ChildCareGroup Joins Dallas Early Childhood Leaders to ‘Honor the Profession’

ChildCareGroup and leaders in the early childhood development field came together to recognize Dallas-area early childhood professionals for their extraordinary talents and dedication.  The “Honoring the Profession” awards ceremony and dinner was held Thursday, May 31st at the Dallas Marriott Suites Market Center.  The special evening’s theme was “Teachers Change the Future!” celebrating the outstanding work of early childhood professionals and was sponsored by IBM.

Hundreds of professionals attended the event, recognizing those who play an instrumental part in the educational development of children from birth to age 5.

“Early childhood professionals have a profound impact on the children they serve, greatly affecting their present and future development,” said ChildCareGroup President/CEO, Tori Mannes.  “We want everyone to become more aware of the significance of this profession.  The work they do is so incredibly important – not just to the children served, but to our society’s future.”

View event photos, HERE.

And the winners are…

The Dallas Association for the Education of Young Children (DAEYC) presented a Life Time Achievement Award to Wanda Meshack Smith, CEO of Head Start of Greater Dallas for her vast contributions to the field of early childhood education for the past four decades, touching the lives of close to 90,000 children and their families.


ChildCareGroup’s Sonya Bemporad Excellence in Child Care Award and DAEYC’s Alzenia Hunter Teacher of the Year Award for positive contribution to teaching young children were presented to Maria Caballero, an infant toddler lead teacher at ChildCareGroup Oak Cliff United Methodist Church. She has over 25 years of experience working with young children. Accepting the awards for Maria is Leticia White.

Brenda Pearse, from Ratcliff Learning Center received the ChildCareGroup’s  Elaine Krause Award, recognizing her professional development achievements in the field of early childhood education.

ChildCareGroup’s Health Services Shining Star Award, recognizing an active medical professional dedicated to early childhood development, was presented to Toya Hart, CCG Inclusion Specialist.

DAYEC’s Margaret Cone Award for outstanding impact on children and families was presented to Maria Angeles Sierra-Hernandez from Mi Escuelita Crossover.

The outstanding Trainer of the Year Award was presented to Pamela Arnold, Head Start of Greater Dallas for providing numerous professional development opportunities to child care providers.

The Advocate of the Year Award for outstanding voice for children’s issues was presented to Denetra Adams, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

DAEYC’s Administrator of the Year Award was presented to Kim Barnes, Greenhill School.

 The Pat Kennedy Educator of the Year Award for an outstanding professor in the early childhood field was given to Barbara Hammack, Texas A&M University- Commerce


Joanie Pieper Scholarship Award, for an Educator who has impacted early childhood education was presented to Angel Duncan from Hockaday School.

DAEYC’s Education Scholarship Awards was presented to Nicola Montelongo, Ennis ISD.  


Special Thanks to our Event Sponsors

Bright Horizons
Child Care Licensing
Dallas AEYC
DCCCD-Eastfield College
Head Start of Greater Dallas
Mi Escuelita Preschool
Parker-Chase Preschool

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