Maya was born and raised in Israel, and was lucky enough to live in a few other countries- one of which was New Zealand, where she completed her degrees in Early Childhood education and developmental psychology. She is the director of a Reggio inspired, bilingual school in Tel Aviv, and is involved in a number of non profits and NGOs, all with the aim of raising the quality of care in Israel and Palestine. 
Maya believes that the future is bright for the middle east, and is currently studying at Portland State University inclusive education, in order to better understand how children with special rights can be better integrated in the current system, and celebrated for the magic they each bring, as equal citizens. 
She looks forward to meeting more passionate advocates, educators and pedagogues.
Throughout her life, Danielle has always loved being in the company of young children, wondering at the world alongside them and joyfully experiencing it through play. A part of her heart and soul has always stayed deeply connected to the culture of childhood!
Danielle began her career as an early childhood educator in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, teaching in inclusive classrooms and self-contained classrooms for children with special rights. In 2018 she moved to Tel Aviv, Israel and spent three amazing years teaching at a bilingual, Reggio Emilia inspired early childhood center. It was there that she grew a passion for progressive educational models, leading her to pursue a master's degree in Inclusive Early Childhood Education with a focus in Constructivism at Portland State University.
Currently, she is back in the U.S., completing her master’s program and teaching in Seattle, Washington at a center with a strong commitment to anti-bias education and emergent curriculum. Danielle is a passionate advocate of early childhood inclusion and of children's rights, especially the rights of play and participation. 

"Processing Crisis through Play: Supporting Children in Times of War "

How do you support children’s play as they process traumatic events?

When children experience communal crises such as war—memories, fantasies, and big feelings connected to those experiences may present themselves in play.

Presenters Maya Lan and Danielle McCrea bring personal stories of caring for young children during times of war in Israel to discuss the role of the teacher. We will talk through the process of observing and reflecting on play that is representative of war or other crises, tools to expand on children’s big ideas and emotions connected to crisis, and the child’s search for meaning when faced with uncertain and challenging circumstances.

Due to current events in Ukraine, we will also discuss how these tools and processes can be applied to working with refugee children and families, and reflect on the global impact the crisis has on children.