3, atypical development), Behavior Interventionist and Child Development Consultant. She is currently a Behavior/ Early Interventionist for the Step By Step EDUTheraPlay Child Dev. Program in Santa Monica. She teaches “Infants, Toddlers & Caregivers” at UC Irvine each year. She was the in-house CD Specialist at UCLA Krieger Center from 2009-2015 and taught at the UCLA Graduate School IMPACT Urban Teacher Residency Program, 2012. Karla is a published author, CD/ECE consultant and has served as a Private Tutor (enrichment/remediation) from 1988 to the present. She was invited to sit on the Exec. Committee of the Assoc. of Child Dev. Specialists of L.A. (ACDS-LA) from 2017- present.   karla.kuester@gmail.comwww.karlakuester.com
Melani Ladygo (San Fernando Valley, California) has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles. She has been teaching Parent-Infant Guidance classes for over a decade and is teaching all throughout the Valley, as well as from her home in Tarzana. She also teaches other RIE training courses, including a course for caregivers (Nurturing Nanny), a course for expectant parents (Before Baby), and the professional development course, RIE Foundations. She has presented workshops on Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach in a variety of conference settings and was the Program and Office Manager at the RIE Center in Hollywood for almost a decade. She first fell in love with the Approach in a child care center where she worked as an Infant/Toddler Master Lead Teacher for many years. Melani feels strongly that this Approach strengthens bonds between parents and children, and fosters the development of competent, capable, and creative children. melani@melaniladygo.com • www.melaniladygo.com
Janet Lansbury (Los Angeles, California)  is introducing a global audience to Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach through her website, www.janetlansbury.com. She is the author of two bestselling books, Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting and No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame. She is also the creator and host of “Janet Lansbury Unruffled,” one of the most downloaded parenting podcasts on the web and recommended listening by The Washington Post. Janet was introduced to RIE in 1993 when her oldest daughter was three months old. She went on to study with Magda Gerber and became a Parent-Infant Guidance™ Class Facilitator in 1994. A year later, Magda asked Janet to join the RIE Board of Directors and Janet served on the Board for over 20 years. Besides sharing Magda’s wisdom through her website, social media pages and podcasts, Janet enjoys teaching weekly classes at RIE, consulting privately with parents and professionals, speaking at events, and spending time with her three RIE babies, ages 24, 19, and 15. janet@janetlansbury.com.
Jill Getto Lee (Studio City, California) is a professional development trainer having studied trauma in infant development. Her passion is to advocate for children’s physical, and mental health rights. She holds a Masters Degree from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development Specializing in Early Childhood Development, and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology from Central Michigan University. She currently teaches all RIE course offerings at the Los Angeles and Pasadena RIE Centers and in her own private practice at BINI Birth in Sherman Oaks. She is a participant in a study group on Interpersonal Neurobiology with Dr. Allan N. Schore of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Jill serves as the Chairman of the RIE Board of Directors. She is also a registered Consultant for the Los Angeles County office of Childcare and serves as a community member on Los Angeles Unified School District’s IPM team.• jgettolee@gmail.com • www.jillgettolee.com • 818-370-2596
Elizabeth Memel, M.A., RIE Associate (Ventura County, CA) is a RIE Mentor Teacher and instructs RIE Certified courses Before Baby and Nurturing Nanny in addition to the 3-part Professional Development training, especially enjoying distance mentoring for RIE Practicum students. For close to forty years, Liz has dedicated herself to facilitating Magda Gerber’s signature model Parent Guidance Classes, largely successful online in recent times in her own private program as well as RIE Center staff for weekly online parent guidance groups. In her home studio, she is thrilled to provide weekly in-person groups for families with children from birth to two. Having served as a RIE board member for 33 years in many roles from President to Secretary, she currently takes part in several board committees. Retired from 13 years as adjunct faculty at LA City College Child Development Department, Liz has her Masters Degree from Pacific Oaks College, specialization in infants and toddlers. Additionally she studied at the Pikler Institute in 1993, returning as a co-presenter at the 2003 Pikler Symposium.
Lori Mohney (San Diego, California) ) has been studying and practicing Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach since 1997. She has an Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Development. She spent over 20 years in the early childhood education field, including 10+ years as a professional nanny.  In 2017, she welcomed her first child, and put her RIE career on hold, to focus on being a Mommy full-time.  She can be reached at lori@respectfulbeginnings.com
Leyla Momeny (San Francisco, California) is a special education teacher, parent educator, and a mother of two children. She discovered RIE in 2011 and has never looked back. She facilitates parent groups, teaches workshops, and offers in-home consultations and personalized trainings on respectful parenting and caregiving practices. She considers RIE to be many things: intellectually engaging, exhilarating, disciplined, and even sweet. She has a B.A. degree in Philosophy (UCLA) and teaching credentials from San Jose State University and National University.  Her ideal Saturday is one spent at the beach. leylamomeny@gmail.com
