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 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]

Shira Leibowitz, Ph.D - CEO Discovery Village, Tarrytown daycare
Shira Leibowitz, Ph.D


My name is Daria Ciaffone and I am the Director of this project-based learning child care center and nursery school.

I have over ten years experience working in the early childhood field in a variety of roles. From the time I was a college and graduate student, I have been working as an early childhood educator. I earned my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Westchester Community College. Then I completed both my BA and MA in Education from Manhattanville.

My first with daycare was as an intern in a NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited childcare center in Valhalla. I completed three intensive internships in infant, toddler, and pre school settings. I then worked as a teacher assistant in a toddler classroom where I taught alongside 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. After years in the classroom, I was promoted to an administrative role and given more responsibility in running a daycare 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!

I encourage you to contact us for more information or to schedule a visit.

You can reach me at: [email protected]

Daria Ciaffone