Malia has worked directly with children and families in a number of settings for more than 30 years. She has provided child care in the community, university and Early Head Start settings and as the teacher of a parent-teacher cooperative preschool. In addition to classroom time, Malia was also a Certified Child Life Specialist for 15 years, providing support for children experiencing illness, hospitalization, and end of life. Malia developed the family-support program for a large HIV/AIDS organization in Portland, Oregon, and provided play-based interventions to pediatric patients and their siblings at Boise’s St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital.
Now in an office instead of the block corner, Malia brings her passion to the development and management of the systems and people supporting young children in child care in our state. As an Idaho AEYC Leadership Director for the IdahoSTARS Project, Malia is responsible for the development, implementation, and oversight of the IdahoSTARS project in partnership with the University of Idaho. She develops and leads a foreword thinking team to meet the strategic goals of the IdahoSTARS project and guides IdahoSTARS through continuous quality improvement focusing on processes, internal and external customers, and using objective data to analyze and improve processes.