The Association of Children's Museums is a Washington, D.C.–based organization that represents more than 300 children's museums in 23 countries throughout the world. The association began in 1962 as the American Association of Youth Museums and grew out of the desire for children's museums to meet as a separate group during the American Alliance of Museums' annual meeting. They remained an informal group, but their growth paralleled the growth of children's museums throughout the world. In addition to organizing museums and administration of grants to museums, the Association partners with other organizations, including the Eunice Kennedy ShriverNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development on health issues related to children.
The Association of Children's Museums initiated the Great Friend to Kids Award in 1991, to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward strengthening education for children. 'National Great Friend to Kids Award winners include Fred Rogers ("Mister Rogers") and Marian Wright Edelman (president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund).