Our Team

Our dynamic team is made up of experts in the field of early childhood education, strategic planning, fiscal stewardship, project management, grant writing and research.

Your agency will be connected with the right people to optimize your success.

Amy Augenblick

Founder and Executive Director

Meet Amy
Amy is the Founder and Executive Director of Foundations for Families. Amy has supported numerous organizations with all aspects of writing Designation Renewal System grants. She works with grantee organizations as a start-up planner, Head Start grant writer, review supporter, and trainer. She is also a consultant for 0-3′s work with ARRA funded Early Head Start programs.

Amy’s tenure at the consulting firms of Arthur Andersen and Ernst and Young established her expertise in business, management and administration. Her experiences as Title One teacher/site manager and child development center director informed her understanding of the day to day practices of early childhood education. At Foundations for Families, Amy brings the best of both worlds together as a consultant, trainer, and project manager.

Amy served on the Board of Directors at Seasons of Hope, an organization which provides community support, education and consulting for issues of grief, loss and transition. She is a past board member of the Board of Directors of Infant Toddler Family Day Care, Inc., the Congressional School and the Ballston Child Care Consortium, Inc., a non-profit group solely dedicated to increasing the availability of high quality, inclusive childcare options for low income families.

Amy is a graduate of Brown University and received a Master’s of Education in Early Childhood Special Education and Elementary Education from Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. She lives in Great Falls, Virginia with her husband and two daughters.

Kelly Schaffer


Kelly Shaffer

Meet Kelly
Kelly Schaffer is a consultant specializing in grant writing, research and communications for Foundations for Families. She has written and contributed to many successful, multi-million dollar federal grant applications. This includes Designation Renewal System (DRS) grant proposals, Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership grants, Head Start/Early Head Start baseline and continuation applications, other federally funded initiatives, as well as grant proposals to private foundations and organizations.

Kelly has worked in or supporting the field of early care and education for over 10 years. Prior to joining Foundations for Families Kelly implemented early childhood obesity prevention initiatives at Nemours Children’s Health System. She also worked at the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, managing multiple statewide initiatives and helping to develop the state’s quality rating and improvement system.

In 2012, Kelly received The Assistant Secretary’s ACF Honor Award – Partnering for HHS Excellence Award from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. She has a Masters of Education in Risk and Prevention from Harvard University and a B.S. in Management from Boston College.

Patti Greenstein

Consultant and Trainer

Meet Patti

Patti is a consultant and trainer for Foundations for Families with a focus on program management, systems planning, early childhood development, staff professional development, and preparing HS and EHS grantees for federal monitoring reviews. Patti started in the field of early childhood as a preschool teacher and for over 20 years has been dedicated to supporting teachers, caregivers, and program leaders as they work to turn theory and regulations into practice and implement the most effective programs for young children and their families. She has extensive experience and expertise creating professional development resources and delivering data-driven training and technical assistance for diverse groups of adult learners.

Patti is a seasoned HS/EHS professional, content expert, and community child care leader. She brings the perspective of a former OHS TA specialist, curriculum/instruction/assessment manager for a state level office of learning, and a multi-site, private center director. Patti is also a CLASS Certified Observer.

Patti earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and has an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.


Julie Shuell

Senior Consultant

Meet Julie

Julie is a consultant for Foundations for Families, providing support to Head Start and Early Head Start grantees applying to for new and continued funding. Julie specializes in technical assistance, program design, grant writing and partnerships strategies.

Julie has 20 years of management and leadership experience in child care, Head Start/EHS, and parent support. Previously, she served as Nemours’ Project Director of The National Early Care & Education Learning Collaborative, a Center Disease Control funded initiative.

For six years, Julie worked as the Director of National Child Care Information & Technical Assistance Center and the National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement. These projects were funded by the Office of Child Care and provided support to state and territorial grantees on implementation of the Child Care Development Block grant.

Julie led more than 100 staff in the Early Childhood Division of a community based agency where she developed and operated child care, home visiting, Early Head Start and Head Start programs in a variety of jurisdictions. She has also worked at the National Head Start Association and served on numerous advisory committees related to home visiting and Head Start.

Julie holds a Master of Public Administration in social services and management and a B.A. in political science from Michigan State University.

Amanda Schwartz


Meet Amanda
Amanda Schwartz, Ph.D. is a consultant with a focus on research and grant writing.

Amanda supports the implementation of systems and services within Early Head Start. She helps program solve challenging issues related to building or expanding systems, ensuring compliance with Federal Regulations, and assuring high quality services to children and families in Early Head Start programs.

