Scholarships, Awards, & RFPs

The Sandra J. Skolnik Public Policy Leadership Award

March 10, 2014

To recognize the accomplishments of one outstanding individual who contributes to realizing Child Care Aware® of America's vision of a nation that supports the development and learning of all children by leading efforts to improve public policy.

The Sandra J. Skolnik Public Policy Leadership Award was established in 2008 to honor the life and work of Sandra J. Skolnik. Sandy was a recognized leader at local, state, and national levels. As the Executive Director of the Maryland Committee for Children for over thirty years, Sandy was instrumental in growing the organization from a part-time staff of two, to a staff of over 75 and a $10 million annual budget. Sandy pioneered the development of the Maryland Child Care Resource Network, a private-public partnership that continues to provide needed services for Maryland's families with young children. Above all, Sandy was a passionate visionary and a dedicated advocate for quality child care and education for young children.


  • Nominee must be current or former Child Care Resource & Referral staff or board members.
  • Candidates nominated but not selected in previous years are also eligible for consideration.
  • Previous award winners are not eligible.
  • Elected officials are not eligible for consideration.

Selection Criteria
The selected candidate will be an individual who embodies any or all of the following:

  • Is a leader, either locally or within a state on behalf of child care and early education.
  • Works to build a grassroots network in support of child care and early childhood education.
  • Leads parent engagement projects and educates the community about the need to improve the lives of all children in general and in particular the lives of young children.
  • Leads a steadfast effort to work with state and local legislators; Governors; and, elected members of the U.S. House and Senate on behalf of children, particularly young children.
  • Is a strong advocate with a vision for improving the lives of young children.

Selection Process

  • Nominations will be reviewed by a subset of Child Care Aware of America's Board of Directors who will make a final recommendation to the Board of Directors for final approval.
  • Nominations will be scored based on the degree to which the application demonstrates substantial efforts in one or more of the areas described in the Selection Criteria section.


  • The selection will be announced and receive an award at Child Care Aware® of America's Annual Policy Symposium in Washington, DC.
  • The award recipient will be featured in Child Care Aware® of America's E-News, and also named in the Annual Report.
  • The name of the recipient will be added under the appropriate year to a perpetual plaque for all Sandra J. Skolnik award winners displayed at Child Care Aware® of America's headquarters.

Nomination Submission Guidelines

  • Any Child Care Aware® of America member, with the exception of current Child Care Aware® of America staff, may nominate an individual for the Sandra J. Skolnik Award. Self-nominations are allowed.
  • Only complete application packages will be considered. Application packages must include the Nomination Form, Nomination Letter, and all required supporting documents. Additional supporting documents may be included, but the total application package cannot exceed 10 single-spaced, single-sided pages.

Nomination Letter

  • The Nomination Letter should include the name, title, organization (if applicable), and complete contact information for both the nominee and the individual writing the letter, and describe the professional relationship between the nominee and nominator (except in the case of selfnomination.) The Nomination Letter should reflect as much as possible about the nominee's accomplishments and services in support of children and families.
  • At a minimum, the Nomination Letter should answer the following questions:
    • What innovations in public policy has the nominee developed that improve the lives of children and families?
    • How long has the nominee worked on behalf of children and families?
    • How has the nominee's leadership and vision helped change public policy and influence attitudes in support of affordable, high-quality child care and early education?
    • What impact have the nominee's efforts had in the community, state, or Nation?

Supporting Documentation

  • Current resume and bio for nominee.
  • A letter of support from a current member of Child Care Aware® of America's State Network or
    Membership Councils.
  • Two additional letters of support from community, state or national leaders.
  • Optional supporting documents may include newspaper articles, press releases, additional letters of support, etc. Videos, bound publications, and notebooks should not be submitted.
  • Supporting documents will not be accepted after the application deadline.

For more information (including selection criteria and submission requirements), download:

The deadline for application is March 12, 2014
An email submission of the completed application package should be sent to Bea Underwood at