Gail Nadal (Sacramento, California) currently serves on the RIE Board of Directors. She has worked with young children for over 25 years and has a passion for 0-3 year olds. She works for the Yolo County Office of Education as the Director of Early Childhood Education, which serves children of poverty through the county’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs as well as State preschool, and has incorporated the Educaring Approach in all the sites. Gail serves as the Coordinator for the Local Planning Council and is a part-time instructor for the Center for Excellence in Child Development at UC Davis Extension; mentoring and coaching Family Child Care Providers serving children 0-3 years. She is part of the grassroots effort in the Sacramento area to offer RIE Foundations training and workshops to the community. Gail holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership in Child Development from CSU Sacramento. gailnadal612@comcast.net
Larissa Neilson (Los Angeles, CA) Larissa is a former lawyer who fell in love with RIE twenty years ago and decided to change careers. She is the author of “The L.A. Nanny Book” and founder at Riesers Inc. Larissa has been an advocate of the RIE and the Educaring Approach since 2001. She has nineteen years of experience helping families with their newborn babies until the age of three. She is also a Pikler Pedagogue candidate and has studied at the Pikler House in Budapest, Hungary. Larissa is a speaker and has conducted workshops guiding and inspiring caregivers and educators of young children within the US, China, Mexico, and Peru. It is her passion to help parents see their infants in a new way, showing them what their infants are capable of by modeling a way of being with them. www.larissaneilson.com (818) 472-6343 Ida Reid (Los Angeles, CA) Ida is a former preschool teacher, Los Angeles native, current Postpartum Doula and president of the Doulas Association of Southern California.  Ida took her first Foundations Course in 2010 at the RIE center in Los Angeles and became a RIE Associate in 2018. Ida has served over 100 families in the Los Angeles Area supporting them in a non-invasive, respectful approach.  Ida is committed to helping facilitate the relationship that is possible between parent and child when a child is approached as an independent, capable and vital member of a community. ida.doula@gmail.com
 Patricia Ryan (Berkeley, California) is a RIE Mentor Teacher.  She has been sharing the wisdom of Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach to a wide audience of parents and professionals for over 25 years.  Patty holds a Master’s Degree from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development Specializing in Early Childhood Education.  She teaches RIE Certified professional development, parenting courses, and mentors RIE Practicum and RIE Intern students.  She is passionate about extending the reach of the Educaring Approach across the globe and has given workshops and seminars for professional caregivers and parents internationally and nationwide.  Patty is also a founding member of both the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento Area Infant, Toddler Networks.  She is the author of several published articles on infant, toddler development, has studied at the Pikler Institute in Budapest Hungary and at WestEd’s Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers.  She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and daughter, who is a freshman in college. patty@twopillarsconsulting.com
Antoinette Samardzic (Los Angeles, California)  became certified as a Parent/Infant Guidance Class Facilitator in 2005 after completing her RIE training and becoming an Associate. In 2006 she studied at the Pikler Institute in Budapest. For roughly 15 years she enjoyed being the RIE Pathways Coordinator assisting students in navigating the three phases of training.
Melanie Snell  (San Fernando Valley, California) Melanie Snell is a mother of four children.  She and was lucky enough to find RIE when her oldest was four months old. She and her husband have been practicing the RIE philosophy in their home ever since. Melanie became a RIE Associate in 2014 after slowly making her way through the professional development program,  pausing her studies occasionally to have babies. Melanie teaches RIE Parent/Infant classes on Saturdays at the Los Angeles RIE center. She also teaches RIE Nurturing Nanny courses and Before Baby classes, as well as private consulting. During the week she is the Tot Center Coordinator at Kirk O’ the Valley school. Where she works with children 18 months to 3 years old.www.raisingwithrespect.com melsnell@sbcglobal.net
Kira Solomatova Kira Solomatova(Pasadena, California),  has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development. Although both of her parents were engineers, Kira dreamed of working with children from the time she was just seven years old, finally becoming a preschool teacher at the age of nineteen. After teaching preschool for many years, Kira discovered RIE and became a RIE Associate. Not only is RIE inspirational by advocating for children, it also helped Kira become a more authentic person herself. She published her first book, Toby is My Bear, as part of a conflict resolution series for preschoolers, and she has a blog about conflicts with toddlers and preschoolers at www.ourparentingplace.com. Kira teaches RIE Parent-Infant Guidance classes and workshops and does private consultations in English and Russian.
Christina Vlinder (Concord, California) began her nanny career in 1999 and has helped raise many children. She became a RIE Associate in 2017. Over the course of her career in child development, she has taught RIE Parent Infant Guidance classes and RIE Before Baby classes. Christina founded the Bay Area Infant Toddler Network for RIE professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2015. She is currently a full-time nanny and teaches RIE Foundations classes, RIE Nurturing Nanny and other workshops throughout the year. Christina.Vlinder@gmail.com • www.RespectfulCaregiving.org
Karen Ziskin (Rancho Santa Fe, California) began her studies with Magda Gerber in 1994 and became a RIE Associate in 1999. She was an infant and toddler caregiver from 1994 to 1998 at The South Bay Infant Center, the first RIE Demonstration Infant Toddler Care Center, founded by Ruth Money. Karen facilitated RIE Parent-Infant Guidance Classes in Manhattan Beach from 1999 until 2012. She was also a member of the RIE Board of Directors from 2000 to 2006. Karen is a certified postpartum doula offering private consultation and caregiving based on the Educaring Approach. Karenziskin@yahoo.com


