How many years have you worked with children?

28 years

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

I have always had a desire to work with young children.  Working at Head Start and HIPPY has expanded my desire to work with the families of young children.

What are some of your hobbies?
Hiking, bicycling, swimming, and spending time with my family outdoors. 

What is your most treasured accomplishment?

My most treasured accomplishment would be earning my teaching license. I was a non-traditional student and it was a goal of mine for many years. 

What is your favorite thing about working with children?

My favorite thing about working with young children is experiencing the world through their young and innocent eyes. 

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

One of my most memorable moments is when I was recruiting families in the community and one of the parents told me she had just been waiting for a program like HIPPY. That reinforced the need and appreciation for our program.

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

In the future, I would like to motivate and train early child care workers and home visitors to reach their career goals and potential. 

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

Wellness Corner

Mental Health and Screen Time

Talk of screen time effects are at an all time high, but how does screen time affect a child’s well-being? According to a 2018 research study, “children and adolescents who spent more than one hour using a screen daily were shown to more likely have received anxiety or depression diagnoses or needed treatment for mental health conditions.” So then, what can be done to counteract this screen time dilemma?

Take a look at some of these screen time alternatives from Go NAPSACC:

  • Listen to the radio

  • Write a letter

  • Shoot some hoops

  • Paint a picture

  • Read a book

  • Volunteer

  • Read to someone else

  • Go swimming

  • Make a puppet show

  • Redecorate your house

  • Make cookies

  • Play tag

  • Have a garage sale

  • Fly a kite

  • Go for a hike

  • Play cards

  • Make a fort

  • Have a dance party

  • Start a rock band

  • Bike ride

  • Write a play

  • Visit the zoo

  • Get outside

Want to learn more ways to help reduce screen time for young children? Curricula Concepts can help! 

One way is to get connected to Go NAPSACC!  Learn more about Go NAPSACC and all it has to offer in their April newsletter HERE

Another way is by taking our new Managing Screen Time course! Participants will review the screen time recommendations for each age group and learn ways to engage parents on the topic of screen time usage. One hour of PDR credit is available and completing this training is a great way to help boost Better Beginnings levels!

Reach out to Jessica Moreland by email at or call/text at (501) 281-0243 to schedule your training today!

Highlights from the DCCECE Provider Call
May 2, 2023

DCCECE Updates:

  • Background Check Unit- Provider do not have to get the consent forms for background checks notarized. 

  • If a child turns 5 years old, on or before August 1, the child is no longer eligible for child care vouchers.

  • Medical Marijana - If DCCECE receives a report that someone is partaking in marijuana, licensing will visit the program. If the staff member is in direct contact/care with children and tests positive for drug use, DCCECE will require that the staff member be removed from the program. Review child care licensing regulations here.

  • Tonya Williams shared information on the workgroup process in the LEARNS Act passed during the last legislative. 

  • Tonya Williams stated that DCCECE is working with the proper channels to help providers in the school districts who currently have to complete the process for two background checks.

Child Care Provider Guest Speakers:

  • Two child care providers shared how the relief federal funding was used in the centers.

Foster Children Photo Policy:

  • Mrs. Smith, DHS Foster Care Manager, stated that foster children can be in photos, but cannot be identified as a foster child.

Arkansas Outstanding Early Childhood Professional (AOECP) Winners:

  • Shalynn Lane

  • Shenitta Shepard

AR Resource Connections:

Excel by Eight Foundations:

  • Excel by Eight focuses on policy and practice for child birth to age eight.

    • The policy part mainly focuses on prenatal to age three.

  • Jamie Ward extended an invitation to both centers and family homes to be a part of a focus group. The purpose of the focus group is to gather information from programs to identify wants and needs.

  • Focus group: May 17, 2023, from 12-1:30 pm

    • Focus group participants will receive a $50 gift card

    • Link to sign up for the focus group HERE.

Next DCCECE Provider Call is June 6, 2023 at 12:00 pm.

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

Excel by Eight Foundations is hosting a focus group with early care and education providers on Wednesday, May 17 from 12-1:30pm and we’d love for you to participate! The focus group will be held via Zoom and will be facilitated by Rhian Allvin. 

Participants should be employed in an ECE program/center or family child care home. We are going to spend the time together listening to your experiences, gaining your perspective and gathering insights. This is the beginning of a process to develop a two-year road map to make Arkansas’ infants and toddlers a top priority in our state. 

For your participation, you will receive a $50 gift card. 

Click HERE to register for the focus group! Email with any questions.

This year's theme is The Power of Belonging — Positive Childhood Experiences.


Thursday, August 3, 2023


8:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m.


Pulaski Technical College
Grand Hall A & B

The keynote speaker this year is Christina Bethell, PhD, MPH, MBA, Director of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI) for the Bloomberg School of Health at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Bethell's life and professional career focus on patient-centered child health to identify, measure, and prevent ACEs and promote Positive Childhood Experiences. She will provide the latest in research and information and share her experiences creating systems that rely on family engagement tools to evaluate and intervene with families.

Find out more!


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 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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“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.”
— Maya Angelou

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