Early Learning


Motivational Interviewing specialists recognize that early learning professionals and the families they work with have their own knowledge, experience, and resources. When fully engaged in the process of change, not simply given information and advice, families are much more likely to commit to healthy behaviors and life choices.

Tenets of Motivational Interviewing in Early Learning

  • Affirmation: Specialized statements recognize strengths, as opposed to praise (our opinion of behavior and choices).
  • Guidance: M.I. is not focused on “fixing” or “educating” people, but instead on guiding them to find their own solutions.
  • Inclusion: M.I. engages fathers and non-traditional families, bridges cultural differences, and is used in over 30 countries.


  • Parent Engagement
  • Child Development
  • Nutrition & Oral Health
  • Family Planning
  • Breastfeeding
  • Vaccine Hesitancy
  • Financial Stability
  • Tobacco Cessation
  • Mental Health & Substance Abuse
  • Domestic Violence


  • Fort Worden Early Childhood Conference
  • Migrant Head Start/EHS
  • National Indian Head Start Directors Conference
  • Oregon Child Development Coalition
  • Eastern WA Univ EHS
  • Whidbey Island ECEAP
  • OlyCAP
  • Olympic ESD
  • Puget Sound ESD
  • Snohomish County HS/EHS and ECEAP
"Jonnae Tillman has provided training to our staff over the past several years and is always one of our most-requested presenters. She deepens their understanding of the topic and encourages staff to think creatively. Jonnae is flexible and adaptable and always provides high-quality trainings. Motivational Interviewing training has significantly enhanced the skills of our staff and has been a direct benefit to our families and children."
– Joe Varano | Snohomish County ECEAP
"Jonnae has a wonderful approach to working with staff; engaging them and pulling them in to want to learn more. She is responsive to the group, is interactive and extremely knowledgeable. Motivational Interviewing is truly relevant to each person in Head Start, regardless of their role. I would recommend her training to any program that cares about its staff’s ability to learn the skill of working with parents in an approach that makes a difference."
– Robin Williams & Erin Schafer | Olympic ESD Head Start/EHS | Bremerton
"I have known Jonnae for the past four years. Our participants have included MSW counselors, chemical dependency counselors, juvenile justice counselors, educational advocates, homeless liaisons, as well as school nurses and teachers. Jonnae is an excellent trainer! She keeps the pace upbeat, and mixes her methods of teaching; moving between PowerPoint presentations, lectures, stories, discussions, think time, individual work, role-plays for both large and small groups, as well as debriefing. Jonnae works to engage all participants at a comfortable level, pushing them to try new phrases, techniques, and strategies. Each person feels empowered to try the new skills."
– Susan Martin | Educational Service District 105