2024 - First United Methodist Co-Op Nursery


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 through 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, 2024. 
  • 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 who are committed to completing the project. (Membership will be verified by the Michigan AEYC office.)
  • 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.

Sections of the Application

  • General Information
    • Contact information, NAEYC member numbers and signatures of both Primary and Secondary Applicants
    • Contact information about the program including the license number
    • Contact information and signature of the person who has authority to commit the program to the completion of this project (i.e., director or licensee)
    • Focus of project
    • Abstract of the proposal
    • Amount requested
    • Signatures
    • Other comments for committee (optional)
      • Include any information you would like the review committee to know that isn’t covered in an uploaded document.
      • Address concerns, if any, about special investigations and corrective action plans from LARA.
  • Documents to be uploaded
    • Proposal narrative (no longer than six (6) typewritten pages using these section headings)
      • Description of the program: give context to this project by providing a detailed description of the program including characteristics of the children/families and typical activities. Give information about the quality (such as QRIS rating system, accreditation, etc.) and/or professionalism of the program and applicants.
      • Project description:  include a 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 why this project is something new and different. How is this innovative for your program and for other early childhood programs in your area and in Michigan?
      • 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.
      • 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. Discuss how your plans will be modified if other expected, but not yet obtained, funds from grants, donations, fundraising etc. are not received.
      • Sustainability: After the grant monies are expended, how will the project continue to benefit the early childhood program and enrolled children? How will the project be incorporated into the ongoing early childhood program, and how will the enhancements be funded?  If an outside consultant is funded by grant funds, how will existing staff be able to continue the innovation?
      • Supporting replication of the project: How will you share what you have done within the Michigan AEYC community? How will other early childhood programs learn about the innovation in your project? How will you recommend that they replicate the project
  • Proposal budget
    • Individual grantees may request up to $1500
    • Requests of funds for ongoing operation of existing programs or a refunding of identical programs will not be considered.
    • Debt incurred by any applicants is the sole responsibility of those applicants.
    • Upload the budget forms detailing income and expenses: (Click here to access the budget template)
      • 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. Also indicate if these funds have already been committed or if you have not yet received the grants, donations etc. that you are anticipating.  If they have not yet been received, please indicate the approximate date you expect to hear if the funds will be available.
      • If a proposed budget item appears excessive for the nature of the project, the Awards Committee may eliminate the budget item from consideration.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation:  Letters should indicate 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. If the letter is from a member, please include their NAEYC member number.
    • One letter should come from the child care program owner, director, or chair of the board, if they are not the applicant.
    • 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.

 Selection Process

  • Each proposal is evaluated by the Awards Committee using a grant rubric.
    • Description of program: Clarity and comprehensiveness of the description of the program
    • Project description: Clarity and comprehensiveness of the description of the project; how innovative the project is
    • Relevance to endowment focus areas and innovation for the field: the degree to which the project addresses the stated endowment focus; a creative solution in the ECE community
    • Justification of need: Clearly documented need for the populations of children served by the program; degree to which children benefit from the project
    • Timeline and procedures: Realistic plan and timeframe
    • Sustainability: Ability to continue the project beyond the grant
    • Replication of project: How this project will be shared with others in the early childhood field
    • Budget: Complete and realistic line item and narrative budget
    • Letters of recommendation: Total of three (3) letters of recommendation, from appropriate sources providing relevant information on the probability of success of this project
  • Recommendations of the Awards Committee are made to the Michigan AEYC Governing Board for its review and approval.
  • Grants are awarded in January of the following year.

If Project is Funded

  • 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.
  • Final Report will be due one year after grant is received 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 including documentation of expenses.
  • Photographs, a video, social media, 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.