Elita Amini Virmani

Associate Professor

Elita Amini Virmani
Elita Amini Virmani


Stevenson 2008

Office Hours


Elita Amini Virmani is an Associate Professor at Sonoma State University in the Department of Early Childhood Studies. Prior to joining Sonoma State University, she was the Director of Training for the Program for Infant/Toddler Care at WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies where she developed trainings and materials geared toward improving teacher, trainer, home visitor and parent capacity for sensitive, responsive, and reflective practice. In 2016, Amini Virmani was recognized as an Exceptional Emerging Leader by the Exchange Child Care Magazine's Leadership Initiative.

Dr. Amini Virmani aims to support the social-emotional health and well-being of young children through relationship-based intervention. In particular she is focused on ways that reflective practice and supervision promote parent and teacher capacity to see from the child’s point of view. Amini Virmani believes that as we learn to see from the child’s perspective we gain important insights into ways to be more sensitive and attuned to supporting their healthy social-emotional growth and development. Dr. Amini Virmani sees it as our social responsibility to ensure that all young children are seen for who they are and honored for who they are, central to which is their cultural and linguistic identity.

  • PhD Human Development, University of California, Davis, September 2009
  • MS Child Development, University of California, Davis, September 2005
  • BS Human Development with High Honors, University of California, Davis, September 2002
  • BA Spanish with Honors, University of California, Davis, September 2002
Academic Interests
  • Social-emotional development of young children
  • Infant mental health
  • Professional development of early care and education workforce
  • Parent-child interactions
  • Infant/toddler/preschooler teacher-child interactions
  • Reflective practice and supervision
  • Culturally responsive care and practices
  • Family engagement


  • Infant-Toddler Development (EDEC 411)
  • Child Observation with Field Experience (EDEC 220)
  • Senior Portfolio (EDEC 478)
  • Associate Professor, Department of Early Childhood Studies, Sonoma State University
  • Director of Training, Program for Infant/Toddler Care, Center for Child and Family Studies, WestEd
  • Co-Director, Parent Involvement Project, Center for Child and Family Studies, WestEd
  • Director of PITC Home Visiting Institutes and Senior Research Associate, Center for Child and Family Studies, WestEd
  • Instructor, Department of Child and Adolescent Development, San Francisco State University & Child Studies Department, West Valley College
  • Clinical Intern, UCSF Infant Parent Program and Day Care Consultants at S.F. General, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, California
  • Lead Teacher in the Toddler Room and Student Teacher in Infant and Toddler Room, Center for Child and Family Studies, Department of Human and Community Development, University of California, Davis, CA
Selected Publications & Presentations


  • Virmani, E.A., Hatton-Bowers, H.N., Lombardi, C.M., Decker, K., King, E.K., Potter, S.I., Vallotton, C.D., CUPID (under review). What are the interrelationships among aspects of preservice early care and education students’ social-emotional well-being and competence and how do they relate to developmentally supportive responses for infants and toddlers? Early Education and Development.
  • Virmani, E.A., Wiese, A., Mangione, P. (2016). Pathways to Relational Family Engagement with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families: Can Reflective Practice Guide Us? Advances in Early Education and Day Care, Vol. 20 (John Sutterby, Ed.). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • Raikes, H.A., Virmani, E.A., Thompson, R.A., Hatton, H. (2013). Declines in Peer Conflict from Preschool through First Grade: Influences from Early Attachment and Social Information Processing. Attachment and Human Development, 15(1), 65-82.
  • Virmani, E.A., Masyn, K.A., Thompson, R.A., Conners-Burrow, N. Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2013). Early childhood mental health consultation: Promoting change in the quality of teacher-child interactions. Infant Mental Health Journal, 34(2), 156-172.
  • Thompson, R. A., Virmani, E.A., Waters, S. F., Meyer, S., & Raikes, A. (2013). The development of emotion self-regulation: The whole and the sum of the parts. In K. Barrett, N. A. Fox, G. A. Morgan, D. J. Fidler, & L. A. Daunhauer (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulatory processes in development: New directions and international perspectives (pp. 5-26) New York: Taylor & Francis.
  • Conners-Burrow, N.A., Whiteside-Mansell, L., McKelvey, L., Virmani, E.A., & Sockwell, L. (2012). Improved classroom quality and child behavior in an Arkansas early childhood mental health consultation pilot project. Infant Mental Health Journal, 33 (3), 256-264.
  • Virmani, E. A., & Ontai, L. (2010). Supervision and training in child care: Does reflective supervision foster caregiver insightfulness? Infant Mental Health Journal, 31 (1), 16-32.
  • Ontai, L.L., & Virmani, E.A. (2010). Predicting elements of early maternal elaborative discourse from 12 to 18 months of age. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 98-111.
  • Waters, S., Virmani, E.A., Meyer, S., Raikes, H.A., Jochem, R., & Thompson, R.A. (2010). Emotion regulation and attachment: Unpacking two constructs and their association. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment (Special section on The Assessment of Emotion Regulation: Improving Construct Validity in Research on Psychopathology in Youth), 32(1), 37- 47.


  • Thompson, R. A. & Virmani, E. A. (2012). Socioemotional development. In V.S. Ramachandran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior (2nd Ed.). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.
  • Thompson, R.A., & Virmani, E.A. (2010). Self and personality. In M.H. Bornstein (Ed.). Handbook of Cultural Developmental Science (pp.175-187). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.


  • Virmani, E.A., Mangione, P.L., Monahan, K. (Project Leads). (2015). California Preschool Program Guidelines. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education.
  • Virmani, E.A., Mangione, P.L. (Eds.). (2013). Program for Infant/toddler Caregiving: A Guide to Culturally Sensitive Care (second edition). Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education.
  • Lally, J.R., Virmani, E.A. (2012). Learning During the Early Months. In Program for Infant/Toddler Caregiving: A Guide to Cognitive Development and Learning (Second Edition).


  • Virmani, E.A., Freebairn-Smith, Maria (2019, February). Helping Young Children Help Themselves: Using Restorative Justice to Teach Conflict Resolution. Sonoma County Early Learner’s Conference, Santa Rosa, CA.
  • Mangione, P.L., Lally, R.J, Virmani, E.A. (2017, November). Understanding temperament: A window for creating nurturing relationships with infants and toddlers. NAEYC Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.
  • Sparrow, J., Virmani, E.A., Sciarrino, C., Chan, S., White, R. (2016, November). Reflective Practice in Real-Time: Deepening the Dialogue to Strengthen Relationships. Child Health, Education, and Care Summit: From Partnerships to Impact, First 5 CA, Sacramento, California.
  • Wiese, A., Virmani, E.A., Mangione, P. (2015, December). Parent Involvement Project: Reflective Practice and Family Engagement. National Head Start Association Parent and Family Engagement Conference, San Diego, California.