Director, Early Childhood Core, Nathanson Family Resilience Center
Director, SEEDS Program
Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Dr. Paley is the Director of the Early Childhood Core (ECC) for the Division of Population Behavioral Health. The primary aims of the ECC are to conduct prevention and early intervention research, provide direct clinical services, and conduct training for early childhood educators and mental health professionals and paraprofessionals, all with the goal of supporting healthy development and well-being in young children and their families.
Dr. Paley has served as Principal Investigator on a number of federally-funded grants focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions for young children experiencing early adversities (including prenatal alcohol exposure and trauma) and their families. Dr. Paley is the Director of SEEDS (Strategies for Enhancing Early Developmental Success), a program developed by Dr. Paley and her team through support from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to promote the development of self-regulation in early childhood as a foundation for children’s school readiness and long-term well-being. SEEDS focuses on equipping professionals and parents/caregivers with the skills to build supportive relationships and provide effective co-regulation to the children in their care. SEEDS has been implemented in a number of community settings, including early education and child care centers, as well as community mental health clinics.
Dr. Paley is also the Director of the DMH +UCLA Early Childhood Fellowship, an immersive training program for professionals and paraprofessionals who work in county and community agencies to support the well-being of young children and their families, many of whom contend with a multitude of challenges, including exposure to violence, housing and food insecurity, and family separation. The aim of the Fellowship is to enhance Fellows’ knowledge, skills, and practices in providing high quality, culturally responsive, trauma-informed care to children birth to six and their families.
Dr. Paley also has a long-standing interest in the role of outdoor experiences as a pathway to resilience for young children and families, and incorporates nature-based learning and activities into the SEEDS program and the Early Childhood Fellowship.
Dr. Paley is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She received her doctoral degree from UCLA in clinical psychology and completed a NIMH research postdoctoral fellowship in family risk and resilience at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a clinical postdoctoral fellowship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital.