Press Releases

Child Care Aware® of America Announces Winner of Leadership Award

April 1, 2014
Child Care Aware® of America Announces Winner of Leadership Award
Linda K. Smith, Early Childhood Education Leader and Advocate, Awarded Sandra J. Skolnik Public Policy Leadership Award
ARLINGTON, Va., April 2, 2014-- Child Care Aware® of America announced Linda K. Smith as the winner of its Sandra J. Skolnik Public Policy Leadership Award at Symposium in Washington, D.C., April 2, 2014.  Smith was given the award in recognition of her unwavering commitment to improving the lives of children, families and communities across the country.
“We are honored to recognize Linda with this award,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America.  “Her leadership and dedication supporting children is respected by all of her colleagues and peers at Child Care Aware® of America and beyond.”
Linda is the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In this role she provides overall policy coordination for the Head Start and Early Head Start Program and the Child Care and Development Fund, as well as serving as the liaison with the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies. Her office serves as a focal point for early childhood policy at the federal level.
Smith previously served as the executive director for the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), where she represented more than 650 community-based agencies concerned with the care of children in their earliest years. Linda Smith led the organization through significant growth and transformation- she was the driving force behind NACCRRA's national policy agenda and strategic plan to improve the quality of child care nationwide. NACCRRA was renamed Child Care Aware® of America in 2012.
The Sandra J. Skolnik Public Policy Leadership Award was established in 2008 to honor the life and work of Sandra J. Skolnik, a passionate visionary and a dedicated advocate for quality child care and education for young children.  It is awarded annually to one outstanding individual who embodies the passion and commitment of Skolnik and contributes to realizing NACCRRA’s vision of a nation that supports the development and learning of all children by leading efforts to improve public policy. 
About Child Care Aware® of America
Child Care Aware® of America is our nation’s leading voice for child care. We work with state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies and community partners to help ensure all families have access to quality, affordable child care. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that strengthen the quality and availability of child care, offer comprehensive training to child care professionals, undertake nationally recognized research, and advocate for child care policies that improve the lives of children and families. To learn more, visit