How many years have you worked with children?


What brought you to work with children? Have you always wanted to or did it just happen?

Working with children has always been my passion and something I have always envisioned myself doing. Growing up, I was always drawn to spending time with kids, whether it was my younger siblings or the children of family friends. I believe that children have an innate sense of curiosity and creativity, and it is incredibly fulfilling to help foster and encourage these qualities in them.

In addition to my personal interest in working with children, I also recognize the importance of quality care and education for young people. Children are the future, and investing in their growth and development is crucial for creating a better society overall. Through my work with children, I hope to make a positive impact on their lives and help set them up for success in the future.
Overall, my desire to work with children has been a long-standing passion of mine and I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to pursue this career path.

What are some of your hobbies? 

My favorite pastimes include reading, watching sports, hiking, traveling, and spending quality time with my family.

What is your most treasured accomplishment?

Completing my degree while being a mother has been my most cherished accomplishment. I had to juggle being a parent, household chores, a job, and my studies, but I refused to give up on my dream. This experience taught me that with determination and hard work, anything is possible. I am proud to have set an example for my children and gained valuable knowledge and skills that will benefit me both personally and professionally.

What is your favorite thing about working with children?

There are many wonderful things about working with children. One of the most rewarding aspects is being able to witness their growth and development as they learn new things and reach important milestones. It's also incredibly fulfilling to be able to share knowledge and help them understand complex ideas in a way that is meaningful to them. Additionally, children often have a unique perspective on the world that can be refreshing and enlightening, and working with them can help keep us grounded and connected to what truly matters. Overall, there are many reasons to love working with children, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on their lives is truly priceless.

What has been the most significant or memorable moment in your job?

The knowledge that I’ve made a positive impact on a student's life, helping them to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. 

Do you have any dreams or aspirations you want to share?

As a person of faith, I strongly believe in the importance of instilling good values and beliefs in children. For me, there is no greater goal than helping children learn to love Jesus and to develop a relationship with Him. I aspire to be a positive influence in the lives of children, to teach them about the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus, and to help them understand the importance of living a life guided by faith and compassion.

If you are an educator and want to share your story,
contact Deborah at!

Wellness Corner

Physical Activity

Take a moment to reflect on your feelings about movement. What is your favorite way to move your body? How does physical activity make you feel?

While research has shown that physical activity can help build strong bones and muscles, studies also show that there are benefits for mental health and sleep habits among others. By adding just a little more movement into our day, we can make our bodies stronger, reduce stress, sleep better, and perhaps even build a sense of community with others. These same benefits can be seen for our young children. The physical activity they experience in your care sets the foundation for a lifetime of movement and healthy habits.

Need some ideas of ways to include more physical activity into your day? Check out Go NAPSACC’s Tips and Materials Library for more ideas or reach out to Jessica Moreland at for the infant and child physical activity training ideas that we have to offer here at Curricula Concepts.

Register for Family Service Credential HERE!

Child Care Provider Call

Please see the OEC (Office of Early Childhood) provider notes below, the meeting video link, and the attached slides.

Meeting VideoScroll down and click on November 7, 2023 - Child Care Provider Call.


Meeting ID: 993 8182 9137

Passcode: 914630 

Local Leads Requirements- The LEARNS Act sets up Arkansas to improve the experience of families and providers by:

  • Unifying early childhood programs into the Arkansas Department of Education

  • Establishing local early childhood lead organizations

  • Convening stakeholders to advise on the unification

  • Establishing an accountability system indicative of child outcomes

  • Reducing bureaucracy and burdensome licensing regulations

  • Increasing transparent, family-friendly reporting

  • 12 entities (First Phase)

  • First cohort (not about quantity, it is about quality)

  • Cohort 2 in the spring

  • Contact: Tonya Williams

The Charge of Local Leads- The LEARNS Act stipulates that the state appoints and partners with local early childhood lead organizations.

These local lead organizations will be charged to:

  • Support access to early childhood programs

  • Identify gaps in services

  • Foster local partnerships

  • Create alignment among public and private providers and agencies within the community

  • Establish a comprehensive, locally supported plan for providing early childhood programs and services

Local Leads Timeline: The LEARNS Act requires that every corner of the state has a local early childhood lead organization by October 2024.

