Early Years Thriving Online Summit 

Diversity, Inclusion & Play-Based Learning


June 10 - 11, 2023


9:00 am - 3:30 pm (PST)


Online (via Zoom)

10 Hour of ECE Professional Development with 12 speakers

Certificates of completion will be provided!

On this page you will find:

  • A list of our amazing speakers along with their bio and a description of their presentation. 
  • The event schedule. Our event is live so you will get to ask speakers questions using the chat.
  • A list of our registration options. Please read carefully to choose the one that is right for you.

If you have any questions check out the FAQ section at the bottom of the page and do not hesitate to contact us.

Meet The Speakers

About Ana Valle Rivera

Ana is the Founder of Early Years Thriving (also known as Early Years Workshops). Ana has a Diploma in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor's Degree in Child and Youth Care, and is currently completing a Master's Degree in Professional Education. Ana's main purpose with her training is to inspire positive change in the early years by helping adult caregivers to think about the ways in which they can help their children thrive.

As the organizer, Ana is the best person to reach out to if you have any questions. Ana will be hosting the event and interviewing two guest speakers.
Early Years Thriving

About Jade Brass

Jade will be joining us on the first day of the summit to support our welcoming remarks.

Facilitator Bio: Anin Jade Brass nitisinihkas The Key First Nation nitonci. Jade studied at Native Education College ‘NEC’ and has an Indigenous Early Childhood Education Diploma. Jade is continuing studies at UBC to obtain a bachelor of Indigenous Education through the Indigenous Teacher Education Program ‘NITEP’.

Jade has come full circle now, she teaches at NEC with both the ECE certificate and diploma program.
Jade is grateful to have had time working on the floor at Uy’sqwalawun Headstart, Langara Child Development Centre and Eastside Family Place. All of these centres place emphasis on land-based learning, community inclusion and decolonizing childcare spaces. As Anishinaabekwe Jades goal is to continue to be a positive role model in our community and do this work for our children and our unborn babies.

About Carla Ward

Facilitator Bio: Carla Ward is an experienced Early Childhood Educator and the visionary founder of Early Learning Foundations, a business dedicated to promoting education and elevating the profession of Early Childhood Education. With over 18 years of diverse experience in education, Carla has held various roles and is committed to the growth and development of children.

Presentation: Embracing the YES! Building Yes Spaces

Webinar Description: Designing a "YES" space for children is a great way to create a safe and engaging environment that promotes exploration, independence, and learning. A "YES" space is a designated area where children can play and explore freely, without restriction. In this presentation, you will learn what a yes space is, how it makes happier children, the educator's role and how to start designing a yes space.
Carla Ward
The Everything ECE Podcast

About Lobna Ajaini

Facilitator Bio: Lobna Ajaini is an Early Childhood Leader with Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership Degree, and an Early Childhood Education Diploma from Sheridan College. She is a multi-award-winning educator who received the 2022 Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Research Award, the 2019 Sylvia Leal Leadership Award, and the 2016 Davis Campus Commemorative Award. She currently works as a Family Support Facilitator at EarlyON Child/Family Centre and after school Program Director. She is passionate about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). She values lifelong learning and facilitating workshops for educators.

Presentation: Cultural and Racial micro-aggressions in the ECE Workplace

Webinar Description: In this workshop, educators will learn about the types of racial and cultural micro-aggressions they might face in the workplace. In this workshop, educators will also think about different examples of racial and cultural micro-aggressions that would lead to a discussion, activities and reflection based on real-life experiences. This workshop can be helpful for educators as it will support them with different strategies and a self-test to address micro-aggression in the workplace. The facilitator is located in ON, Canada.
Lobna Ajaini

About Kisa Marx

Facilitator Bio: Kisa Marx is the founder of Kidcrew Adventures located in Oak, Illinois. After working in the field of Early Education for over twenty years, she has become a fierce advocate for the physical, social and emotional development of the smallest among us, and in 2020 that journey led to deconstructing the traditional teaching model that is often adult-centered in order to place relationships and connection at the head and the child in the center. When Kisa is not defending the rights of children and play, she can be found hanging with her crew, with her family or cuddled up with one of her fur babies and surrounded by plants.

Play Revolution: Why The Practice of Play may be the most transformative practice in Early Learning

Webinar Description: In this webinar, I will guide the audience through the traditional model that usually encloses children under the pressure of unreasonable expectation and pin-point why this method does not align with DAP and actually inhibits optimal learning. I will then demonstrate how establishing a play pedagogy meets the child where they presently are, allows them to grow in an organic way and provides multiple opportunities to connect, build confidence, a sense of belonging and creates a framework for lifetime learning and self-actualization.

