Welcome from our CEO and Director


For more than twenty years, serving as an educational leader and raising my own two children, I dreamed of a place like Discovery Village. In July of 2019, I was blessed with the opportunity to open this magnificent center.

The journey preparing to begin Discovery Village was filled with meaningful experiences. I studied – completing a Ph.D in education. I led nursery school through high schools, implementing innovative approaches, emphasizing project based learning and character education.

Throughout the years I led schools, I marveled at the creativity and focus on wellbeing of exemplary daycare centers. As a working mom, I experienced personally the necessity of having a village to support me as I lived through the many celebrations and tribulations of guiding my own two children to adulthood.

Serving as an educational leader, I became a teacher of teachers. I co-authored the book The Coach Approach to School Leadership: Leading Teachers to Higher Levels of Effectiveness, published by the prestigious Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. I am also the author of Havens of Hope: Ideas for Redesigning Education from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Havens of Hope traces the experiences of Discovery Village and 24 other programs that not only navigated through the challenges of 2020-2021, but got better. I serve as an adjunct faculty member in Northeastern’s doctoral program of education, and frequently speak at professional conferences, seminars, and workshops nationally. Through it all I have been blessed to engage with many talented educators, parents, and most of all – children, forging the ideas that are at the foundation of the Discovery Village approach.

There are very few childcare centers and preschools led by nationally recognized educational leaders.  Discovery Village, with our unique approach, serves as a model to other educators for what is possible in early childhood education. I welcome you to reach out and explore our village.

You can reach me at: [email protected]

Discovery Village CEO promotes well-being in daycare.
Shira Leibowitz, Ph.D


Welcome! My name is Daria Ciaffone and I am the Director of Discovery Village, our project-based learning childcare center and preschool.

I have more than ten years of experience impacting the lives of our young learners in the field of Early Childhood Education. From the time I was a college and graduate student, I have worked in the classroom spaces of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children. I earned my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Westchester Community College in 2010. I went on to continue my education and complete both my BA and MA in Education from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY.

My very first experience with little learners was as an intern in a NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited child care center in Valhalla. I completed three intensive internships in infant, toddler, and preschool settings. I was promoted from my internship and continued to work as a teacher’s assistant in a toddler classroom where I was part of a collaborative team of three co-teachers for four years. From there, I went on to being a head infant and toddler teacher as well as a summer camp director in Peekskill, NY.

After years in the classroom, I was promoted to an administrative role and given more responsibility in running a childcare center. I have been a Director of an Early Childhood Center since 2013. I absolutely love it!

The opportunity to facilitate a hands-on learning environment where children are encouraged to explore and grow is my passion. Here at Discovery Village we promote the development of our children through socialization, discovery, and play! Our progressive approach to education in which we provide our children with the freedom to create, thrive, and learn how to be empathetic and loving individuals is where I have always wanted to be. I look forward to creating a healthy partnership with your family!

You can reach me at: [email protected]

Daria Ciaffone - Director at Discovery Village
Daria Ciaffone


Daycare that impacts lives
At Discovery Village we promote long lasting relationships.