Auburn’s Family Child Care Partnerships program receives support to improve math, science programs and annual conference

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The Family Child Care Partnerships program at Auburn University will soon offer early child care providers in Alabama new training opportunities to guide children’s learning, particularly in arts and sciences.

The program, a part of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Human Sciences at Auburn, is able to expand its course offerings with the financial support of the PNC Foundation.

A $16,400 grant from the foundation, which receives it principal funding from the PNC Financial Services Group Inc., is supporting the addition of several six-week training courses and mentorship opportunities designed to help more than 230 state family child care providers meet national quality standards in math, science, art and music.

Family Child Care Partnerships’ executive and managing directors, Ellen Abell and Ellaine Miller, said children often do not receive adequate instruction in these areas. Child care providers may use music with children, but Abell and Miller said the activities are limited in scope, not always developmentally appropriate, and are rarely used to extend learning activities.

With the financial support of PNC, Family Child Care Partnerships will develop materials and expose providers to the best and most appropriate ways of incorporating these topics into mixed age group settings that would otherwise not be available to the providers, or the children in their care.

Additionally, the PNC Foundation is supporting the annual Focus on Family Child Care Conference, scheduled for June 7-8, with a pre-conference leadership event on June 6, at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. Registration is currently open at The deadline for registration is May 24.

The conference is generally a one-day event, but with funding from PNC, additional workshops featuring lessons in intermediate and advanced level content in art, music, science, math and professionalism have been added for a two-day conference.

“Both the conference and the subsequent modules will feature programming for math, science, art and music. Family child care providers around the state will receive curriculum, instruction and materials to promote these subjects in a developmentally appropriate way to the infants, toddlers and preschoolers in their care,” said Miller. “We would not be targeting these specific developmental learning opportunities without PNC support.”

Family Child Care Partnerships is the only training organization in the state that targets family child care. Family child care settings are privately-owned, state-licensed enterprises offering paid caregiving services for children in the service provider’s own home.

“The opportunity to partner with Auburn University’s Family Child Care Partnerships to deliver quality early learning opportunities is at the very heart of our mission,” said Jim Hansen, PNC regional president, Northern Alabama. “Investing in young children is simply the right thing to do for our communities, and for the economic health of our region and nation.”

The Family Child Care Partnerships program is externally funded through a competitive grant process by the Alabama Department of Human Resources. Since 2000, it has worked with family child care providers to develop and apply their knowledge, encourage the use of available professional supports and resources, and promote professional practices that foster the healthy growth and development of the infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in their care.

The PNC Foundation actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture.

(Written by Amy Weaver.)

Contact: Ellen Abell, College of Human Sciences, (334) 844-4480 (, or

Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (