January 12, 2022

Apply: PA Equity in Early Childhood Education Champion Awards

Applications and nominations are now being accepted for the Pennsylvania’s Equity in Early Childhood Education Champion Awards.

The awards recognize individuals or programs that have demonstrated support to children and their families through: embracing diversity and full inclusion as strengths, upholding fundamental principles of fairness and justice, and/or working to eliminate structural inequities that limit equitable learning opportunities.

About the Awards

The awards bring awareness to and highlight the equity work being done within Pennsylvania’s early childhood education and afterschool settings, and by child care, evidence-based home visiting and early intervention professionals, as it aligns with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Equity and Inclusion Toolkit, and with the position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education Position Statement.


The following are categories of eligible entities. All must be physically located and operating within Pennsylvania, and providing services to Pennsylvania’s children.

  • Individuals: Individuals, employed at a Pennsylvania certified/licensed child care, afterschool, Early Intervention, or an Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) funded Family Support program. Individuals must be employed at the eligible program at the time of submission.

  • Early Childhood Education/Child Care and Afterschool: Programs must be certified/licensed by Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), and in good standing with DHS at time of submission. In addition, a Federal Head Start/Early Head Start grantee that operates a program that is certified/licensed by DHS may submit a nomination for the DHS certified/licensed program. Nomination categories include:

    • Child Care Center

    • Group Child Care Home

    • Family Child Care Home

    • Afterschool Program

  • Early Intervention: Programs providing Early Intervention services and supports are eligible to submit a nomination as it relates to early intervention services and equity.

  • OCDEL funded Family Support programs


Submissions can be an application (apply on your own or a program/organization’s behalf), or nomination (submit another individual or program/organization) to be acknowledged for their work around equity in the early childhood education or afterschool setting. Self-applications are accepted.

Applications/nominations and any supporting documentation will be submitted via electronic online submission process only. Applications may be submitted in English or in Spanish. All applications must be submitted by 5 pm, February 7, 2022.

Each completed submission will receive an official signed and framed certificate of placement level (Gold, Silver, Bronze) from OCDEL, appropriate for display. Completed submissions will also receive electronic copy and supporting images for their own digital use on websites, social media, electronic communications, etc.

Completed submissions will be promoted during April 2022 Month of the Young Child, with promotion by OCDEL.

More Information

Visit the Pennsylvania Key website for more information.

A group of young children sit together in a circle on the ground, writing on pieces of paper and talking to an early learning professional.