Early Care and Education Projects

Enhancing the quality of care and education for
young children throughout Arkansas.

Who We Are

Early Care and Education Projects (ECEP), in conjunction 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, provides statewide training for early educators. More than 200 trainers throughout Arkansas deliver courses in various locations, including childcare centers, public schools, vocational centers, technical institutes, community colleges, and other post-secondary education facilities.


COVID-19 Guidelines for Child Care Providers in Arkansas

from the Arkansas Department of Health

Please review and share the latest COVID-19 info from the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Human Services.

Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care Facilities. These guidelines were updated January 10, 2022.

added 01/19/2022

ECEP is excited to announce that our own Training Advisor PJ Yarbrough is the newest board member of Foward Arkansas! Forward Arkansas is a public-private partnership established in 2014 by the Arkansas State Board of Education, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation to improve outcomes for all Arkansas students by working with key stakeholders to close gaps, remove barriers and overcome obstacles in Arkansas education.

PJ has long been a light to Arkansas' education community, and we are thrilled to see her leadership recognized and extended to this impactful organization. Read more about Forward Arkansas and PJ's bio on their website.

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

ENGAGE Arkansas: Attendance and Re-engagement Initiative

from the Arkansas Department of Education

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and shifts in instruction, many students have struggled to adjust and remain engaged in learning. To help districts re-engage students during this critical time, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) is excited to partner with the state’s Education Renewal Zones (ERZs) and Graduation Alliance to launch the ENGAGE Arkansas Attendance and Re-engagement Initiative at no cost to districts. The initiative’s support will greatly benefit districts by reducing the workload on identifying, locating, and re-engaging students, allowing them instead to focus on providing necessary educational supports to students both in-person and virtually.

This partnership, which also includes the Arkansas Department of Human Services, will provide additional wrap-around support for students and families. The partners will determine how the pandemic has affected student enrollment and create strategies to find “no show” students, identify “at-risk” students who are disengaged, and help keep students continuously engaged in learning.

Informational Webinar Recording

ADE and Graduation Alliance hosted 30-minute informational webinars to provide more information about the initiative (announced in Commissioner's Memo COM-21-035). Districts are encouraged to view the Informational webinar session recording from October 12, 2020.

Social and Emotional Learning Programs

Social and Emotional Learning ProgramsSocial and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

To learn more, view Social and Emotional Learning Programs (Nov 2020) from the Arkansas Department of Education, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.

For more info, please contact:

Missy Walley, Director of Special Projects
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
Four Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-4475
Email: Missy.Walley@arkansas.gov

added 11/24/2020

COVID-19 Health and Education Hotline

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

The DCCECE staff has been working at the Arkansas Health and Education Hotline to answer incoming calls from child care centers experiencing COVID-19 related issues. The Hotline staff can guide providers through the next steps they need to take when they’ve had a positive case or a probable close contact.

If providers need help or have had a positive case, please call the Arkansas Health and Education Hotline at 1-833-504-0155.

Please complete the Positive Case Reporting Form and Probable Close Contacts List before calling, so the Hotline will have all the needed information. This form is also available on the DCCECE website.

added 08/24/2020

If you, or someone you know, may be considered an essential worker, please watch this video about temporary child care assistance that is available to you. Essential workers include child care staff, K-2 teachers, manufacturing, health care providers, folks working in the food supply chain, etc.

Child Care Providers: If the voucher rate is less than your current rate structure, you CAN charge the difference. (For example, if you charge $100 per week and the voucher pays $80, the parent/family can be charged $20.) This is the first time, ever, that families have been able to receive this support with no regard to income. 

Additional details including the Essential Worker Child Care Assistance Application can be found on this website.

added 07/30/2020

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

All ECEP courses meet the Arkansas Department of Education requirements governing professional development. 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).

Find out how to become an ECEP trainer

Request a training from ECEP