Educator Spotlight

Barbie Baxter

Central Arkansas Development Council Early Head Start/Head Start/Arkansas Better Chance Program

Program Manager-Director

How many years have you worked with children?  
On August 23, 2022, it will be 23 years of working for the Central Arkansas Development Council Early Head Start/Head Start/Arkansas Better Chance Program. I began my career as a multi-facility Center Director in Pike and Montgomery County; I did that for 13 years for 5 to 6 facilities in those two counties.  I then transitioned to the CADC EHS/HS/ABC Education Program Specialist position where I was able to monitor all 32 CADC EHS/HS/ABC classrooms in five counties and assist the teaching staff and I held that position for 5 years.  I was then promoted to the Assistant Program Manager position where I held that position for two years before I was promoted and honored to serve in my current position as the CADC EHS/HS/ABC Program Manager-Director in 2019. I would be nothing though without the AMAZING teaching staff, family service workers, program operations staff, coordinators, etc. here at CADC. These ladies and gentlemen are my "Work Fam!" and I love each one of them so very much.

What brought you to work with children?  
Have you always wanted to or did it just happen?  Young children have always brought me pure joy, they light up the world with their smiles and laughter and any hand that I can have in those little smiles and laughter have been years of time well spent. I also love getting to know the families and seeing their success stories over the years have been so rewarding. Working in early childhood education isn't always the most glamorous job but it is most definitely the most rewarding for sure.  

What are some of your hobbies?  
I work a lot but in my free time, I love spending time with my family and friends. I love to travel and see new places. I love to sing and in my younger days, I was even the lead singer in a few different bands. That was fun while it lasted. Nowadays though, it is time with my family that brings me my happiest moments. Anytime spent with my two daughters, Lexie, age 25, and Lainie, age 19 is my most favorite time. We can have fun doing almost anything, but we love to shop, watch movies, travel, cookout, and just hang out together talking and laughing.

What is your most treasured accomplishment?  
Being a mother to two amazing young women.

What is your favorite thing about working with children?  
Watching them accomplish something new that they have never tried before and hadn't quite mastered yet, and then they become successful at the skill or task and it is so awesome to experience. Their little faces light up and it warms my heart!

What has been the most significant or memorable moment in your job?   
Learning from others, whether it was from my mentors, Sandra Holiman and Janet Harris, or learning from my coworkers. If we just take a second to watch, listen, and learn from others; we can accomplish so many things in our careers.

Do you have any dreams or aspirations you want to share?  
Professionally, I want to continue to expand our CADC EHS/HS/ABC program to reach more children and families. I also want to continue to contribute to and support the AMAZING work that our agency, Central Arkansas Development Council does. CADC's Mission Statement is to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty, to help vulnerable populations achieve their potential, and build strong communities in Arkansas through Community Action.  Personally, I just want to enjoy this stage in my life. I look forward to becoming a grandmother one day and enjoying my sweet future grandbabies and in general, I just want to spend as much time with my family and friends enjoying every free moment I have with them just smiling, laughing, and enjoying this wonderful life.

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

Small Steps for Big Vision
August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month. The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness partnered with the National Head Start Association to create an online resource – Small Steps for Big Vision: An Eye Health Information Tool Kit for Parents and Caregivers – to provide parents and caregivers with the information, suggested actions, and assistance they need to be empowered partners in their children’s vision and eye health, and to care for their own vision and eye health. This toolkit contains parent resources to identify vision problems in children, information on vision screenings, eye examinations and treatment, resources for financial assistance and so much more! To learn more about the toolkit, check out the link below.
Back to School with Meaningful Interactions
Free virtual educator event

Teachstone is sponsoring Back to School with Meaningful Interactions! The event will take place on August 18th in the afternoon. There will be live presenters and chat facilitators for each session. For more information check out the link below. 

The event is free but registration is required.  Certificates for each session will be provided.
This link has all the details on the sessions and to register:


Collaborating with Interpreters in the Educational Field

Live 2-hour Zoom Workshop(Core Competencies: Family Engagement &Professionalism and Leadership)

Great information for anyone who schedules or conducts interpreted meetings in educational settings with families of children from birth through 12th grade.