Eileen Henry (Boulder, Colorado) is a RIE Associate and is a pioneer in creating the once non-industry of what is now commonly referred to as “Child Sleep Consultant.” She is the author of The Compassionate Sleep Solution: Calming the cry. Her program is unique and not only transforms sleep but the entire parenting experience. Eileen works with families all over the world. • “My goal is to co-create the best emotional and physical environment for sleep success for your entire family.” www.compassionatesleepsolutions.com


Allison Manuel (Washington, DC) is an Infant/Toddler Montessori (AMI) teacher in Washington, DC and has a Masters in Education in Birth-3. She fell in love with RIE after the birth of her first child and now has three young children ages 3,5 and 9. She is a Montessori teacher and also currently provides consultations on the Educaring approach for parents and childcare providers. She is grateful to her mentors Ruth Anne Hammond and Beverly Kovach for helping her to bring more of the RIE world to the Washington DC area. She is most passionate about helping others find the balance between nurture and independence for the youngest children, adopting the motto from Ruth Anne Hammond, that “independence should never be a burden,” but only a pleasure. lee.allison1983@gmail.com


Lisa Chariff Better (Miami, Florida) became a RIE Associate in 2010. She observed her first RIE Parent-Infant Guidance class in Los Angeles many years earlier and became a passionate advocate for Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach. Lisa attended the Pikler Institute Training 2010-2013, 2016  where she studied under Anna Tardos. Lisa is the RIE Alliance Chairperson on the RIE Board. She is a mentor, trainer and consultant in the Educaring Approach. Lisa also volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem in Miami-Dade County, and was honored as Guardian ad Litem of the Year 2010. A Miami resident, Lisa introduced the Educaring Approach to the area in 2004 and continues to teach Parent-Infant Guidance classes for both infants and toddlers. riemiami.com
Deborah Greenwald (Pensacola, Florida)  joined WestEd in 2002 as a Senior Program Associate at the Center for Child and Family Studies. She directs the Infant/Toddler Guidelines Project for the California Department of Education and is a faculty member of the Program for Infant/Toddler Caregiver Institutes. Prior to working at WestEd, Greenwald spent 15 years in infant/toddler group care. She also taught RIE Parent-Infant Guidance classes and was an infant/toddler specialist in a resource and referral agency. Deborah received a BA in Child Development from Humboldt State University and an MA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. She also holds certificates from the American Montessori Society and Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE). She provides training on infant toddler care and development around the country.  dgreenw@wested.org


Mary Tuttle  (Indianapolis, Indiana) was first introduced to RIE when a family she was nannying for handed her Dear Parent in 2004 and she was immediately hooked. She has worked with infants and toddlers in the home setting as a nanny as well as in center-based care as a lead teacher and team leader. In 2009, Mary left the workforce to raise her first child and a second arrived in 2011. RIE has been a blessing to her as a mother. Mary has her Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University. She was thrilled to become a RIE Associate in 2013 and is passionate about supporting families and professional caregivers in their journey to integrate RIE into their lives and interactions with babies. Mary is relocating looking forward to continuing her work in the Midwest. marytuttle1@gmail.com


Simone Stave Demarzi (Yellow Springs, Ohio) became acquainted with RIE in the summer of 2002 on Whidby Island with Polly Elam. Simone has been working in the field of Early Childhood since 1981, has a BS in El. Ed., Waldorf Teacher Training, LifeWays certification, all her ECE units, and completed the PITC training. She is one of the original four members of the CORE 4 in Sacramento, bringing RIE to Northern California. Simone ran an Infant Program in her home combining RIE with her Waldorf background for 5 years. Simone is retired now after teaching Parent Child Classes for 12 years at various Waldorf Schools.  She continues to occasionally mentor and give support to those working and caring for infants and toddlers. sdemarzi@gmail.com


