Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$

A young girl walks on a bridge
CCSA
Jennifer Gioia

Black History Month and Early Childhood Educators

In celebration of Black History Month, it is essential to lift up the important work every day of the early childhood workforce, a majority of which in North Carolina are individuals of color. In fact, in North Carolina, nearly three-quarters (73%) of family child care providers are individuals of color. And, to be fully transparent, about 99% of the early education workforce are women.

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Headshot of a woman
AWARD$
Jennifer Gioia

“I Do Make A Difference:” Appreciating AWARD$ with Angie Amaro

“Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® has made me feel as if I do make a difference in my place of work and in the lives of the children and families I give care to. It means a lot, knowing someone appreciates what I have a heart’s desire to do and is supportive of me through this program.”

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Selfie of a smiling woman
AWARD$
Jennifer Gioia

Mama Lissa’s Tiny Tot University: Blessed During COVID-19

“I’m very fortunate because I am an essential worker and I’ve been working since day one, and we are lucky that no one has gotten sick,” said Melissa (Missy) Hamrick, director of Cleveland County’s Mama Lissa’s Tiny Tot University.

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Tonya Martin photo
AWARD$
Jennifer Gioia

Stepping Back from the Edge

As an infant-toddler educator, Tonya struggles with critically low pay and she works an additional part-time job to survive. It is a constant and ongoing challenge, but her passion for young children drives her.

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