Nice to meet you,
I'm Ana Valle Rivera!
I am a proud mother of three young children, a Children's Book Author, Speaker, Workshop Facilitator and the Founder of Early Years Thriving.
You can learn more about my background and career history, current focus, and how to get in touch with me on this page.
I began working with children and families in 2007. I realized quickly how much I love working with children in the early year's age group (0-8-year-olds). I went to Douglas College and earned a diploma in Early Childhood Education (2010).
Early in my ECE career, I gained experience working in play-based and inquiry-based childcare programs as an ECE, infant/toddler teacher, one-to-one support worker and supervisor.
In 2014, I began working in adult education teaching ECE, Infant Toddler and Special Needs Education courses. Since then I have taught and worked with a diverse group of students (Indigenous-led, Immigrant, International, and local ECEs). After having my first baby, I began providing professional development workshops and training to ECEs in my local community (2016).
In 2018, I began working in early intervention services (in different roles) providing inclusive and trauma-informed support strategies to parents and caregivers of children with complex needs. At the same time, I went back to school to earn a Bachelor's in Child and Youth Care (with a specialization in early years) from the University of Victoria (2021). In between these years, I had my second child.
I continued to provide in-person workshops to ECEs and was flown around BC to share my expertise. In 2020, all that changed (thanks to the you-know-what) and I was forced to quickly pivot.
I was one of the first in the Early Years field (in BC) to move all my workshops online. That year, I facilitated over 100 live online workshops and found myself burning out of "live online workshops."
I could see Educators burning out from working through those unprecedented times we don't talk about anymore and I could see parents struggling to work from home while parenting, and managing screen time. As a parent of two young children at the time, I could definitely relate.
That's when I started working with other workshop facilitators to build a library of self-paced online workshops. I began offering group and one-to-one support to Educators who wanted to learn to create and facilitate their workshops. I also collaborated with other experienced facilitators to host live workshops and create yearly online summits for educators to access professional development in a self-paced and flexible way.
An unexpected plot twist...
In 2021, our family experienced unexpected adversity and acute trauma.
I won't disclose all of the details here, but let's just say that most of what I thought I knew as an ECE and parent consultant who supported parents like me, went out the window. I had to go back and start at the basics, brain integration, attachment-based, strength-based, play, art, and trauma-informed care and I grew a deeper understanding of what it means to parent a child going through "tough stuff."
It took several months (painful recovery) but once we overcame the adversity and healing including post-traumatic growth, I knew what I had to do to move forward with purpose and passion. My life wasn't just going to be about education, travelling to speak at conferences and facilitate workshops, or writing.
I believe things happen for a reason.
I realized that my purpose with all that happened and all that I do, it comes down to one thing: helping adults to help children thrive!
What I'm currently focused on
So here we are now, I have a third baby. I have continued to navigate parent life, and graduate studies (Master of Professional Education in Early Childhood Education) while continuing to manage and develop new content for Early Years Thriving.
I love the work I do. I love working with educators and parents to help them understand how they can confidently create thriving environments to help their little ones thrive.
That is what I am all about.
As an educator, I have in-depth knowledge of child development, trauma-informed, and inclusive approaches. Connection is at the heart and foundation of all I do.
As a parent, who has had to navigate raising young children through all the unique challenges of the last few years, I can relate to the struggles that parents are facing, and can support parents on how to advocate for their little ones who may be having a tough time at daycare or school.
With these two perspectives, I take an integrated approach in all my work (speaking, coaching, and consulting).
How to get in touch with me
If you're a parent and you are thinking, yes, I love it and Ana gets me, I would love to work with her. Feel free to reach out to me and schedule a call with me here to see if my services would be a good fit for you and your family.
If you're an Early Childhood Educator or an organization looking for a speaker (for Educators or Parents) and want to learn more about the topics I cover, visit my Workshops and Speaking page here.
If you are just here to learn more, thanks again for taking the time to learn more about me.