Alex CurtisAlexandra Curtis (Eugene, Oregon) has presented nationally and internationally on a variety of “birth to two” topics. Author of Simple Toys Make Active Babies, a book about play spaces for infants and toddlers, Alexandra earned her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies with a Public Health focus at the University of South Florida. She is working on her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Portland State University. Mother to three lovely children, Alex was a founding Board Member of the Pikler/Loczy USA Fund and the Hillsborough County Breastfeeding Taskforce. She is an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) and works at Lane Community College’s Family Connections program, providing training to Early Childhood Educators and Providers. mealex37@earthlink.net
Mary Louise Brennan (Portland, Oregon) studied with Magda Gerber both at Pacific Oaks College and at the Los Angeles RIE Center and has been a RIE Associate since 1989. She is an Infant Toddler Program Consultant and RIE Foundations Instructor, currently working with infants and toddlers in a child development center in downtown Portland. Mary Louise has presented at national and international seminars and workshops. She is a passionate professional with over 35 years experience working and learning with the very youngest children, their parents and their teachers. marylouisebrennan@yahoo.com


Diana Suskind, Ed.D (Leominster, MA, Skaneateles, NY, and Otisco Lake, New York) international early childhood consultant, is a  RIE Associate, retired Associate Professor, artist and author who has traveled extensively bringing fresh, creative learning ideas such as RIE and her own construct called Stonework Play to children, teachers, and adults throughout the world. Diana developed Stonework Play in Nepal to inspire children to create meaningful stories through contact with nature. Making use of what Diana has coined ‘Tarry Time’, Stonework Play slows us down, enhancing full, active engagement. Stonework Play is happening as a Team Building Activity in Corporate Environments as well. For more information see: stoneworkplay.com and Stonework Play on Google and YouTube. Diana can be reached at: dsuskind@comcast.net.


Elizabeth MiddletonBeth Middleton is a career caregiver in private family and group care environments. After attending the 2013 Los Angeles Winter Foundations(TM) course Beth continued her studies, becoming a RIE(R) Associate in early 2021. Beth consults on a sliding scale with individuals and families as well as in group care, community and conference settings. She enjoys sharing the life and relationship enriching benefits of our approach, traveling, music and comedy. bethiemiddleton@outlook.com
Carolyn Paetzel (Minneapolis, Minnesota) is a licensed educator and parent, with 25+ years working with parents, infants, and students to help deepen their understanding of each infant’s unique and innate abilities. She has presented at numerous workshops, including the MNAEYC State Conference, and served as a consultant for local child development programs. Inspired by Magda Gerber and an innate desire to connect and share the Educaring Approach with others, she created the Friends of RIE Minnesota (FORM) Network, a community-based forum of parents, educators, students, and administrators, who gather monthly to engage in topics relating to early childhood education. FORM members can now be found across the globe. Theformnetwork@gmail.com


Shannon Carr (St. Louis, MO) became a RIE Associate in 2020, but has been in awe of the Educaring Approach since 2002 after reading Your Self-Confident Baby and seeing such positive outcomes in infant classrooms and with her own children. She began her RIE training in 2013 and became a RIE Associate in 2020. She has worked with families and early childhood professionals in some capacity since 1994 as a teacher, director, parent educator, advocate for children in foster care, and trainer. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Development. Inspired by Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach and the desire to share her work with others, she created Friends of RIE Midwest and in 2017 founded RISE, where she provides workshops to parents and early childhood providers, facilitates parent-infant guidance classes, and consults privately with families and professionals. shannoncarr@risechild.com, www.risechild.com


Angela R. Fisher, Ph.D. (South Orange/Maplewood, NJ), holds a Ph.D. in Infant-Toddler Developmental Psychology. She is an NJ-Infant Mental Health Mentor- IV [Policy], a Certified Infant Massage Educator, Childbirth Doula, and serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Early Childhood Graduate Department at City University in New York. She consults with parents, caregivers, and educators on developmentally appropriate and respectful practices with infants and toddlers nationally and internationally. She facilitates RIE Certified Parent-Infant Guidance classes in the New York/New Jersey area. Angela’s scholarly research and parent-infant observation tool are uniquely influenced by Magda Gerber’s work. She is dedicated to supporting parent-infant relationships across cultures based on Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach. ababydr@gmail.com


