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The Latest News for Georgia's Family Child Care Providers

DECAL Extends Early Childhood Educator of the Year Application Period.

From our friends at DECAL:


It is with great excitement that we share some exciting news! The DECAL application for Early Childhood Educator of the Year in the Infant Category (0-18 months) has been extended. This means that you have another opportunity to nominate an amazing Infant teacher from your program.

If you are a program director and work with an Infant teacher who is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young children, their families, and the early childhood education field, nominate them for Georgia’s Early Childhood Educators of the Year program.

The top six finalists (two from each category) will each receive $500 for their personal use, and the top three winners (one from each category) will receive an additional:

  • $3,000 for their personal use,

  • $2,000 for a classroom makeover, and

  • Up to $2,500 for their school to cover travel expenses and stipends for substitute teachers as the teacher fulfills their duties of a Georgia’s Early Childhood Educator of the Year around the state.

To be considered for this honor, the teacher must:

  • Currently be employed as a lead teacher in an infant (0-18 months) classroom at a licensed 2- or 3-star Quality Rated childcare provider that is in good standing with all programs administered by DECAL

  • Have a minimum of three years of experience as a lead teacher

  • Plan to continue as a lead teacher in the 2023-2024 school year

  • Hold an approved credential in the field of early childhood education or a related field (CDA, TCC, TCD, AA, BS, or Ed.)

  • Be willing to participate in an interview and a classroom evaluation (if selected as a finalist)

  • Be willing to serve as an ambassador for Georgia’s Early Childhood Educators of the Year program, including public speaking engagements and activities related to modeling effective classroom practices (if selected as a winner)

  • Be able and willing to travel as needed, including some overnight stays (travel expenses will be reimbursed) (if selected as a winner)

Application Requirements and Information

Applications for Georgia’s Early Childhood Educators of the Year program must be typed and completed in their entirety. Handwritten applications will not be considered, reviewed, or scored. Application scores will not be released to any applicants or the public.

Application Submission

Please complete the application using the SurveyMonkey Apply link below. All applications must be submitted on or before Monday, November 6, 2023 at 5:00PM. Applications that are submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Please click here to access the application.

For questions about Educator of the Year applications, contact Laura Wagner, Executive Director of the Georgia Foundation for Early Care + Learning at

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