About Jamie-Lee Wagler

Facilitator Bio: Jamie has been an Early Childhood Educator for 11 years. She has vast knowledge and experience with both kindergarten children and school-aged children. Jamie completed her Bachelor of Psychology in 2014 and earned her Bachelor of Education in 2015. She now holds her OCT and has completed her Early Childhood Leadership Certificate program at Sault College. Jamie currently works as a Supervisor at Stratford Cygnets Co-operative Preschool. Jamie owns her own ECE Consulting business, Miss Jamie Consulting.

Play-Based Before and After School

Webinar Description: In this webinar, Jamie-Lee shares information on the importance of emergent and play-based education in before and after school programs. Jamie-Lee covers following children's interests and allowing them to guide the facilitation of the program. This workshop will be helpful to home childcare providers and individuals who work in out of school care programs.
Miss Jamie Consulting

About Kayla Papaila

Facilitator Bio: Kayla is an ECE, the host of the ECE honestly podcast and the owner of Blossoming Niños child care program. 

A Conversation with Kayla Papalia: ECE Honestly Podcast & Family Child Care

Webinar Description: In this interview, Kayla and Ana will have an ECE honestly conversation about all things ECE and podcasting. Kayla will also share her perspectives as a Family Child Care provider. During this session, participants will get a chance to ask questions and learn from Kayla.
Blossoming Niños
@ecehonestly @blossomingninos
Kayla Papaila

About Jessica Labbe

Facilitator Bio: Jessica Labbe is a Forest Preschool Educator/Ambassador committed to environmental education and improving early childhood development through nature-based exploration. She holds a BA in Early Child Education and worked with preschool-aged children in the outdoors for 15 + years before opening the Village Nest in 2020. 

Taking it Outside: Play-Based learning outdoors

Webinar Description: Learning happens wherever you are, however, nothing beats the natural learning that occurs when you take children outside and remove the walls. In this webinar educators explore how to safely allow children to take risks and play cooperatively outdoors.
The Village Nest Cooperative

About Saira Remtulla

Facilitator Bio: An Ontario Certified Teacher of 15 years with the Toronto District School Board, Saira Remtulla is passionate and devoted to children and teaching. As the Founder of Connected Start, Saira has developed a fun-filled program tailored to children age 0 to 5 years, which provides them the foundational tools necessary to achieve success in their educational journey. Making 'connections' with their caregivers, their surroundings, and each other are the keys to success!

Using Rhymes to Connect, Engage and Educate

Webinar Description: In this webinar, educators will learn how to use rhymes to CONNECT, ENGAGE and EDUCATE children using the Connected Start Method. The focus is connecting with children through the use of puppets, rhymes and play. The rhymes used incorporate Indigenous land acknowledgment, student well-being, and opportunities for various inquiry topics. The second focus is to empower and build educator confidence with the intent to eliminate challenging behaviours and improve educator well-being.

About Marcia Nicole

Facilitator Bio: Marcia Nicole is a highly passionate early childhood educator with over 20 years of experience in various roles within the field. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Early Childhood Education and is a lifelong learner who advocates for professionals in the early years to have the best practices. Marcia's expertise lies in encouraging investigation, creativity, and exploring the possibilities in learning, teaching, and development.

Through Their Eyes: A Child's Perspective on Documentation

Webinar Description: Documentation is a vital part of early childhood education, but too often, it's seen through the lens of an adult educator. This workshop will explore how to document from a child's perspective, giving them a voice in what's being captured and celebrated. You'll learn how to limit your bias about what documentation should be, and instead, focus on what children are interested in and proud of. We'll discuss strategies for capturing and displaying children's work in a way that reflects their unique perspective and values their contributions. Get ready to see the world of documentation through a whole new lens!

About Ashleigh Davis

Facilitator Bio: Ashleigh Davies is an early childhood educator with her bachelors in ECCE and has worked with children in a variety of roles over the last several years. Ashleigh has worked as a post-secondary instructor, leading ECE post-basic courses, and currently is the CAPC Coordinator and Parent Community Liaison with North Shore Community Resources. She runs several workshops throughout BC and in each of her workshops she brings her passion for inclusivity, social justice, and advocating for the importance of early childhood education & educators.

Is pink just for girls? Exploration of Gender in the Classroom

Webinar Description: This workshop looks at discussing how we represent gender in the classroom in an inclusive environment. Workshop also looks at addressing how we as educators may be influenced by our ideas of gender roles and how they become portrayed in the classroom, discussing ways to make our classrooms inclusive for all children, regardless of gender.

About Carli Miller

Facilitator Bio: Carli Miller is currently a manager at a 3-5 child care program. She holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education, and a Bachelor's Degree in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria. She is passionate about sharing information about early childhood with other educators in the ECE world.

