2020 - Heartfelt Impressions -- Lake Orion Campus



2016 - Music Makes the World Go Round -- Woodlawn Preschool


2015 - The Language of Clay: A Community Project -- Child Development Laboratories of Michigan State University


The Jacquelyn H. Miller Endowment is a fund established in memory of a past president of Michigan AEYC, and founder of The Discovery Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Throughout her professional life, Jacki was an advocate for children and for the people who care for them. Her commitment to excellence, in her own child care center, as well as her leadership of Michigan AEYC, was and continues to be an inspiration to many.

Through the endowment, Michigan AEYC provides recognition and encouragement for excellence and innovation in early childhood education. Each year, the Michigan AEYC Governing Board will distribute funds generated from endowment income based on the recommendation of its standing committee on Awards.

The Jacquelyn H. Miller Endowment awards grants selected from proposals submitted by members of Michigan AEYC who work in licensed child care programs in Michigan.  Each proposed project must focus on one of two general areas which were of particular interest to Jacki: Children and the Arts and/or Play Environments for Young Children; and be new or creative in the field of early childhood.

Proposal Requirements

The application and all supporting materials must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. on November 1, 2023.

  • All grant projects must take place in a licensed child care program in Michigan and have a focus on one of two general areas which were of particular interest to Jacki: Children and the Arts and Play Environments for Young Children.
  • Each proposed project must:
    • Benefit children and those who care for them.
    • Be outside the scope of other Michigan AEYC programs.
    • Demonstrate excellence and innovation in early childhood education.
    • Be submitted by two Michigan AEYC members. (Membership will be verified by the Michigan AEYC office.)

Proposal Guidelines

  • There must be two names submitted with each proposal, a primary applicant (Project Director), and secondary applicant. Both applicants must be members of Michigan AEYC. This is a safeguard in the event that the primary applicant moves or is unable to assume responsibility for the project between the time of submission of the proposal and the award of the grant. Signatures of both applicants must be included and uploaded with the application.
  • The person who has authority to commit the program to the completion of this project (i.e., director or licensee) must also sign the application.
  • Each proposal must include:
    • Cover letter:  briefly describing the early childhood program; giving background information relevant to the project; and if appropriate, explaining any concerns over licensing reports.
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation:  indicating support of the project, the need for the project, and/or the ability of the applicant to carry out the project.  Each letter should include the writer’s full name and contact information as well as how they are connected to the applicant/project.
      • We encourage at least one letter to be from a current Michigan AEYC member.
      • One letter could come from the child care program owner, director, or chair of the board.
      • Letters can come from staff at an agency/organization that supports early childhood (i.e. food program, Great Start to Quality, etc.) a parent, or others who are familiar with the early childhood program.
    • Current Michigan AEYC Governing Board members or employees may not apply for a Jacquelyn H. Miller Endowment Fund Grant as the primary or secondary applicant. A Governing Board member may, however, write a letter of support for a proposed project.
    • Each proposal must be no longer than five (5) typewritten pages.
    • All products/materials must include the statement “Made possible by a grant from the Jacquelyn H. Miller Endowment Fund of the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children.” If the grant-funded project includes:
      • A number of materials in an area of the early childhood program, a sign in the area with the above statement will be sufficient;
      • Any print materials (social media announcements; newspaper articles; handouts; etc.) need to include the above statement.
    • Each proposal must include the following section headings:
      • Project description:  (include detailed description of the project and number of children impacted by the project)
      • Relevance to endowment focus areas: Children and the Arts or Play Environments for Young Children. Explain how this is a new or creative project for the early childhood program.
      • Justification of need: How will this project enhance the experience of the children you serve? Please share how this project will be helpful to the particular children you serve or how it will close the gaps in experiences your children have. How might it benefit the broader early childhood community?
      • Timeline and Procedures: Describe the time it will take to complete the project from start to finish detailing what will happen at each point on the timeline.
      • Involvement of Michigan AEYC members: How will you share what you have done within the Michigan AEYC community?
      • Line-item budget(see budget template)
      • Budget narrative(see budget template)

Budget Requirements (Click here to access the budget template)

  • Individual grants may range up to $1500
  • Upload the budget forms:  detailing income and expenses:
    • If there are personnel costs, please itemize and provide justification.
    • Materials to be purchased must be individually described and priced in the narrative, but can be grouped together as art materials, outdoor toys or the like on the budget form.
    • If funds are being requested from other sources in addition to Michigan AEYC, please indicate the source and dollar amount of other requests.
    • Requests of funds for ongoing operation of existing programs or a refunding of identical programs will not be considered.
    • Indicate how the proposed project will be changed if all sources of projected funds are not available.
    • If a proposed budget item appears excessive for the nature of the project, the Awards Committee may eliminate the budget item from consideration.
    • Debt incurred by any applicants is the sole responsibility of those applicants.

Selection Process

  • Each proposal is evaluated by the Awards Committee using a grant rubric.
  • Recommendations of the Awards Committee are made to the Michigan AEYC Governing Board for its review and approval.
  • Each proposal must address one or both of the Endowment focus areas: Children and the Arts or Play Environments for Young Children
  • Each proposal will be rated on the following criteria:
  •  Cover letter
  • Project description
  • Relevance to endowment focus areas
  • Justification of need
  • Timeline and procedures
  • Involvement of Michigan AEYC members
  • Budget
  • Letters of recommendation

Final Report and Presentation

A final report will be due in June the year after the project is funded and must include:

  • A written description of the steps taken to plan, implement, and complete the project accompanied by an evaluation of the effectiveness of the project.
  • A final budget detailing how the money was spent.
  • Photographs, a video, press release, newspaper article or other similar documentation describing the results of the project, copy of training material and/or handouts completed, conference brochure showing how the project was shared.
  • Short video or engaging PPT presentation of the project from start to completion to be showcased on the Michigan AEYC website or face-to-face/virtual presentation of the completed project at the annual Michigan AEYC conference. Presentation at the annual Michigan AEYC conference will follow the completion and implementation of the project.
  • Participants in any of the above will need to sign a media release form.

Review the scholarship scoring rubric here.