Christina Cohen (New York City, New York) is a Clinical Psychologist and Parent & Family Support Specialist who works with children, adolescents, adults and couples in her private practice in Manhattan. She began her RIE Professional Development training in 2015 and is honored to share Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach with the parent and childcare community. Follow her online at christinacohen.com
Kristin Eliasberg (Brooklyn, New York), inspired by the Parent-Infant Guidance classes she attended with her daughter, embarked on her RIE training in 2008. She is now a RIE Mentor Teacher, and facilitates RIE Certified Parent-Infant Guidance classes in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. She is grateful for the inspiration and guidance of her mentors, Beverly Kovach and Ruth Anne Hammond. She has also attended Pikler trainings, in addition to helping found the first downtown Manhattan Waldorf school. Her experiences as a professional dancer, yoga instructor and journalist inform her work with infants, toddlers, and their parents. She lives with her daughter in Brooklyn, NY. kristin1230@yahoo.com
Jessica Faith (Brooklyn, New York) works with parents to deepen their understanding of babies’ competence. She co-founded the Mindful Care course, a training program for professional caregivers, nannies, and baby nurses who are interested in implementing the Educaring Approach. Before becoming a RIE Associate, she worked with programs supporting at-risk children in Harlem and Newark, NJ. She lives in Brooklyn.  jessica@brooklyncreche.com
Johanna Herwitz holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.  A Licensed Clinical Psychologist in New York State, she treats individuals and couples in her private practice. She mentors Practicum students and provides in person or virtual consultations for families.  She serves as Vice President of Pikler Loczy USA and President of the Women’s Mental Health Consortium. She has three adult children and lives in New York City with her husband. jsherwitz@verizon.net •  www.mindfulparentingnyc.com
Anna Ruth Myers (New York City, New York) is a birth and early childhood specialist with over 15 years experience working with families and children. She has presented workshops on a range of birth and early childhood topics around the country. Since beginning her RIE Professional Development training in 2008, she has been honored to support families using the Educaring Approach. Anna Ruth also studied at the Pikler Institute in 2012 and 2014, and has certificates in Montessori and Waldorf early childhood education. Anna Ruth facilitates Parent-Infant Guidance Classes and teaches newborn care in New York City. Find out more about her work at thenurturedchild.com
Jude Keith Rose (Ithaca, New York) Jude has built a career around supporting and advocating for children, families and early care and education professionals. In addition to providing direct care for children birth to 6, her work has extended into managing community programs that provide medical care and prenatal education, parent education in the context of supervised visitation and safety for children who have experienced trauma. Jude is captivated by witnessing children learn to communicate and passionate about supporting positive, nonviolent communication in families. Jude became a  RIE Associate in 2001. She is also a published early childhood photographer whose images have appeared in early childhood books and journals including “Young Children” and “Montessori Life” and a self-published children’s book, Bite a Bagel. judekrose@gmail.com
Leith Speer BartonLeith Speer Barton (New York City, New York) As a child, Leith dreamed of making the world a more beautiful place. She studied Art History and Studio Art at NYU and began working in the art world in New York before shifting to publishing at Condé Nast where she became a fashion editor at Vogue magazine at the age of 27. At Vogue, Leith learned the value of excellence and perseverance but more importantly she learned the power of purpose. Purpose is what later drove Leith to dedicate her expertise to stewarding and championing sustainable and emerging designers as an independent brand consultant for over a decade. With the birth of her first child, Leith naturally began applying her consultant lens to the issues she faced as a new parent. She identified the “problems” and looked for solutions. Dubious of trends and “quick fixes”, the simplicity and timelessness of Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach immediately resonated with her. After enrolling in local RIE Parent-Infant Guidance classes in New York, Leith’s love of the Educaring Approach blossomed. Leith took RIE Foundations: Theory and Observation in 2017 in Los Angeles and over the following 5 years was fortunate enough to train with several RIE Associates and RIE Mentors. Leith became a RIE Associate in 2022 and now applies her consulting lens full-time to working with parents, caregivers, and professionals in the field of Early Childhood. Additionally, Leith co-facilitates RIE Parent-Infant Guidance classes with RIE Associate Anna Ruth Myers in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Leith believes that supporting and empowering parents to have more respectful, connected relationships with their children will change the world for the better. What could be more beautiful!  www.notesoncaring.com | info@notesoncaring.com


Eileen O'SullivanEileen O’Sullivan (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) began her RIE journey in 1989 when she started a Co-Op nursery school for a small group of children. The children had all been in RIE class and wanted to continue being together. She has taken two more such groups of RIE children through to Kindergarten. She trained with Magda Gerber at the original RIE center in Silver Lake, CA. She has held RIE Parent/Child classes at the RIE Center, Santa Monica and in Culver City for over 25 years. Parent consults, small group training and coaching have been her recent focus.  She is continuing her training with the Pikler Institute as a Pedagogue Candidate in Budapest, Hungary where RIE has its origins.  She has over thirty years of experience applying the RIE/Pikler philosophy with children in groups.


