Maria Frey

Maria Frey

Senior Instructional Specialist, Infant Teacher
Child Development Lab
608-263-4093 ext 103 Honeybee Room
There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.

–Walt Streightiff

I discovered my true passion as an educator when I started working with the very youngest learners. Their natural desire to notice, wonder, explore and discover inspires me daily!! I have been teaching, guiding and nurturing infants and toddlers at the UW Child Development Lab since the year 2000. Currently, my days are spent in the Dragonfly Classroom where I am one of the lead teachers. Sharing my passion, not only with the babies in my care but with their families, with university students, and with a phenomenal group of colleagues is truly a privilege.

Child Development Lab

See Maria's classroom, the Dragonfly Room, where children 6 weeks to 2 years old are cared for.
Dragonfly Classroom

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1988 with a degree in Elementary Education and a Special Education Minor. I started my teaching career as a Fourth Grade Teacher in Spring Green, WI.

After my first child was born I saw first hand the remarkable learning that takes place in the first two years of life. I was captivated and wanted to learn more. I enrolled in an Infant/Toddler Course and an Early Childhood Course at Madison Area Technical College in 1996. That same year I accepted my first position as an educator of the very youngest learners. My journey as an Infant/Toddler Teacher here at the UW Child Development Lab began in 2000.

Other work-related experiences include:

  • Instrumental in shaping the Infant/Toddler Program at the UW Child Development Lab
  • Breast feeding accreditation
  • CPR and First Aid certified
  • Member of Infant/Toddler Community of Practice

* Co-Authored Brochure – Building Blocks of Infant/Toddler Development: Relationships, Environments, Experience, published Fall 2015

Nurturing Infant/Toddler attachments is a primary focus of my work with young children. I believe healthy attachments and meaningful relationships open doors to extraordinary learning! When babies feel safe and secure and when they trust their teachers to meet their needs and understand them, then they will move out to explore the world with zeal. Strong bonds between infants and caregivers lead to competent, confident, curious little ones!

Other areas of focus include:

  • Caregiving as curriculum
  • Responsive caregiving
  • Primary caregivers
  • Mixed age groups
  • Inquiry based learning