Per Montgomery County: The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Child Care Support Services (CCSS) is seeking nominees for its first-ever presentation of the Montgomery County Early Care and Education Excellence Awards. Nominations are due by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Self-nominations are encouraged. The awards were established by the County in partnership with all County early care and education associations to recognize and honor those dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to ensure that the County’s youngest children (ages birth to 5) receive the highest quality early care and education. Award selections will be made by a panel of child care organization representatives. Awardees will be honored at the Montgomery County Early Care and Education Fall Conference in October.
“We know that quality early education is critical to the development of a child and leads to lifelong benefits,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Those who receive positive guidance in their early years are more likely to pursue higher education, attain better jobs and live healthier lives. Educators who demonstrate exceptional service should be recognized, and I am glad that DHHS has created this awards program. I encourage everyone to participate in nominating their favorite early childhood educator.”
There are five nomination categories:
- Infant and Toddler Educator Award. Honors a center-based or family child care teacher or assistant teacher who cares for children birth to age 3.
- Preschool Educator Award. Honors a center-based or family child care preschool teacher or assistant teacher who cares for children ages 3-5.
- Before and After School Educator Award. Honors a center-based or family child care teacher or assistant teacher who cares for children before and after the school day.
- Educator Support Professional Award. Honors a center-based or family childcare teacher’s aide or supportive professional who cares for children birth to age 5.
- Innovative Leadership Award. Honors an innovative leader or innovative organization in the early care and education system. This leader/organization works to champion inclusive, equitable and quality policies and practices in the field of early care and education; and considers the needs of the child, family and provider in their scope of leadership.
Parents, caregivers, colleagues, directors/administrators, community leaders and others are encouraged to submit a nomination for an early care and education professional. Educators can self-nominate or recommend a fellow educator for this award.
County Executive Elrich, former County Councilmember Nancy Navarro, other members of the Council, Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College launched the Early Care and Education Initiative (ECEI) with an initial County investment of $7 million for the first year. Since then, the ECEI has sought to strengthen the County’s early care and education workforce.