OCAEYC 2024 Awards & Grants

To recognize and support the outstanding leadership and work of the Early Learning Community servicing families and children 0-3rd grade. Only current OCAEYC members are eligible to apply for grants as well as the nominees for outstanding professionals. All grants and awards will be announced at our Annual Conference in March 2024. More Information to come regarding the Annual Conference.


Play Matters

This grant is for an ECE professional who supports play-based learning in the classroom or at their center. The awardee will specify how they support play and how they use play as a base for learning. The $300 is to be used for classroom enhancement or further training on the importance of play.

Advocacy Matters

This grant is for an ECE professional who supports advocacy in the field. The awardee will specify how they advocate for the profession and how they plan to continue to support advocacy. The $300 is to be used for continued professional development geared towards advocacy.

Education Matters

This grant is for an ECE professional who is enrolled in a college degree course (AA/AS or BA/BS) in the field of Early Childhood. The $300 is to be used for college expenses,tuition, or books. Proof of enrollment in higher education required.


Outstanding ECE Professional or Program Award
(Four awards available)

The Outstanding early childhood education professional or program* is an individual or entity nominated by their peer(s) that strives to support the core values of the Orange County Association for the Education of Young Children (OCAEYC). These individuals/programs go above and beyond what is normally required of themselves and their work to ensure that all children, families, and communities have equitable access to developmentally appropriate high quality early learning. Awardees receive free conference registrant for the following year. Individual(s) align with one or more of the OCAEYC core values;

1. Support professionals working with children birth-eight;

2. Advocate high standards of and improve working conditions in programs for young children;

3. Promote public understanding of issues effecting children and families;

4. Keep informed of and collaborate with other groups concerned with the welfare and education of young children;

5. Strive to build a strong, diverse and inclusive organization.


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