OCAEYC 2024 Grants & Awards

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 nominators and nominees for outstanding professionals. Current Board members are not eligible to nominate or to receive awards. Applications open February 12- March 9, 2024. Awards and grants will be presented at the annual conference at Great Wolf Lodge, Anaheim on March 16, 2024. 

Grants-Monetary Award

Play Matters

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

Advocacy Matters

Advocacy Matters grant is for an ECE professional who supports advocacy in the field. Awardee will specify how they advocate for the profession and how they plan for ongoing support. The $300 is to be used for sustained professional development focused on advocacy. 

Education Matters

Education Matters 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 higher education required.  


Outstanding ECE Professional or Program Award. Up to (3) awards for members & (1) non-member.

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. Individual(s) align with one or more of the NAEYC 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 affecting 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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