For nearly two decades, Amanda has served as an educator and federal contractor, providing technical assistance, resource development, research, and monitoring to support practitioners, technical assistance providers, and federal staff in the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Since 2009, she has served as a federal reviewer for the Department of Education, Office of Early Learning and the Office of Innovation and Improvement, as well as the Department of Health and Human Services. Past clients include ZERO TO THREE, American Academy of Pediatrics, ContinuEd, Penn Foster, and other organizations.

Amanda is an Adjunct Professor at The George Washington University. She holds a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning from The New York University, an M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education from The George Washington University, and a B.A in government and philosophy from Hamilton College.

Nicole Lessard


Meet Nicole

Nicole Lessard has expertise in program development, grant writing, policy analysis and communications.

In a Project Management role, Nicole worked on the timely development of the Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), which offered the state eligibility for significant ARRA funding and was a contributing writer for The Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant, which awarded Massachusetts (MA) $50 million.

Nicole has operationalized a diverse portfolio of statewide early childhood grant programs beginning with program development and implementation to dissemination and evaluation. Such programs include support for early literacy programming in family child care homes, improvements to the physical environments of early education programs, Universal Pre-Kindergarten pilot program, accreditation supports, community assessment and alignment of birth to school age services, QRIS linked program improvements and child care information and referral services.

Nicole has also provided policy-focused technical assistance to a variety of early education programs and worked directly with the Massachusetts Governor’s office to coordinate reports outlining recommendations for strengthening supports and services to meet the needs of children birth to school-age and their families in MA.

She has a Masters of Education in Educational Counseling from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a B.S. in Communication Disorders from The University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Jane Hanson


Meet Jane
Jane a consultant specializing in grant writing and communications for Foundations for Families. Jane has been involved with education, conservation and performing arts organizations for the past 20 years as a collaborator, writer, project coordinator and copy editor.

Clients and employers include the Partnership and Community Collaboration Academy, the National Heritage Program of the National Park Service, The Alliance of National Heritage Areas, The Conservation Fund, the National Museum of Forest Service History, and Washington National Opera.

Jane is a graduate of Middlebury College, with a B.A. in Literary Studies.

Julie Weatherington

Consultant and Trainer

Meet Julie
Julie Weatherington is a Consultant for Foundations for Families specializing in CLASS Observations, training, and technical assistance. Julie is an expert in mission-driven education program assessment, planning and development. She is energizing, collaborative, and committed to consistently delivering high quality early intervention, inclusion, child development and leadership program support that makes the difference.

In addition to being a certified CLASS Observer for infant, toddler, and pre-kindergarten, Julie has has extensive expertise in training adult practitioners in a competency-based context model, in accordance with developmentally appropriate practices. She consistently delivers dynamic, inspiring training that enables educators to consistently perform according to best practices.

She served on the Transition Committee for Pre-K to Kindergarten at Prince William County School. She was also on the Regional Management Team for Minnieland Academy in Woodbridge, VA. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director for Seasons of Hope Center for Grief Loss and Transition and the Community Outreach Director of Point of Hope Camp for Capital Hospice.

Julie has a Masters in Human Service Administration and Leadership and a Master’s Certificate in Preschool Education from Liberty University. Her B.A. in Communications is from Wright State University.

Clare Siegel

In Memoriam

Read about Clare's life

FFF consultant 2014-2016

“She was a pioneer in the emerging field of infant and toddler education. This field recognized the importance of early brain development to future school readiness and success.”

– Dr. Phillip Farfel, Clare’s husband and former president of the Baltimore City School Board.

Clare Siegel spent more than 35 years working in early childhood, focusing on infants and toddlers, families, and special populations.

As a consultant for Foundations for Families, she provided expertise in engaging families and communities, early childhood development, program development, management and monitoring, home visiting and center based programming, training and technical assistance and direct services to infant/toddlers, families and young children with special needs.

Throughout her career, Clare coordinated Head Start and Early Head Start programs in urban and rural settings, provided training and technical assistance to a wide range of audiences on a variety of topics and provided early intervention services in an urban school district and a university affiliated facility for children with disabilities. She was President of the Maryland Head Start Association, and was involved with Maryland Family Network, Early Head Start National Resource Center, ICF Consulting, Friends of the Family, and Baltimore City Head Start.

From 2007-2010, Clare was the Early Childhood Specialist for the Early Steps to School Success partnership between ZTT and Save the Children. She provided oversight, training and technical assistance to ECC specialists and coordinators providing ECC services to children birth to 5 and their families.

Clare received her M.S in Early Intervention, Birth to 3, from Wheelock College in Boston, MA and a B.S. in Special Education from Coppin State University.

Read more about Clare’s life

If you wish, you can honor Clare’s memory by making a donation to these organizations:

Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD)

Penn North Kids Safe Zone

Sign Up to hear from us!

Promoting excellence in early childhood education to support families and strengthen communities.

You have Successfully Subscribed!