Early Care and Education Projects

ECEP logo with mission and vision

Who We Are

Since 1992, Early Care and Education Projects (ECEP) has provided early childhood professionals with the most comprehensive, up-to-date training possible as they enter child care or preschool classrooms. ECEP's continued vision is to enhance the quality of care for young children across Arkansas. ECEP fulfills our mission to educate, connect, and equip early childhood professionals throughout Arkansas by supporting trainers statewide to deliver professional learning via self-paced, online, and face-to-face courses. ECEP works with the Arkansas Department of Education, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Child Care Early Childhood Education to impact early childhood education and care in Arkansas and hopes to continue for a very long time!


Early Childhood Education Teacher Workforce Study Launching in February (updating 2017 study)


The Research and Evaluation Division at UAMS is updating its 2017 workforce study of instructional staff in early childhood education. This study has allowed them, and the sector as a whole, to better understand the state of our workforce (pay, benefits, future turnover risk, wellness, etc.). It has also been used in many ways to help support those who work in the early childhood field.

In February, the Research and Evaluation Division at UAMS will email early childhood staff directly with a personalized link to the survey. Still, they want to let their partners know about it ahead of time. We hope your staff can help minimize confusion about the legitimacy of the survey or its purpose. 

If any staff member contacts you after getting their invitation email, please reassure them:

  • This study is run by a team of researchers at UAMS who have conducted a study like this in the past.
  • Their honest input is incredibly valuable and will benefit them over time. Policymakers, advocates, foundations, and legislators use studies like this when deciding what initiatives to fund or what policies may need adjustment.
  • Their answers are completely confidential, and UAMS will only report results at the group level.
  • UAMS will be giving away 100 x $25 Walmart gift cards in a random prize drawing to those who complete the survey as their way of saying thanks.

All these things will be included in the email to staff, but having a trusted voice to encourage participation is often a big factor in deciding to complete a survey.

added 02/01/2022

If you need to request a Child Maltreatment Registry Check from the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS), you can now do it online and get results in the same business day!

We walk you through the steps in this video.

added 02/05/2020

New Background Check System for Arkansas Child Care Providers

from the Department of Human Services, Division of Childcare and Early Childhood Education

Attention Arkansas Early Care and Education Leaders,It is finally here! The new system for Background Checks is up and running. Providers can now sign up for their portal access in the Information Network of Arkansas (INA) to complete their background checks. Provider use of this system will be mandatory starting October 1, 2020. However, it's highly encouraged that all providers start using it now.

Below are two letters for you to read and use. The first is for early childhood education/child care providers, and the other is for residential and placement providers. Please share this information broadly with your team and networks by email, website, social media, etc.

Refer to the DHS Background Check Website for any questions about the background check system.

added 07/06/2020

The Arkansas Department of Education approves all courses provided by Early Care and Education Projects for professional development credit. However, the awarding of professional development credit based on attendance at this workshop is solely at the discretion of the local school district.

Learn more by reviewing the Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Professional Development (Feb 2016).