Katie Kirkland
Professional Development Coordinator

Who inspires you professionally or personally?  And why?
From a little girl to now, I have always been drawn to learning more and more about Princess Diana. Who doesn't love a princess? But what I admire most about her was her life lived without the recognition of being a Princess. Although she married into a royal family, she did not let fame and fortune change her desire to truly work hard for others. Besides forefronting many nonprofit organizations, she was an incredible and engaged mother to her two sons.  The compassion she showed to all walks of life and truly wanting the best for everyone has always been the best Cinderella story to me.

What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping for a deal, decorating, organizing, and writing. I have two little girls, so right now in life, they are my main hobbies.

What is your most treasured accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment in life would be becoming a mother to my two little girls. Every second of my wait was worth it after holding them in my arms. They have taught me that I am strong, brave, that I can do hard things, and to slow down and enjoy every second of life. I have never cried and smiled more in my life, and although not all days are easy, every single day is a dream come true getting to be their mama.

What do you do to treat yourself?
To treat myself I love to go on walks, relax through a facial or massage, visit with friends, and journal.

What is one thing you cannot do without?
My family and a good lipstick.

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

National Breast Cancer Month
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Early detection is crucial in fighting breast cancer. The National Breast Center Foundation has the early signs of breast cancer as well as how to do a breast self-examination.  And if you haven't scheduled one this year, are over 40, or have risk factors, take a moment to stop and do that right now.

For more information on early detection, self-examinations, and mammograms check out their website below!
Come BeYOUtiful with us at the 60th Annual AECA Conference!

We are so excited to attend the AECA Conference for the first time in two years and we can't wait to see you there!  Stop by and visit our booth to check out the great things we have waiting for you.

Our team has put together some great sessions for you that you won't want to miss!
Did you know October is Arkansas Farm to School Month? This year, Arkansas Farm to School Month is themed "Growing Together," and there are many ways to get involved including the first Arkansas Farm to School Cook-Off! 

Click the button below to find out more information!

When: November 2nd at 12:30 pm
Where: Facebook Live!
Topic: Gratitude

Join us for Well-Being Wednesday next month hosted by Susanna Creed!  For more details and the event itself, be sure to like and follow our Facebook page!

Need training for an in-service?  Do your staff need professional development hours?  Curricula Concepts can provide that!  Our trainings are all registered through PDR and are offered both in person and virtually!  

If you're interested in scheduling a training, contact us at, through our website, or message us on Facebook!

Curricula Concepts Inc. is offering trainings online via Zoom for families and educators.  

Go to our TRAINING CALENDAR to sign up!   
Pre-registration is required.  If the participant must cancel for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible. Spots are limited and there may be a waiting list.

Training is provided at no cost to the participants and PDR credit is available.
Information to consider:
  • Credit for the training cannot be guaranteed for late arrivals or for participants who leave early.
  • This is an online training and the expectation is that participants will have the capability to interact and participate using video as well as audio.

Have questions or problems with registering for trainings?
Please contact Deborah at!

Highlights from the DCCECE Provider Call
October 4, 2022
If you missed the Provider Call on October 4, here are a few of the highlights that were covered:
Empowerment Minimum Licensing Intent Training:
  • Thursday, October 20, 2022 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)
  • Programs should contact their licensing specialist to pre-register and receive the Zoom link
  • PDR Training Credit provided

Monthly Background Check Training:
  • Thursday, October 27, 2022 (12 - 1 pm)
  • Programs should contact their licensing specialist to pre-register and receive the Zoom link
  • PDR Training Credit provided
  • Contact:, 501-320-8926

ARPA Grants:
  • Contact: Paige Cox,
  • Sustainability Grant: Open/available until funding is exhausted.- To help sustain facility operations and continue quality improvement enhancements- Providers must have been in operation on or before March 11, 2021, to qualify- Based on capacity in the application system- Bonuses will be awarded to providers who are participating in Better Beginnings levels 2 & 3- A bonus will be awarded to Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) voucher participants- Applications to apply for Better Beginnings (level 2 or 3) or to be a CCDF voucher participant were due by June 17, 2022, to be eligible for these bonuses.- If a program is participating in Better Beginnings or the program has at least applied to be level 2 (even if the program has not heard from DCCECE about the level 2 application) the program will receive the Sustainability Grant bonus for participating in Better Beginnings.
  • Bonus Grant: Open/available until funding is exhausted. The focus is to maintain operations and provide quality education/care. The grant is not for paid bonuses for childcare professionals.
  • Supply Building Grant- Applicants are being notified, 61 applications, funding was limited, not able to fund all applicants
  • Essential Worker Vouchers- 12/31/22, no further extensions

Dr. Charlotte Rainey Parham (Dolly Parton Imagination Library):
  • A book gifting program that mails a free book to children from birth until they begin school in participating areas.
  • See attachments for more details.
  • Contact Dr. Rainey Parham for more information about partnering.

Paul Lazenby (TEACH & Step Up to Wages):

  • Arkansas Early Childhood Association/TEACH
  • Step Up to WAGE$ Program
  • Contact Paul Lazenby for more information about TEACH or the Step Up to Wage$ program
  • or

Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP):
  • Deadline to submit CACFP application - 9-30-22
  • If you have not submitted the application, do so as soon as possible to avoid delays or disruption to CACFP funding
  • All COVID CACFP waivers must be submitted and approved by the Health and Nutrition Assistant Director prior to the start date of the waiver

Enterprise Licensing System (ELS):
The next DCCECE Provider Call is on December 6, 2022.
There will not be a provider call in November

If you'd like to learn more, you can watch the meeting on the DCCECE DHS Youtube Channel.

Disclaimer: Curricula Concepts does not work for the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education or the Department of Human Services. We are simply providing a summary overview of what was covered in this month's Provider Call.

To provide you with information about the COVID-19 public health crisis and to answer child care questions, join the informational Zoom meetings occurring on the first Tuesday of the month at 12:00 pm.

  • Join via phone: 301-715-8592   ID: 959 5436 3354
  • Join by computer: Click Here    ID: 959 5436 3354

"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do is increased."
–Ralph Waldo Emerson


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