How many years have you worked with children?

13 years

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

I started has a HIPPY home visitor in Greenbrier in 2010. I had no idea what home visiting was at that time and found joy in building the relationship with the families and connecting them to resources they needed.

What are some of your hobbies?

I love to be outside. Swimming, riding our Razor or just taking a walk.

What is your most treasured accomplishment?

Raising two beautiful and kind children.

What is your favorite thing about working with children?

When a need was met in the home.

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

When I was a home visitor, I referred a little boy for speech therapy. He was struggling with the f sound. I vividly remember the little boy running to me so excited saying he could say fish. I loved seeing the joy in face.

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

I want to see every family in Arkansas have the opportunity to participate in home visiting.

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


Jamie had the opportunity to talk about Be Well Care Well in the Provider Call this week. If you missed it, you can find it HERE

She is also hosting an Information Session on Be Well Care Well on May 14th at 12:30pm on Zoom to share the benefits of Be Well Care Well.

Link to join: Zoom Link

Please feel free to share this invitation with any colleagues or partners who might be interested in learning more about the program. If you're interested in bringing Be Well Care Well to your program, click the link or scan the QR code to fill out the Interest Form below!


Wellness Corner

Physical Activity and Mental Health

This month is Mental Health Awareness Month. One of the many benefits of physical activity for all ages is benefits that can be seen in your mental health. According to the CDC, physical activity can help reduce feelings of anxiety as well as improve brain function and cognition. If you are feeling like physical activity may be doing the opposite for you, here are some tips that could help.

  • Physical activity comes in many forms, so make sure you are participating in the one that is most enjoyable for you! If running isn’t your thing, try biking, dancing, or even just walking instead. Doing something you like makes it more likely that you’ll stick with it

  • Create a playlist of your favorite songs to jam out to during your movement session. 

  • Find a partner or group to share in the physical activity that you enjoy. Not only will it make your activity more fun, it might open doors to having an even deeper connection. 

  • Exercise doesn’t have to be a set number of repetitions or intensity. Playing games like soccer, pickleball, golf, or tennis is a great way to make your physical activity more fun!

Interested in more ways to make physical activity fun for children? Reach out to for more information about trainings we offer on the topic of physical activity. PLUS, sign up today for our Active Minds, Active Bodies in person training with Dr. Diane Craft that is taking place this coming June!

This month marks our 4th Anniversary of Well-Being Wednesday - woohoo!! We're going all out this year with an entire WEEK OF WELLNESS from May 13-17th! All week we’ll be sharing resources, tips, tools, and reflective exercises to help you focus on your mental health!

We'll also have an extra special hour-long Anniversary Well-Being Wednesday Facebook live on MAY 15TH from 12:30-1:30pm. One of our fan-favorites, Classie Watson, will be back to talk about crisis management, burnout, and how to work through both to achieve greater work/life balance.

Tune in on May 15th by going to our Curricula Concepts FB page HERE.

Child Care Provider Call

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

Meeting Video (Scroll down and click on May 7, 2024 - Child Care Provider Call)

OEC Staff Directory

LEARNS Act Updates

  • Local Leads 

    • Jennifer Douglas- ADE Local Early Childhood Lead Organizations

    • Local Early Childhood Lead Organizations

    • State-Local Partnership Model

    • Local Leads-Cohort 1

    • Local Leads- Cohort 1 and 2

    • Local Leads Website

  • Academic Approval

  • CLASS Pilot Project

Be Well Care Well

  • Jamie Ward, owner of Curricula Concepts, shared information about a staff wellness program called Be Well Care Well. 

  • BWCW Interest Form 

  • Be Well Care Well Information Session: May 14th at 12:30pm Link to join

  • Physical Activity Summit

  • Jamie Ward,

  • Sara Norwood,

Guest Speaker

  • Debbie Whitman, Doodle Bug Day Care, Huntsville, AR

Background Checks 

  • Kayla Bodi,, 501-320-8926 

  • The following changes will occur (approximately next week) to the background check system but providers will not have to do anything and the process will not change. 

    • When providers are completing a consent form in the online portal. The prefix was CHI and now it will be ECE. The same prefix (ECE) will appear in the INA account when providers are submitting new applicants.

  • Office of Early Childhood Background Check Website/Resources

CCDF State Plan Timeline

  • Brandy Ishmon,

  • Public Hearing- April 30, 2024

  • Public Comments- Until May 3, 2024

  • AR State Board of Education- May 9, 2024

  • Submit to Office of Child Care (OCC)- June 30, 2024

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

AAIMH SUMMIT - Register Here!

Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest

Attention all schools, early childcare centers, and alternative learning environments in Arkansas!
Get ready to showcase your green thumbs and creativity because the 2024 Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest is officially underway! Year after year, the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas continue their steadfast support, ensuring that this year's contest will maintain its exceptional standard of excellence!

Do you have a school garden that's bursting with vibrant produce and engaging educational opportunities? Then don't miss your chance to enter! From colorful veggies to fragrant herbs, we want to see how you're cultivating a love for gardening and healthy eating among your students.

Contest categories include:

  • Champion of School Garden Sustainability ($1,000 award)
  • Best Overall School Garden ($1,000 award)
  • Best Education Based School Garden ($500 award)
  • Best Harvest Partnership School Garden ($500 award)
  • Best Community Collaboration School Garden ($500 award)
  • Best Start-up School Garden Proposal ($500 award)

Mark your calendars: the deadline to apply is June 14, 2024.  Don't wait – seize this opportunity to shine a spotlight on your school's commitment to agriculture, nutrition, and environmental stewardship.Enter the 2024 Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest today and let your school's green initiatives bloom!


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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“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.”
Fred Rogers

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