Childcare Excellence Awards

Cash Achievement Awards for Early Childcare Educators

The Cloudsplitter Foundation has created a Childcare Excellence Award Program to recognize those dedicated educators who have demonstrated commitment to both providing high quality early childcare education for children aged birth to three years and continually improving the standards of education and care they provide. One objective of the award program is to improve childhood education and early childhood education outcomes by promoting participation by educators in the QUALITYstarsNY training and certification program. A second objective, in addition to recognizing the hard work and dedication of early childcare educators, is to foster continued improvement and retention of such high-quality educators. Eligible participants may be nominated for multiple $2,000 cash achievement awards as they progress through the QUALITYstarsNY program.

The Childcare Excellence Awards are an outgrowth of Cloudsplitter’s continued investment in the Adirondack Birth-to-Three (BT3) Alliance. Administered through the Adirondack Foundation, the BT3 Alliance has, among other accomplishments, expanded access to QUALITYstarsNY programs and helped to fund a regional QUALITYstarsNY Improvement Specialist for the North Country.

This pilot program will measure the impact of cash achievement awards on recruiting, retention, and quality improvement. The initial 125 awards will be made available through the Cloudsplitter Foundation. Additional funders are being encouraged to join the program to make more awards available.

Program Details

  • Any employee of a fully-qualified early childhood education and childcare provider, including sole proprietorships, operating in Clinton, Essex, or Franklin Counties, or in the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne within the State of New York, that is engaged in full-time educational activities and whose employer participates in the QUALITYstarsNY program is eligible for this award.
  • Additional territorial coverage will depend on the success of the initial program.
  • Awards are made directly to the educator and not to the employer, in recognition of the educator’s efforts in helping their fully-qualified early childhood education and childcare provider employer achieve qualification for or progression to the next level in the QUALITYstarsNY program.
  • Awardees must have been engaged full-time in educational activities, but in no event less than 25 hours per week, during the QUALITYstarsNY Program certification period.

Award Process

  • Childcare educators are eligible for awards when their employer achieves qualification for the QUALITYstarsNY program and for additional awards as they progress along the five-star quality improvement path.
  • Progress along the QUALITYstarsNY five-star rating path is based on a point system. When an employer has achieved enough points to advance, even provisionally, to a higher level, the employees become eligible for awards in recognition of their hard work in achieving that status on behalf of their employer.
  • Eligible persons are nominated for an award by their QUALITYstarsNY Quality Improvement Specialist.
  • Childcare educators that are self-employed or employed in sole proprietorships are eligible.
  • Nominations include the awardee’s contact information and qualifications for an award.
  • Award certificates are authorized for select nominees by a Selection Committee comprised of representatives from the Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country and the QUALITYstarsNY Program.
  • The determination that a QUALITYstarsNY participant has qualified for an award is the sole responsibility of the Selection Committee, in its sole discretion.
  • For each awardee, the Selection Committee will prepare a certified award certificate, signed by the Selection Committee Chair, and attach the original Nomination Application submitted in support of the awardee.
  • Once received by the Awardee, Award certificates become active once countersigned by the awardee.
  • Fully countersigned Award certificates are redeemed by awardees upon submittal to the sponsoring foundation.
  • Nomination and Award certificate forms are linked below.

This announcement does not constitute an offer or commitment. This is just a summary. For full rules and eligibility requirements of the Childcare Excellence Award Program, the guidelines for the award program are linked here.

The BT3 Alliance was founded to improve the lives of children under four, based on studies that show that the first 1000 days of life are the most important in a child’s development. In 2014, Cloudsplitter Foundation, Adirondack Foundation and other partners joined to establish BT3 (the Birth to Three Alliance), which crosses boundaries to bring together agencies and childcare providers toward the goal of giving every child the best possible start in life. For more information, visit, Kate Ryan at 518-523-9904.

The Cloudsplitter Foundation is a 501c3 registered charity that since 1987 has been dedicated to proving the lives, economies, and environment in the Adirondack Park. For more information, please contact Chenelle Palyswiat at +1 518-992-4900 or email: