How many years have you worked with children?

Almost 6 years

What brought you to work with children and families?

When my husband and I relocated to Arkansas we left our family in North Carolina. So, our kids spent long hours in daycare while my husband and I worked. We understand what it means to have somewhere you trust to leave your children. At the end of a 20-year career working for Fortune 500 companies, I was looking for a business to invest in; I wanted a business where I could make a difference. I feel like Posh Tot is a way for me to give back by providing a safe, loving, learning environment to our Posh families!

What are some of your hobbies?

My favorite hobbies are spending time with my family and traveling anywhere with white sand and blue water!

What is your most treasured accomplishment?

My most treasured accomplishment is surviving COVID! We worked so hard to support our families and be open during the entire pandemic. We kept the center open until January of 2022 when the Omicron variant hit, and we had to close for a week. In addition, we were able to grow the business back to full enrollment by the summer of 2022.

What is your favorite thing about working with children?

I love seeing the growth and development of the kids. It still amazes me how quickly they learn things and how much they are able to comprehend. I also cherish the outpouring of love that I receive from the kids. There is nothing better than one of the kids running up to hug me, saying my name for the first time, or saying, "I love you, Ms Debbie"!

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

My most significant moment in my job was when I hired my Center Director, Abby Kelley! I honestly could not do this every day without her!

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

I just want to continue to provide a safe, loving, learning environment for my Posh babies and a great place to work for my staff!

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

Wellness Corner

Getting Creative!

Our theme for the month is creativity here at Curricula Concepts. How does that apply to health and wellness, you may ask? Children learn best through active play. Too many times we feel that we must cover learning concepts through worksheets and standards, but research has shown that children learn best by creating their own fun and learning experiences. Think about Christmas time with our littlest ones. You buy them this awesome colorful toy, but what do they prefer to play with? The box! 

Need more ideas to encourage children to play with items that are just laying around? Check out the website Be Active Kids for creative ideas and handouts for how to use a box, a pool noodle, beach ball, and more to inspire kids to be creative!

Interested in health and wellness training options for your staff that encourage creativity? Reach out to Jessica Moreland at for more information. 

Are you an infant-toddler educator looking for specialized professional development? If so, join us for Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators! 

Six days and 11 hours of professional development focused on supporting early language and literacy for young children!

  • 3/6/24, 9-11 am: Lesson 1 Part 1

  • 3/13/24, 9-11 am: Lesson 1 Part 2

  • 3/27/24, 9-10 am: Lesson 2 Part 1

  • 4/3/24, 9-11 am: Lesson 2 Part 2

  • 4/10/24, 9-11 am: Lesson 3 Part 1

  • 4/17/24, 9-11 am: Lesson 3 Part 2

Don't miss this opportunity to boost your expertise in supporting young children's growth and development. 

Secure your spot now! Registration cut-off is February 28 at 9:00 am!

Register HERE!

To register, click the button above. Then click on the red box 'Register Now! - Live course' and choose Critical Competencies for Infant Toddler Educators.

Professional Development

Have you scheduled professional development for your staff summer retreat or 

back to school in-service yet?  

If not, now is the time!  Curricula Concepts has a wide variety of trainings on family engagement and health and wellness and will make it a day of fun and interactive professional development. Staff will leave with tips and strategies they can use right away.

Check out our website or give us a shout at and get your staff's inservice scheduled today!!

Child Care Provider Call

Watch the video in its entirety by clicking the link below.

Meeting Video - Scroll down and click on February 6, 2024 - Child Care Provider Call

To locate the contact information for OEC staff, here is the OEC- Staff Directory


Meeting ID: 993 8182 9137

Passcode: 914630 

Rebecca Davis - Choose Safe Places

Early Childhood Education Wellness Groups/Management

  • Working towards Optimal Wellness (WOW) Groups
    • Free virtual skill-building groups to support Arkansas's early childhood educators
    • Peer support
    • One-hour sessions held online
    • Credit offered through the Arkansas Professional Development Registry (PDR)
    • February WOW Groups dates and times (slide attached)
  • Working towards Optimal Wellness Care Management
    • Free care management services for early childhood educators and staff
    • Assists in finding concrete needs such as food, shelter, or health insurance
    • Assists in finding appropriate mental health treatment options 
  • Tosha Smith, UAMS 
  • Victoria Spradley, UAMS 
  • Contact: (slide attached)

Child Care Expansion for Early Childhood Employees and Adoptive Parents

  • Employer Requirements for Early Childhood Employees

  • Arkansas licensed or registered child care provider
  • Active CCDF Participant Agreement
  • Provider verification of employment for employees
    • Note to All CCDF Program Participants: CCDF does not pay parents to care for their own child(ren). Please ensure that child(ren) who have been approved for CCDF funds are not in the same classroom where their parent/caregiver is the teacher.
    • Child Care Staff/Employee Requirements
      • At least one adult in the household must be actively employed in an Arkansas licensed or registered child care program. The program must have an active CCDF Participant Agreement.
        • Eligibility can be a combination of work, school, or a training program to equal 30 hours.
          • If there are two adults in the household, both must meet the work/school/training program requirement.
          • Income guidelines are waived. However, all household income must be submitted.
            • Households who assets in excess of $1 million will be denied. 
      • Authorizations for child(ren) will only be extended to providers who have an active CCDF Program Participant Agreement.
      • The 60-month lifetime limit and ant co-payment will be waived.
    • Child Care Staff/Employee Application Process
      • Apply for child care assistance (Those who currently have an open case WILL need to reapply.)
      • Applications must be submitted to:
      • Provide all items required on the application checklist, unless previously submitted
        • New applications and verification of employment are required for ALL
    • Adoptive Parents
      • Families with adopted child(ren) may be eligible for up to thirteen (13) months of childcare assistance.
        • Adopted child(ren) must be transitioning from Arkansas Foster Care
        • Child care assistance will only be provided for adopted child(ren)
    • Contact:
    • Contact: Brandy Ishmon -
    • Contact: Patricia Johnson -

Summer Feeding Service Program (SFSP)

  • What is SFSP?
  • The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally funded, state-administered program.
    • USDA reimburses program operators who serve no-cost, healthy meals and snacks to children and teens.
    • Meals are served at summer sites in low-income communities, where sponsors often also offer enrichment activities, or - in approved rural communities facing access issues - may be provided via grab-n-go or delivery.
    • SFSP Application important dates to know:
      • Jan 14: SFAs applications only
      • Feb 14: All Eligible Institutions can apply
      • March 31: Deadline to apply
      • April 30: Food Distribution Request Deadline
    • How to Apply:
      • If you already have an agreement with us:
        • Log into SNP
        • Go into your application
        • Enter the contract year 2024
        • Click on add new/renewal application
      • If you have not been on a USDA nutrition program before:
        • Go to SNP
        • Select "Summer Food"
        • Answer the preliminary questions
    • Contact: Lauren Dotson -
    • SFSP -

Job Opportunities

Next Child Care Provider Call: March 4, 2024 at 12:00 pm

Engage Continuum

Central and Northwest Arkansas

If you are in the central or northwest part of Arkansas, we have openings for the Engage Continuum!

The Engage Continuum is a professional development series that helps educators tap into the power of parents. Parents are the most influential teachers in children’s lives. When they embrace that role, children have better lifelong educational outcomes. Your program may be a parent's first interaction with the “education system.” It's important to show them they are not only welcome but valued as vital partners. Give them inspiration, practice, and confidence to teach and advocate for their children from this moment on.

If you are interested in learning more, contact Sarah Paul for NW Arkansas and Jessica Moreland for Central Arkansas.

AAIMH Monthly Webinar

Thursday, February 22, 2024
12:00 - 1:00 pm

Overview of BehaviorHelp: Arkansas’s Support System to Reduce Suspension and Expulsion

In the United States, children in early care and education (ECE) settings are being suspended or expelled at alarming rates. The long-term effects of preschool suspension and expulsion are significant, including school failure, behavior problems, and even adult incarceration. Research has also shown that boys and African American children are most likely to be expelled. Arkansas has taken action to reduce suspension and expulsion in ECE programs. Our state’s response, BehaviorHelp, is a single point-of-entry support system for teachers struggling to manage challenging behaviors in the classroom. In this session, we will share information on the BehaviorHelp support system and how to access it, as well as our latest research regarding its successes and lessons learned.


Melissa Sutton, MSE
Angie Kyzer, BA

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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“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” —Harriet Tubman

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