Nicole Vigliotti Nicole Vigliotti began her early childhood career in search of more meaningful work as an infant caregiver at Little Learners Lodge (LLL). After studying with Magda Gerber in 1998, Nicole received her Montessori 3-6 credentials in order to remain with her primary group of infants through Kindergarten. She continued her studies under the guidance of Anna Tardos and the team of experts at the Pikler Institute in Budapest. During her 25 years as Head of School at LLL, Nicole also served on both the RIE and Pikler USA Governing Boards, piloted the first East Coast RIE certified center, produced Beverly Kovach’s BEING WITH INFANTS video training series, and chartered a public Montessori elementary school. Nicole currently resides in Florida with her husband, David, and three sons instructing RIE Foundations online and in-person and serving as a consultant and substitute teacher at Little Learners Lodge and Montessori of Mount Pleasant.


Kelly Scott
Kelly Scott (Denton, Texas) has worked with young children and their families for over  20 years. Attending the University of Minnesota while working with autistic children sparked lifelong advocacy for children. A move to Los Angeles introduced her to the work of Magda Gerber, Emmi Pikler, and RIE. Kelly became captivated with this approach to being with children. Incorporating the approach into her work as a nanny of newborns through elementary school aged children then later as a preschool teacher and director of her own small nursery school brought more enjoyment, ease, and fulfillment to her time with young children. Kelly passionately believes play is a fundamental right of childhood. She supports parents of young children in providing these opportunities for child-led play through her partnership with  Fort Worth based nonprofit Out to Play. She offers RIE Parent-Infant Guidance Classes and a monthly lecture series on play at PlayStudio-Fort Worth. friendsofrietexas@gmail.com


Debbie Bergstrom (Puyallup, Washington) studied with Magda Gerber starting in 1986. She studied at the Emmi Pikler Institute, Budapest Hungary in 2008. She is a WestEd PITC Graduate. She has worked in Child and Youth programs for over 39 years. Debbie has worked with a variety of infant/toddler programs and has conducted seminars and training in Italy, New Zealand, Australia, and throughout the United States. She is currently an ECE Consultant. bergsjd@aol.com
Polly Elam (Puyallup, WA) studied and worked with Magda Gerber for more that 20 years and served on the RIE Board of Directors from 1986-2020. She served as President from 2011-2020. Polly first studied at the Pikler Institute in 1986 and returned on a regular basis until 2012. She presented at the Pikler International Conference in 2007. She is a WestEd PITC Graduate and  has experience as a Regional Child Development Program Administrator and Community College Instructor. She was a contributing writer to Authentic Relationships In Group Care for Infants andToddlers, RIE Principles Into Practice. As an ECE Consultant, Polly has worked with a variety of infant/toddler programs and has conducted seminars and training in Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and throughout the United States. She and her husband, Joseph recently relocated to Puyallup, Washington. pollyelam@aol.com

Around the World!

