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 primary role, she does this through directing the Mindfulness in Early Childhood Project at ZERO TO THREE. This work focuses on increasing understanding and use of mindful awareness and self-compassion strategies in early childhood settings and parenting. In this role, Maria enjoys working with early childhood organizations interested in integrating mindfulness and contemplative practice in their workplace. Maria also serves as a Senior Advisor to multiple home visiting projects at ZERO TO THREE, including Programmatic Assistance for Tribal Home Visiting (PATH). In previous roles, 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 30 years’ experience working across a variety of disciplines including home visiting, early childhood education, and child abuse prevention. Her areas of focus include reflective practice, home visiting, and program implementation in diverse communities and early childhood system development. Prior to joining ZERO TO THREE in 2011, Maria developed extensive experience consulting, coaching, and training on program development, implementation, and continuous quality improvement 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.