Jean Rustici Memorial Fund

The Jean Rustici Memorial Fund was created in 2016 by a group of Jean’s friends and is sustained by CTAEYC’s willingness to manage the funds and implement the lecture as part of their conference. To memorialize and honor Jean’s impact on Connecticut, her name and passion for early childhood education will continue to be associated with this event, sustaining her impact on young children and early childhood professionals.

The Jean Rustici Endowed Lecture honors, celebrates, and preserves the memory and influence of Jean Rustici as a champion of early childhood professionals, the Connecticut Association for the Education of Young Children, quality early childhood education, and children and families everywhere.

Your donations will help sustain Jean’s memory and influence early childhood professionals in Connecticut. Tax deductible donations may be sent to CTAEYC, 1185 South Main Street, Cheshire, CT 06410. Please note that your donation is for the Jean Rustici Memorial Lecture.  You can also opt to donate online by clicking the link below.

Who was Jean Rustici?

A native of Connecticut, Jean graduated from Smith College in 1947, and earned graduate degrees from Columbia University. Her mother started a day care in her home during the depression, which Jean later turned into a highly regarded nursery school that continued operating until the 1980’s.

Jean was heavily involved in establishing the original Head Start program and worked for the Connecticut State Department of Education and for the Yale University Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy.

Jean was an active NAEYC member and leader, and a stalwart advocate for NAEYC’s accreditation program, nudging the state forward to have the third greatest percentage of accredited centers in the country.

Jean loved and supported CTAEYC. In the spirit of being a learner and leader, Jean was a mentor to cascades of young professionals in Connecticut and further afield, imbuing us with her passion for, sheer delight in, and knowledge about young children.


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