Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dr. Ellaine Miller: Trusting Relationships for Young Children

I am so excited to be a part of the PreK + K Sharing blog!

I am a first time blogger and hail from the south.
I live in LaGrange, Georgia, and root for the University of Georgia Bulldogs while working as the managing director of the Family Child Care Partnerships (FCCP) program at Auburn University. I have been married to my husband Peter for 20 years and am mother to Charles, almost 18, and MaryAynne 14. On my personal time I enjoy volunteering as our church youth leader, a Girl Scout leader, and as the local ballet guild president. This is a very busy time for us with a senior in high school making his way to be out in the world soon as well as a star in the making who is involved in numerous holiday performances as a dancer and singer.

As Managing Director for FCCP, I supervise and oversee all personnel and programming for a state-wide professional development program for licensed family child care providers in Alabama. We offer in-home mentoring services that support providers in their efforts to enhance the quality of care they offer with an eye toward national accreditation (through the National Association for Family Child Care). I also enjoy being an NAFCC accreditation council member, part of the first cohort of Alabama Early Care and Education Leadership Academy, and a trainer for the Alabama Early Learning Guidelines.
I have a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from Auburn University and received training and expertise in attachment theory and quality environments and relationships both during my graduate school experiences as well as on the job with FCCP.  I am often consulted about challenges the mentoring staff have with adults who resist change as well as challenges staff and clients have with children who “misbehave.” I am excited to be able to share information with all of you about how to deal with challenges from adults and children in your lives.
I am passionate about the quality of caregiving and environments for young children. I spend most of my time providing programming, assistance, and support in the realms of adult-child relationships, interpersonal skills for adults (adult-adult and adult-child), children’s challenging behaviors and adult responses to them, the science and mechanisms of change, and recently healthy habits for children and caregivers (focusing on active play and proper nutrition). My practices are grounded in attachment theory, and I work from an attachment and brain development perspective.
I look forward to being able to provide the blog with insights and information and best practices for working with infants and toddlers, challenging children, and even challenging adults. I find that when a person understands the typically developing child and knows what to expect at each age and stage, it is easier to provide quality interactions and experiences and create a secure relationship with that child.
My “news you can use” tidbit today is to provide consistent, warm, responsive, nurturing caregiving that meets the needs of the child which will create a long-lasting trusting relationship. When this pattern of caregiving is offered during the first 18 months of a child’s life, s/he will develop a trust for adults and those who meet his/her needs that will last a lifetime. When this pattern of caregiving is not offered during the first 18 months of life, distrust is formed and influences all future relationships that child has.
For more in-depth information about Attachment, please access this article:
I look forward to our interaction here and welcome your comments and questions.


  1. I'm am so eager to read your ages and stages stuff; welcome aboard, Dr. Miller! I'm going to the attachment article next. Appreciate the link!


  2. We're so fortunate to have you here with us!!! I know the topics that you've mentioned will be of great value to our reading audience. Thanks for joining us!! What a way to close out our first month!


  3. I look forward to reading your posts and learning from you. Thanks for being a part of this collaborative group.

  4. Elaine, It is wonderful to have you as a collaborator on this blog. I cannot agree with you more! There are two points you made that echo my feelings as well....

    ~ When adults clearly understand how children develop, children will have the opportunity to thrive through optimal experiences and positive interactions.

    ... and YES! Early, nurturing, safe, and predictable relationships make a real and long lasting impact! It is essential that this becomes common knowledge.

    It is wonderful to know all you are doing. Thank you for sharing!


  5. It's great to meet you, Elaine! I totally agree about the importance of early nurturing relationships. What important work you're involved in. I'll look forward to reading more each month! :) Deb @


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