A Conversation with Carli Miller: Making Diversity Projects Meaningful

Webinar Description: During this conversation, Carli will share her experience exploring a diversity project with the children and families in her program. Carli and Ana will talk about how to make diversity projects meaningful and not theme based. During this session, participants will be able to ask Carli questions through the chat.

Event Schedule

DAY 1: Saturday, June 10th (Pacific Standard Time)

  • 9:00 am - 9:15 am: Welcoming Remarks with Ana Valle Rivera & Jade Brass
  • 9:15 am - 10:15 am: Speaker - Carla Ward: Embracing the YES! Building YES Spaces
  • 10:15 am - 10:30 am: Break
  • 10:30 am - 11:30 am: Speaker - Lobna Ajaini: Cultural and Racial Micro-Aggressions in ECE
  • 11:30 am - 11:45 am: Break
  • 11:45 am - 12:45 pm: Speaker - Kisa Marx: Play Revolution 
  • 12:45 pm - 1:15 pm: Lunch Break
  • 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm: Speaker - Jamie-Lee Wagler: Play-Based Before & After School
  • 2:15 pm - 2:30 pm: Break
  • 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm: Conversation with Kayla Papalia: ECE Honestly Podcast & Family Child Care
  • 3:30 pm - 3:35 pm: Closing Remarks with Ana Valle Rivera

DAY 2: Sunday, June 11th (Pacific Standard Time)

  • 9:00 am - 9:15 am: Welcoming Remarks with Ana Valle Rivera
  • 9:15 am - 10:15 am: Speaker - Jessica Labbe: Taking It Outside (Play-Based Learning Outdoors)
  • 10:15 am - 10:30 am: Break
  • 10:30 am - 11:30 am: Speaker - Saira Remtulla: Using Rhymes To Connect, Engage & Educate
  • 11:30 am - 11:45 am: Break
  • 11:45 am - 12:45 pm: Speaker - Marcia Nicole: Through Their Eyes (A Child's Perspective On Documentation)
  • 12:45 pm - 1:15 pm: Lunch Break
  • 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm: Speaker - Ashleigh Davis: Exploration Of Gender In The Classroom
  • 2:15 pm - 2:30 pm: Break
  • 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm: Conversation with Carli Miller: Making Diversity Projects Meaningful
  • 3:30 pm - 3:35 pm: Closing Remarks with Ana Valle Rivera

Registration Options

Live Access Only 



  • Attend all sessions (live only)
  • No recordings will be available with this ticket option
Live Access & Recordings



  • Attend all live sessions
  • Access to all session recordings for 30 days
VIP Full Access & Annual Subscription



  • Attend all live sessions
  • Access the summit recordings for one year
  • Access our entire collection of self-paced online workshops and webinars (20+ hours) for one year

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a live or self-paced event?

The Online Summit will be live on June 10th and 11th, 2023.
Participants who choose the upgraded ticket will get access to the recordings for 30 days only.
Participants or the VIP full access & annual subscription will get access to the recording for one year.

How do I join the live event?

This event will be hosted on zoom webinars.
When you register you will find the webinar link within the learning portal. 
You will also get the zoom link emailed to you 1-2 days before the event and 1-2 hours before the event.

What technology do I need to attend this workshop?

You will need access to a reliable internet connection (wifi) and a device with a screen and audio.
Since this event will be hosted in Zoom webinars you will not need to have your camera on but we will expect that you log in with the name you used to register and engage in the chat.

Will I receive a receipt?

Yes shortly after you register you will receive an email receipt and email confirmation.
If you do not recieve any emails from us, please contact us immediately.
Sometimes this happens when you enter your email incorrectly during registration. 
We can help you correct your email address so that you can receive updates and the zoom link from us.

What if I am late or miss the live event?

If you purchase the "live access only" ticket you will need to be present for the full length of the summit on both days. If you are late you will not receive a certificate for the full 10 hours of PD.
If you purchase the upgrade or VIP access you can pop in and out or miss the live dates and be able to watch the recordings at a later time to get the full 10 hours.

Will there be a recording of this event?

Participants are not allowed to record or take photos of presenters intellectual property 
We will record and make the recordings available to participants who purchase ticket options with recording access. 
Recordings will not be available to those who choose "live access only"

Will I receive a Completion Certificate? 

Certificates of completion will be available.
We keep a record of all who register, attend the zoom and access the recordings at a later date.
For ECE registry purposes we can verify the certificates as long as you ethically, truthfully and fully complete the PD hours. 
Remember to download your certificate and any resources should this course ever be taken down.

Will this PD be accepted by the ECE registry in my province or state?

Most of our live and self paced ECE trainings are widely accepted as PD hours by ECE registries.
However, it is up to you (the participant) to ensure the PD from this Online Summit will be accepted by the ECE authority in your province or state. 
Each certificate of completion will include our contact information so that we can support you to get PD hours from our offerings.

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