DCC Acting Assistant Director Lela Wendell and AECEA Executive Director Barbie Prinster.
The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) Division of Child Care (DCC) was recently awarded the first-ever Arizona Early Childhood Education Association (AECEA) Community Leadership Award.
The AECEA represents child care providers across the state, and works to promote affordable, quality early care and education that meets the needs of Arizona’s families and children. Arizona child care providers and those who support the child care network gathered for the AECEA annual meeting on November 10, 2022, to discuss all things child care and to celebrate accomplishments made within the community throughout the past year.
Following a presentation by Acting Assistant Director Lela Wendell, which outlined DCC updates and its programs, she and the DCC team were presented with the award. The annual conference was the first in-person conference for AECEA in two years.This award recognizes the hard work and dedication of DCC’s staff through challenging times for Arizona’s child care providers.
The AECEA 2022 Community Leadership Award
“[The award] was really around the true collaboration that our division put forth when the pandemic first happened,” explained Lela. “Since March 12, 2020, all the way through many iterations and plans, [everything was] put together in collaboration with our child care providers and sister agencies, so that was really the highlight of the award.”
The award highlights the work put forth by the entire division. From the $1.3 billion in child care relief funding, to the Child Care Stabilization Grant that offered providers an opportunity to increase wages and stabilize workforces, the AECEA and Arizona’s child care community showed their gratitude through the award.
Senior Child Care Administrator, Stacy Reinstein, was appreciative of the award and the dedication shown by DCC staff, especially those who are more behind the scenes than others.
“Our staff,across the state sometimes don't get to hear, touch, see or feel the impact of their work, and while this is an award, like a physical trophy, behind it is really the meaning of their dedication and the heart for doing work in this field,” said Stacy.
For more information about DES child care services, visit the DCC website.