She started working in Reggio Emilia in 1970, first as pedagogista, then as pedagogical director of municipal early childhood services. In 1994 she became a consultant for Reggio Children, and then she was President of the company from 2007 to 2016.
In 2011 she was appointed President of Fondazione Reggio Children - Centro Loris Malaguzzi.
Since 1999 she has been Professor of the course "The approach of Reggio Emilia municipal preschools" at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
She has been Visiting Professor at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri – U.S.A.) and at Colorado University (Boulder, Colorado – U.S.A.). Since 2012 she is one of the international partners of the project “Thinkers in Residence” at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Government of South Australia in Adelaide (SA).
In all her capacities Carla Rinaldi has given many conferences in Italy and abroad, done many interviews and written several articles that testify the evolution of the Reggio Emilia experience over more than forty years in Italy and around the world.
In 2015 she was awarded the 2015 LEGO Prize.
In February 2020 she was invited to participate to the “Workshop on Education: The Global Compact to be held at the Vatican, in the Casina Pio IV, headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, on 6-7 February 2020.”
Fondazione’s governance reflects its nature as an international research and solidarity body.