Jacquelyn H Miller Endowment

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 from members of Michigan AEYC (individuals or groups) for projects which focus on one of two general areas which were of particular interest to Jacki: Children and the Arts and Play Environments for Young Children.

Proposal Requirements

The application and all supporting materials must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. on June 15, 2021 (deadline extended).

  • All grant projects must take place 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.
  • Proposed projects 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 a Michigan AEYC member. (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 proposal must include:
    • Cover sheet briefly describing the early childhood program and the project
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation indicating support of the project, the needs for the project, and/or the ability of the applicant to carry out the project.
      • One letter must be from another Michigan AEYC member
      • If the primary applicant is not the child care program owner, director, or chair of the board, then one letter must come from one of those individuals.
      • Other 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.
  • Proposals 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.
  • Proposals 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 foci: 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.
    • Anticipated outcomes for children
    • 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 $1200
  • 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 review form.
  • Recommendations of the Awards Committee are made to the Michigan AEYC Governing Board for its review and approval.
  • Proposals must address one or both of the Endowment foci: Children and the Arts or Play Environments for Young Children
  • Proposals will be rated on the following criteria:
    • Clarity and comprehensiveness of the project
    • Clearly documented need for the populations of children served by the program and/or a creative solution in the ECE community.
    • Number of people to be impacted by the project
    • Degree to which the project addresses stated Endowment focus
    • Innovation of project (for the particular community)
    • Realistic plan, timeframe, line item budget, and budget narrative
    • Degree to which children benefit from the project
    • How this project will be shared with others in the early childhood field and/or community.
    • Number of people to be impacted by the project.

Final Report and Presentation

A final report (with presentation for the Michigan AEYC website or at the annual Michigan AEYC conference) will be due in June one 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.
Apply Here!
Click here for the JME Flyer
Click here for a Grant Writing Presentation

Past Award Recipients

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

2016- Music Makes the World Go Round– Woodlawn Preschool

2017-Nature-Based Infant Outdoor Play space– YWCA Kalamazoo