The same workshop is offered on 4 different dates

  • August 23, 2022, 9:00 - 11:00 AM  PDR Course #49586
  • August 30, 2022, 12:00 - 2:00 PM  PDR Course #49587
  • September 1, 2022, 9:00 - 11:00 AM  PDR Course #49588
  • September 20, 2022, 12:00 - 2:00  PDR Course #49589
This free Zoom workshop is presented by ABICE credentialed educational interpreter, Jessica Sanchez.  This training covers legislative requirements, the three-step process for interpreted meetings, and strategies/ resources to assist English-speaking educators and administrators who conduct interpreted meetings with English-emergent families. Please share this with any teacher or administrator who may be interested in receiving this important information.

Register using the appropriate PDR course number on the
Arkansas Professional Development Registry:   
The Zoom link will be sent to registrants prior to the training.  If you do not receive your Zoom link or have additional questions, please contact
Brenda Reynolds
OR Jessica Sanchez

When: September 7th at 12:30 pm
Where: Facebook Live!
Topic: Spiritual Well-being

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!

If you are interested in learning more, please click here.
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
August 2, 2022
If you missed the Provider Call on August 2, here are a few of the highlights that were covered:
Empowerment Minimum Licensing Intent Training:
  • Thursday, August 18, 2022 (6:30pm-8:30pm)
  • Programs should contact their licensing specialist to pre-register and receive the Zoom link
  • PDR Training Credit provided

Monthly Background Check Training:

COVID/Essential Worker Vouchers:
  • As a state, DCCECE is not implementing a public health emergency in regard to licensing standards. Providers should follow minimum licensing requirements Section: 1100 (General Heath Requirements). Contact your licensing specialist if you have questions. DCCECE has funding for deep cleaning. Email deep cleaning receipts to
  • Essential Worker Extension- The essential worker vouchers will be extended to December 31, 2022. The extension will be the final extension. New families will not be added to essential worker vouchers unless there is a new baby born to an existing essential worker family. If a program does not meet Better Beginnings level 2, the essential worker vouchers will not be extended for that provider.
  • DCCECE is currently having some billing problems and billing has been suspended. It appears only Benton and Washington county are affected at this time.

AC Immunization Strategy:
ShaRonda J. Love, MPH
Arkansas Children's Partnership Director
Community Engagement, Advocacy, and Health
1 Children's Way, Slot 611
Little Rock, AR 72202
  • Since the pandemic there has been a decrease in childhood immunizations. Arkansas Children's is offering a program that allows medical professionals to give vaccines to children at a child care facility.
  • Contact ShaRonda J. Love for more information.

Enterprise Licensing System (ELS):
  • Providers should log in to create an account in the new ELS.
  • Providers should enter rates into the ELS system.
  • DCCECE Contact: Dawn Jeffrey (
  • DCCECE Contact for technical support: Becky Mitchell (

ARPA Grant Updates:
  • Operational, Quality, and Expansion Grants are closed.
  • Expansion Grants are still being reviewed.
  • Sustainability Grants are still open until funding is exhausted.
  • Round one of the Supply Building Grants is currently being reviewed.
  • Round Two of the Supply Building Grant closes on August 15, 2022.
  • Note: These grants must go through Legislative committee approval.
  • Payments have been delayed due to system issues. Payments have started to process again this week. Once payments go through the DCCECE system, the payment must clear AASIS (the statewide system). This process can take up to two weeks.
  • Sustainably Grant Contact:

Better Beginnings:
  • DCCECE is working with 87 providers trying to achieve Better Beginnings Level 2 by the end of the month.
  • Contact: Kelli Hilburn, Program Administrator, 870-280-6258,
  • Contact: Brenda Suarez, 501-320-6161, brenda.suarez@dhs,
  • Contact: Lisa Bush, 870-280-6259,
  • Contact: Kaila Smith, 501-534-6053,
  • Contact: Marasha Grimes, 501-910-6417,

2022-2023 CACFP Application Open:
  • Existing CACFP Participants:
  • Applications for the CACFP 2022-2023 fiscal year opened to all providers on August 1, 2022.
  • The CACFP checklist can be found in the SNP Resource Library.
  • Interested Programs
  • Contact: Outreach Team- Theresa Taylor, 501-320-8982,

2022-2023 CACFP Waivers:
  • Available Waivers
  • Nationwide Waiver #096- Sponsoring Organization On-Site Monitoring Visits
  • Nationwide Waiver #111- Non-Congregate Meal Service
  • Nationwide Waiver #113- Meal Service Waiver

Health & Nutrition:
  • Contact: Pam Burton, 501-320-8978,
  • Contact: Nora Fawcett, 501-396-6131,
  • Contact: Sharon Hagen, 501-396-6132,

The next DCCECE Provider Call is on
September 6, 2022.

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

"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." — Robert Collier

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