Maria J. Gehl, MSW, is Project Director of Mindfulness in Early Childhood at ZERO TO THREE.
Maria is deeply committed to and passionate about supporting relationships, especially the earliest ones, with a spirit of nurturing and inquiry. In her current role, she does this through directing the Mindfulness in Early Childhood Project at ZERO TO THREE. Her current work focuses on increasing understanding and use of mindful awareness and self-compassion strategies in early childhood settings and parenting. In previous roles at ZERO TO THREE, Maria has provided leadership to two national home visiting technical assistance centers focused on bringing capacity building supports to tribal communities and state systems. Maria is a Social Service professional with over 25 years experience working across a variety of disciplines including home visiting, early childhood education, and child abuse prevention. Her areas of focus include contemplative and reflective practice, program implementation in diverse communities, continuous quality improvement, and strategic investment in human services. Prior to joining ZTT in 2011, Maria developed extensive experience consulting, coaching and training on CQI, evidence-based program implementation and early childhood system development and coordination in Washington State. Her efforts were instrumental in securing dedicated state funding for evidence-based home visitation in Washington. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Washington and a B.A. from Hamilton College.