Louisiana's Early Childhood System- Following the passage of Act 3 in 2012, the Louisiana Department of Education established 65 community networks, each with a local lead agency. Over time, the reach and responsibilities for local leads have grown. In Louisiana, community network lead agencies are responsible for:

  • Conducting annual counts of children served through public funds to identify gaps and opportunities

  • Creating a local strategic plan that responds to the state's priorities for increased access and improving quality, while addressing the challenges of their specific context

  • Measuring and supporting the quality of all publicly-funded early childhood classrooms

  • Recruiting and enrolling families through a coordinated early care and education system

  • Administration of the network, including serving as the fiscal agent for state grants related to access and quality

Local Leads in Other States

  • A number of states around the country have implemented early childhood local leads, including North Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida.

  • There are many lessons learned we can take from these states as Arkansas establishes the vision for local leads.

  • Today's guest speakers include local leads and childcare providers from our neighbors to the south, Louisiana.

Louisiana Guest Speakers

  • Amy Clancy, Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, Local lead for five parishes

  • LaMetress Bell Rodgers, Owner of Tender Touch Nursery, Child care provider in the Children's Coalition region

  • Leigh Griffin, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools, Local lead for Baton Rouge and City of Baker

  • Tessa Holloway, Owner of Kidz Karousel, Child care provider in Baton Rouge

Ashley LiBetti- Principal Consultant- Pillars Research = Strategy

  • Pillars is a research organization focused exclusively on the early care and education field

  • Ashley LiBetti, Principal Consultant,

  • Rachel Fu, Policy analyst,

  • Rita Prates, Executive Assistant,

  • This project is a component of the requirements defined under the LEARNS Act

  • The LEARNS Act requires the Department of Education to, in coordination with other state agencies, to "reduce any burdensome, unnecessary rules for the licensing of childcare facilities, and report on the reduction of rules... to the General Assemblv."

  • The newly-formed Office of Early Childhood, housed within the Arkansas Department of Education, is responsible for leading the research and analysis to inform the recommendations to meet this requirement.

  • As part of this work, we are engaging directly with and incorporating input from early care and education providers in Arkansas.

  • There are two different opportunities to engage in this work and share your input in our analysis: Survey, Focus Group

  • We are looking to speak with staff members who are responsible for ensuring the ECE program is licensed. We are prioritizing partners across settings, age groups, and geographies.

  • During these conversations, we will focus on your experience with licensing, including areas of strength and opportunity.

  • You will receive an email with the provider survey this week. If you complete the survey, you will be entered into a giveaway for a $30 gift card.

  • As part of the survey, there will be an opportunity to volunteer to participate in one of the focus groups.

  • Focus groups will be held at a range of different times to accommodate schedules. Participants will be compensated for their time.

Essential Worker End Date (March 31, 2024)

Lauren Dotson HNP Applications

  • Approved/Amended: The application is complete.

  • Pending Submission: The application needs to be (re)submitted.

  • Pending Approval: The application is waiting for Coordinator approval.

  • It was not submitted. The application was submitted because it was over the 30 days required to approve the application.

  • Tips for Your Application:

  1. Schedule an appointment with your application coordinator

  2. Make sure you are up to date with your CACFP training. The CACFP Refresher training AND New Participant are available online.

  3. Have your documents completed and ready to upload.

  4. Talk with your application coordinator before submitting the application.

Dawn Jeffrey- LEARNS Act Requirements on Curriculum, Enrollment

  • Providers are required by law to update the Enterprise Licensing System (ELS) with current enrollment and curriculum. 

  • This update is a requirement in the LEARNS Act under academic approval.

  • The OEC requests that providers update rates in the system.

  • Contact: Dawn Jeffrey -

Next Child Care Provider Call: December 5, 2023 at 12:00 pm

AAIMH Webinar

Register for the AAIMH webinar! 

Please note that due to the holidays, the date has changed for November and December. It will be held on December 7, 2023. In January 2024 it will resume being held on the fourth Thursday of every month.


Haleigh Trotter, LCSW, PMH-C

Title of presentation: 

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Presentation description: 

This presentation will provide a brief overview of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders.  Attendees will be introduced to perinatal disorders including common risk factors, screening tools, evidence based treatments, and resources. 

Register Here!


Well-Being Wednesdays are the first Wednesday of every month!  Join us on Facebook! If you missed a Well-Being Wednesday, you can also find them on our YouTube Channel.

Curricula Concepts Inc. is offering trainings in person and online via Zoom for families and educators! Go to our Training Calendar to sign up! Have questions or problems with registering for trainings? Contact Deborah at!

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I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness –

it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.

- Brene Brown

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