Emily McDonald (Perth, Australia) Emily has a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education and has been working in early childhood settings for over 10 years. She first discovered the Educaring Approach when her children were young and travelled to Los Angeles to complete her first RIE Foundations training in 2015. It was a life changing experience for her in many ways, both personally as a mum of three, and professionally in her work with children and families. Emily is grateful for the guidance of her associate mentors Patricia Ryan, Sharon Smith and Polly Elam. She is a co-founding director on the board of ITANA (Infant & Toddler Advocacy Network of Australia) and has completed one of the basic level Pikler courses. Emily supports parents and educators online and in her local community at @childhood_wonder. She is very passionate about building respectful relationships with children and believes that all babies deserve to experience love, connection, security and respect by the way they are cared for. Emily is looking forward to offering RIE Parent-Infant Guidance classes, Before Baby and Nurturing Nanny courses in the near future. Email: emily@childhoodwonder.com.au
Nellie Hodda (Sydney, Australia) Nellie started learning about Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach in 2013 and has been deepening her knowledge and professional practice of it in the years since. With over ten years experience working with infants and toddlers in group care settings in Sydney, Australia, Nellie has worked to adapt the Educaring principles to guide centre practice in the Australian context. Nellie also gained experience working as a Nanny during her time living in Vancouver, Canada. Recently, Nellie has built community through the workshops and network meetings she facilitates for Australian early childhood professionals as part of her role on the board of ITANA (Infant & Toddler Advocacy Network Australia). As a RIE Associate, she hopes to continue her work growing community, and supporting families and early childhood professionals through providing RIE certified classes. In 2021, Nellie completed her Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) through Macquarie University and received the university’s Award for Academic Excellence. She has also completed the three Basic Level Pikler® modules. Nellie currently works for Storypark within their Professional Learning and Development team and continues to work as a reliever in early childhood settings in Sydney. LearnWithNellie@icloud.com
Anita Cooper Ebright (Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada) became a RIE Associate in 1992 while working with Magda Gerber at RIE during a sabbatical year. She is a RIE Foundations Instructor and Parent-Infant Guidance Class Facilitator. Anita attended Pacific Oaks College for her Master’s degree work. From 1986 to the present, after many years of working directly with children’s programs, she joined the ECE faculty at Lethbridge College in Alberta, Canada. anitacooperebright@me.com
Kristy Thomas (Edmonton, AB, Canada) has been engaged with families, educators and young children for more than 20 years and is the director of Mckernan Child Development Centre (since 2007).  In addition to this role, Kristy also works as a contracted practicum supervisor for distance learning students in the Early Childhood Education Program at Lethbridge College.  As a mom & Early childhood professional it is her passion to encourage parents and caregivers to embrace a respectful approach and find joy in their journeys.  She shares her work online through a blog www.inspiredbyinfants.ca and in her local community. She is delighted to have recently become a RIE Associate this year and is eager to continue sharing this work in Canada alongside her mentor and friend Anita Cooper Ebright.  Kristy is an advocate for engaging in excellent care practices starting at birth and has been presenting at local conferences and sharing this message with parents and educators for many years. She looks forward to her future as a RIE Associate with plans to teach RIE Certified classes for fellow Canadians in the near future. @inspiredbyinfants • thomasgirlk@gmail.com
Jemina (Jea) Villanueva-Vallée (Hong Kong, China, France, Philippines) is an Australian early childhood educator who has spent more than 20 years nurturing young children and mentoring professionals around the world. A passionate educator, teacher trainer and international consultant, she regularly presents on the topics of early childhood education and parenting. Jemina founded an international nursery in Beijing prior to relocating to Hong Kong. She is presently Vice-President at Higher Ground Education Hong Kong overseeing Montessori program quality at Guidepost schools. Jemina organizes RIE certification courses in Asia and Europe. Email: jemina.v@yahoo.com • WhatsApp: +852 9144 6963 • WeChat: jemina_v
Marinda Keng Fan Chan (Macau, China) has a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Social Work from University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Theology from Loyola Marymount University. She has worked in the field of psychotherapy and family therapy for 20 years. Marinda is also a Feldenkrais practitioner. In 2015, she completed her RIE training and became a RIE Associate. She is looking forward to introducing the Educaring Approach as an insightful educational philosophy in Asia. Being a clinical practitioner for decades, her passion is to bridge the interdisciplinary relationship within deep psychology and theology of the soul, as well as utilize the creative power with the Educaring Approach to create a practical curriculum for “heart” formation to prepare our children for the future. marindachan@hotmail.com
Helen Zhang Helen Zhang (Beijing, China) has been exploring RIE to raise infants since her daughter was born. Educaring approach has fascinated her by guiding her understanding of her baby and her career. Starting as a non-mobile infant caregiver in a childcare center, she kept practicing Magda Gerber’s Educaring approach. After going through the RIE pathway, completing the basic-level Pikler training, and further study in the Waldorf approach, she has grown firmer faith in early childhood education, and will go further down the journey by accompanying the infants and toddlers.  Helen offers in-home consulting, workshops and will be facilitating Parent-Infant Guidance classes in China. Email: helenzhang520429@gmail.com • WeChat: zmhelen67
Ruth Mason (Jerusalem, Israel) In addition to being a RIE Associate, Ruth Mason is a parent educator certified by the Early Childhood Development Center of New York Medical College and is studying to be a Pikler Pedagogue. Ruth is a journalist who has written extensively about parents and children, including articles on RIE and the Pikler approach. She wrote the weekly column, Parenting, in the Jerusalem Post for seven years. Ruth teaches in-person RIE parent-infant classes and RIE parents’ Zoom classes and mentors the growing number of RIE practicum students in Israel. A Los Angeles native born to immigrant parents, Ruth is married to Bob Trachtenberg, a lawyer, and has three grown children and two grandchildren. She lives in Jerusalem, works as a writer, is the producer/director of the documentary These are my Names and the founder of the Ethiopian Children’s Scholarship Fund at the Jerusalem Conservatory Hassadna. ruthtmason@gmail.com
JungSun Wohn (Seoul, Korea) first discovered RIE while she was searching for deeper knowledge in early childhood caregiving. She was fortunate to study under Magda Gerber and become a RIE Associate. She carried out Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach through her own “ChungSam Educaring Center” in Seoul where Magda Gerber and Carol Pinto once visited. Currently, JungSun is teaching a “Respect Baby & Respect Mom” class (which focuses on authentic, competent children and professional parents) at various lifelong learning centers. She also runs Green School, an online/offline school for preschoolers (children up to age 6). JungSun earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Child and Family Development from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul. jswohn@yahoo.com • http://cafe.daum.net/aejonjung 
Kumiko AkiyamaKumiko Akiyama (Tokyo, Japan) is a mother of two children and she holds a degree in Psychology with Early Childhood Education certificate. She felt immediate connection with Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach, when she first attended RIE Parent-Infant Guidance Class with her daughter. It inspired her to work with infants and toddlers at an international nursery and begin her journey in RIE Professional Development training in 2018. She is passionate about daily caregiving that can transform relationship and build deeper connection with young children. Kumiko has lived abroad for over 20 years and she values diversity in education. She shares Magda Gerber’s wisdom through her online community @friends.of.rie_japan. She offers caregiving workshops, private consultations and will organize RIE Certified classes in Japan and Asia. Email: kumiko.akiyama@outlook.com
Elena Marouchos (Auckland, New Zealand) is a Mentor Teacher at The Learning Centre (TLC). She is passionate about following a curriculum of care for infants and toddlers and exploring ways of integrating the Educaring Approach within group care settings. Elena completed the RIE Foundations: Theory and Observation™ course in 2011 and has attended a summer Intensive course at the Emmi Pikler Institute in 2013. Elena is also a board member of the New Zealand Infant Toddler Consortium (NZITC) and provides consulting services and offers seminars and workshops to a variety of audiences.elena.marouchos@gmail.com
Sharon Smith (New Zealand) is principal of Magic Child Infant and Toddler Consultancy. She has been sharing the insights of Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach to a diverse audience of parents and professionals in New Zealand, Australia, and Asia Pacific offering one on one guidance and tailoring workshops and observation for early childhood centre programs with ongoing support. Sharon is a RIE Mentor who teaches RIE Certified programs, and mentors RIE Practicum and RIE Intern students. She studied at the Pikler Institute, Budapest, Hungary in 2008 and 2012 and is a certified trainer for WestEd’s Program for Infant Toddler Care (PITC). Sharon was a founding trustee of New Zealand Infant and Toddler Consortium (NZITC), a charitable trust set up to inspire all about the importance and impact of care and respectful relationships.   sharonmvsmith@gmail.com • magicchild.co.nz • @magic_child_sharon_smith
Ania Wojcikowski (Auckland, New Zealand) first discovered the Educaring Approach when attending a parent-infant class with her own son in 2004. This inspired her to pursue early childhood education and to learn more, obtaining her Early Childhood Teacher qualification in 2008 . Ania attended the summer intensive course at the Emmi Pikler institute. The following year she completed the RIE® Foundations: Theory and Observation course in 2010 and is grateful for Polly Elam’s mentorship in her journey, that recently led her to  become a RIE Associate. Ania works at The Learning Centre™ in Auckland alongside the teachers and families, deepening her understanding of the approach in practice every day. Ania is a board member of the New Zealand Infant and Toddler consortium (NZITC). ania@nzitc.co.nz
Aletheia LeeAletheia Lee, D Phil. (Singapore) is a neuroscientist and early childhood practitioner focused on developmental sciences and infant-toddler care and education. She supports families and professionals with the Educaring Approach, working with an integrative philosophy that combines brain, body, mind, spirit, and concepts of self. She started her journey with RIE in 2015 and has worked with RIE communities in London, California, China, Australia, and South East Asia. She holds a DPhil in Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics from the University of Oxford, and a Masters in Psychology from the National University of Singapore. She is passionate about the human design, our adaptive capacity, and our wonderful ability to learn. In Singapore, she offers Parent-Infant Guidance classes and teaches infant-toddler development and responsive curriculum in the Early Childhood Education program at Singapore University of Social Sciences.aletheia@therespectfulway.com therespectfulway.com aletheialee.com
Katarina Milovcikova Paed Dr. Katarína Mahrer Milovčíková, PhD. (Switzerland) Katarina has been working as a teacher, educator, educarer, consultant and researcher in the field of early childhood education since 2004. She was born in the former Czechoslovakia. After finishing her Masters Degree in Preschool and Elementary Education in Slovakia, Katarina continued her studies in the United States and worked in public and private nurseries and preschools. She holds an academic degree in Pedagogy (PaedDr.) and PhD. (Philosophiae doctor) in preschool and elementary education. Katarina started adopting the RIE Approach after reading Infants, Toddlers and Caregivers, A Curriculum of Respectful, Responsive, Relationship Based Care and Education by Janet Gonzalez-Mena while taking a class on infant-toddler development and immediately fell in love with the concept of respectful caregiving. Based in Switzerland, where she resides with her husband, Katarina offers consulting for professionals and families with the Educaring Approach, offers RIE Parent-Infant Guidance classes, and courses on infant toddler development and the importance of care and respectful relationships. katarinamahrer.com