About Narea

Our History. Our Philosophy. Our Impact.

Our Conviction is Childhood Matters

Children, from birth, are eager to learn and relate. They seek to examine, experience, and connect with the people and phenomena surrounding them. In education and in life, children and adults thrive when there are interesting resources, complex environments and experiences, time for the pleasure of learning and being, reciprocity, sharing, traces of interpreted experiences in process, a strong sense of belonging, and optimism for the future.

At NAREA, we base our efforts on the fundamental values and principles of the Reggio Emilia approach, and endeavor to offer unique experiences for deepening awareness and supporting ongoing connection among members. We believe, as did Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Emilia municipal education project, that intelligent children deserve intelligent teachers, and through knowing children well, we can learn more about our roles as adults in children’s lives. We envision a world where all children are honored and respected for their potential, capabilities, and humanity.

What is the north american reggio emilia alliance?

The North American Reggio Emilia Alliance exists to connect early childhood educators and advocates together in discovering, interpreting, and promoting Reggio Emilia inspired education. NAREA believes in the inherent abilities and basic rights of children and adults, particularly with regard to their competence and right to actively construct relations, knowledge, feelings, and identity. NAREA works to mobilize educators, parents and policymakers to play a collective role in moving the value of early childhood education to a position of priority. Through conferences, networking, and resource sharing, NAREA is advancing an inspiring and innovative movement that is giving more quality and excellence to education.


What is the reggio emilia approach

Founded by the visionary teacher and humanitarian, Loris Malaguzzi, the Reggio Emilia approach refers to the philosophy of early childhood education that originated in Reggio Emilia, Italy following the destruction of World War II. This unique approach to education begins with a particular and strong image of children, of adults, of education, and of life, and flows from a set of guiding principles. Reggio Emilia, is a town still thriving today, more than 50 years since the first gestures of rebuilding and advancing were made.

Our Guiding PrinCIples Are:

We hold a strong and optimisitic image of the child who is born with many resources and extraordinary potentials.

The 100 languages are a metaphor for the extraordinary potentials of children.

Participation values and fosters dialogue and the sense of belonging to a community.

The flow of quality information via documentation introduces parents to a quality of knowing that tangibly changes expectations.

Research represents one of the essential dimensions of life of children and adults, a knowledge-building tension that must be recognized and valued.

A history of reggio emilia
and narea

  • 1945

    A New Philosophy Begins

    The Reggio Emilia philosophy of early childhood education has its origins in a particular place and time, namely Reggio Emilia, Italy in 1945, just at the end of the World War II.

  • 1963

    The Transfer of Operation

    In 1963, the schools established are transferred to the city government, thanks to the strength, initiative and imagination of workers, farmers and a famous group of the time, the Union of Italian Women (U.D.I.).

  • 1979

    Steady Growth over the Decade

    By the end of the 1970’s, schools for young children in Reggio Emilia have grown to nineteen in number, and infant-toddler centers have become part of the municipal system of early childhood education.

  • 1981

    The First Exhibit

    The first exhibit brought the work of the children and adults into view for the citizens of the town. Soon after, upon the request of Swedish educators who had seen the exhibit, it moved to Sweden, opening at the Modern Museum in Stockholm.

  • 1994

    Reggio Children Founded

    Reggio Children is founded to promote the vision of the late Loris Malaguzzi, and to support the infant-toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia.

  • 2002

    Narea Launches

    The North American Reggio Emilia Alliance is launched at the meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference in New York City.

  • 2003

    Instituzione is Formed

    Aware of the civil and cultural wealth represented by Reggio’s educational services, the municipality of Reggio Emilia manages this network of services through the work of a specific body called, Istituzione Scuole e Nidi d’Infanzia.

  • 2005

    First Conference with Reggio Children

    NAREA hosts its first summer conference in collaboration with Reggio Children.

  • 2006

    Founding of the International Network

    The Reggio Children International Network is founded with NAREA as one of the participating networks.

  • 2008

    Dialogues for Quality in Education Initiative Started

    NAREA launches Dialogues for Quality in Education, an initiative connected to the newest version of the exhibit in North America, The Wonder of Learning—The Hundred Languages of Children, a mutual project with Reggio Children.

  • 2012

    Fondazione Established

    Fondazione Reggio Children – Loris Malaguzzi is established with NAREA as one of three Promoting Partners from the International Network.

  • 2016

    Narea Today

    Today, NAREA has supported thousands of educators in schools and organizations throughout the United States and Canada. Together, we are building a new image of education, empowering children and adults to reach their potential.

Your support will help us advance the quality of every child's one childhood.

Together, we are empowering exceptional education.