"AzAEYC sets the gold standard in leadership, driving early childhood education forward in our state. Through work such as NAEYC’s Power to the Profession movement, our field is moving toward a unified framework for knowledge, competencies, qualifications, standards, and compensation. This work is so important, but there is still much to be done. By creating a professional identity for the field and setting appropriate expectations, everyone will be in a better position to serve young children.

- Ann Marie Marino, AzAEYC Vice President of Professional Development

About us 

The Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children (AzAEYC) is a professional membership organization that supports the early childhood workforce in Arizona. 

Team AzAEYC works hard to help elevate the early education profession in our state. We fund scholarships and advocate for better pay. We support those who want to advance their professional career path. 

We provide professional development opportunities so that early ed teachers can stay current with new advances in brain science and connect this research directly to developmentally appropriate practices in the classroom.

"People that work in early childhood education, we do it because we love it, we have a passion for it, the heart for it and the patience for it. It’s a job not many can do. Just receiving the scholarship award from AzAEYC really validated that I am where I am supposed to be."

- M. Esmeralda Carrillo, Rhian Evans Allvin and Joshua J. Allen Scholarship Awardee, 2018. 


Many early childhood teachers — even those who hold college degrees — do not earn a living wage. In 2018, the median hourly wage for child care workers in Arizona was $11.24. For preschool teachers, the median wage was $13.42, and for preschool or child care center directors, the median wage was $18.05. 

Our members strive to build their careers by seeking continuing education options. AzAEYC offers professional development opportunities and scholarships so that financial challenges are not a barrier to advancement. 

Providing a quality learning environment for young children is every bit as complex, and important, as teaching any of the upper level grades. But many still treat early educators as babysitters. We are working to change that!

Assuring that those who work in the field of early childhood education are well-prepared to meet the needs of our young learners with a curriculum that will match new brain research is critical not only for children and their families, but for our future.

"Decisions we make at a high level for our state for children are important. And then I go home and I’m with my daughter and it makes those decisions very, very real. Being able to afford quality, caring about the teachers —  it is very personal for me."

-Nicol Russell, NAEYC Board Member-at-Large and Director of Head Start Research & Support for Teaching Strategies, LLC.


Donations during 2020 have made a great impact on the #ECE profession! Here are just a few highlights of what AzAEYC has accomplished over the past year:

-We collaborated with state partners to secure $36M in flexible childcare grants through DES from the CARES Act
- We produced over 30 videos featuring early childhood educators, students, and administrators. Well over half of the videos featured the voices of Black, Brown, and Indigenous professionals. Videos available at: bit.ly/AzAEYCYoutube.
- We reached 1,500 early childhood educators, administrators, students, and community champions through training with AECEA, CCR&R, SAZAEYC, and other community partners. Topics included how to build relationships with elected officials, the state and federal early childhood landscape, and resources and support during the pandemic.

AzAEYC helps to sponsor networking and advocacy events such as the Week of the Young Child and Early Childhood Legislative Day. We seek innovative opportunities to support the early childhood workforce statewide, including our shared services web platform, AZToolkit.

We participate in early childhood advocacy efforts in Arizona as a productive collaborator and partner — pursuing opportunities for innovative projects that fit the mission and forward-moving direction of AzAEYC.

AzAEYC is a state affiliate of the National Education for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

All donations are tax deductible. 


Meet some of the fundraisers that are part of this campaign

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