2024 Debbie Antone Memorial Fund Recipient - Saundra Edler & Paula Preston

2023 Debbie Antone Memorial Fund Recipient – Land of the Littles


The Debbie Antone Memorial Fund was established to honor the work and passion of a beloved Michigan AEYC staff member and early childhood advocate who lost her battle to COVID-19.  Throughout her life, Debbie was passionate about the critical importance of supporting family child care providers.  Her commitment to excellence in her own family child care program, her work as a Michigan 4C Association staff member and as a T.E.A.C.H. Counselor for Michigan AEYC were also inspirations.  Through the Debbie Antone Memorial Fund, Michigan AEYC will continue her legacy by providing recognition, encouragement and support for Michigan Early Childhood Educators in licensed home-based programs.

The Debbie Antone Memorial Fund provides grants selected from proposals submitted by Early Childhood Educators in a licensed family or group home child care program in Michigan.  Proposals should focus on one or more of the following areas that Debbie worked continuously to support:  Professional development and/or physical resources/materials to enhance literacy, dramatic play and/or outdoor environments.

Application Requirements and Guidelines

The application must be submitted electronically by 11:59 pm on October 1st, 2024.

 Proposal Guidelines

  • All grant requests must be from a licensed home-based program in Michigan in good standing with Child Care Licensing Bureau of Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
  • All grant requests must focus on one or more of the following areas: Professional development and/or resources/materials to enhance literacy, dramatic play and/or outdoor environments.
  • Two people will be each awarded a grant of $500 or less.
  • In addition to the financial support from the grant, a one-year membership to NAEYC/Michigan AEYC will be provided. After you have enjoyed the benefits of membership for one year, we hope you will continue to be a member of Michigan AEYC.
  • Proposed project must:
    • Be submitted by the licensee of a home-based program in Michigan (either Family Child Care or Group Home Child Care Owner)
    • Focus on one or more of the following:
      • Continuing professional development for yourself and/or staff (Michigan AEYC, NAEYC, or MiRegistry approved professional development opportunities only.)
      • Physical resources/materials to enhance literacy, dramatic play and/or outdoor environments
    • Show budget requirements
      • Materials to be purchased must be individually described and priced in the budget request
      • Requests of funds for ongoing operation of existing programs or a project previously funded by this grant will not be considered.
      • Debt incurred by any applicants is the sole responsibility of those applicants.
    • Current Michigan AEYC Governing Board members or employees may not apply for the Debbie Antone Memorial Fund Award.
    • A final report will be due within one year after the award is given. This report will include:
      • A reflective description of how the grant impacted the awardee and the program
      • A breakdown of all expenditures including receipts
      • A “spotlight” of the project for Michigan AEYC advertisements (website, newsletters, social media, annual conference, etc.) may also be requested

Selection Process

  • Each proposal is evaluated by the Awards Committee using a rubric.
  • Recommendations of the Awards Committee are made to the Michigan AEYC Governing Board for its review and approval.
  • Proposals will be rated on the following criteria:
    • Description of grant applicant and applicant’s program.
    • Overview/description of how the applicant will use the funds.
    • How will it improve the quality of your program?
    • How the request supports your Quality Improvement Process?
    • A complete and detailed budget

We are a 501(c)(3) early childhood non-profit in Michigan dedicated to supporting Michigan’s early childhood educators.