For the Provider

The below links are potential resources for professionals in the field of early child care and education. The use or mention of any of these sponsoring sites or publications does not imply an endorsement by Early Care and Education Projects or the University of Arkansas.

Better Beginnings is the statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) which is managed by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education. It operates by connecting Arkansas families with information and guidance that helps their children experience a safe, happy, healthy childhood.

Better Beginnings improves the level of quality in child care and early childhood education for all licensed center-based programs and licensed/registered family child care programs across the state. It functions as a voluntary three-tier system that evaluates programs along five component areas: 1) Administration, 2) Administrator and Staff Qualifications and Professional Development, 3) Learning Environment 4) Environmental Assessment, and 5) Child Health and Development. The requirements of Better Beginnings are aligned with Arkansas' early learning guidelines and core competencies for professionals.

  • Visit the Better Beginnings website for much more info that parents, families, providers, and teachers can all use
  • View the state profile of Better Beginnings from Quality Compendium for a complete comprehensive report
  • Remember to look for the Better Beginnings star ratings when searching for local child care providers in Arkansas

Please note that Better Beginnings is currently implementing the addition of three new levels—Levels 4, 5, and 6, to its program. The official launch date for this has not been announced.

Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) provides a framework for building strong early care and education systems within states. With its increased focus on data collection, QRIS can be a powerful policy tool to transform early childhood education. These state systems can be designed for use by all types of early childhood programs—child care centers, family child care homes, Head Start programs, and school-based preschool programs. States can make participation entirely voluntary, or they can make participation mandatory for certain providers, such as those that accept public funding or all programs that are licensed to operate in the state.

QRIS is necessary because only 10% of early childhood providers across the US are considered high quality, with children from low-income families and minority families more likely to be in lower-quality care. QRIS offers a framework to:

  • Increase the availability of high-quality programs
  • Deliver ongoing professional development and quality improvement supports to providers
  • Strengthen parent understanding of program quality and the importance of high-quality child care and preschool



The below MLR's are the most current version from the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education, effective January 1, 2020. The latest revisions are highlighted in yellow. Please check the publication date on the cover page at your center or home and ensure that it's the newest version.

Minimum Licensing Requirements for Child Care Centers  revised 01/01/2020

Minimum Licensing Requirements for Licensed Child Care Family Homes  revised 01/01/2020

Minimum Licensing Requirements for Out-of-School Time Facilities  revised 01/01/2020

Minimum Licensing Requirements for Registered Child Care Family Homes  revised 01/01/2020

Vistit the Division's website for more info.



Arkansas Adult Learning Resource Center
Arkansas Department of Career Education
Arkansas Family Literacy Partnership
Arkansas Literacy Councils, Inc.

age-appropriate activities

infant and toddler
Baby Sensory

toddler and preschool
Busy Toddler
Frozen Flowers and More!
Homemade Toys
Science Sound Shakers
Sensory Obstacle Courses
The Imagination Tree

age-based handouts

Share My Lesson free lessons plans by education level from pre-K to high school
Your Child's Development: Age-Based Tips from Birth to 36 Months

Arkansas Academic Standards

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
English Language Arts
English Language Arts Resources 
Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework
Literacy Learning Progressions
NCTM Illuminations
New Meridian Resource Center
Parents' Guides to Student Success from the National PTA
Teaching Channel

Arkansas curriculum and supplemental publications

Arkansas Approved Early Childhood Curriculum - Supplemental Curricula: Health & Fitness

Comprehensive Curricula a list of Arkansas approved early childhood curriculum

Arkansas Child Development and Early Learning Standards: Birth through 60 Months (Arkansas CDELS)
   (English)  (Spanish)

Arkansas CDELS poster

Arkansas Workforce Knowledge and Competencies (WKC) for Early Care and Education Professionals

Adventures for Toddlers a comprehensive curriculum for children aged 18 to 36 months

Adventures in Learning a comprehensive curriculum for children aged 3 to 5 years old

** Arkansas Early Childhood Education Framework Handbook  ** RETIRED

Association of Measurements: Early Childhood (AOM)

Books and Movement: A Magical Mix (BAMMM!)

Connecting Literature and Math (CLAM) supports teachers by providing math to children aged 3 to 5, aligned with Arkansas CDELS

Connecting with Infants a curriculum for children birth to 18 months, aligned with Arkansas CDELS

Creative Adventures with Literature (CAL) literature and art supplement for teachers of children ages 3 to 5, aligned with Arkansas CDELS

Developmental Rating Scale: Birth through 36 Months (DRS) aligned with Arkansas CDELS 
   (printable)  (interactive)

Developmental Rating Scale: 19 through 60 Months (DRS) aligned with Arkansas CDELS 
   (printable)  (interactive)

Getting Ready For Kindergarten: A Calendar of Family Activities
   (English)  (Spanish)

Infant and Toddler Family Connection activities that connect infants and toddlers to their child care setting and their families

Kindergarten Readiness Indicator Checklist for Parents (KRIC)
   (English)  (Eng. interactive)  (Spanish)  (Sp. interactive)

Kindergarten Readiness Indicator Checklist for Teachers (KRIC)
   (English)  (Eng. interactive)  (Spanish)  (Sp. interactive)

LINK for Parents

LINK for Teachers

Picture This: A Framework for Quality Care and Education for Children from Three to Five

Picture This: A Framework for Quality Care for Infants and Toddlers


Strategies and Activities: Infant Toddler aligned with Arkansas CDELS

Strategies and Activities: Preschool aligned with Arkansas CDELS

The Family Connection activities that connect children ages 3 to 5 to their classroom and their families

The Very Hungry Caterpillar storytelling patterns

"TOP 10" Basics for Health and Safety in Child Care Centers

"TOP 10" Basics for Health and Safety in Child Care Family Homes

Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)

Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

Rules Governing the Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) Program October 2012
ABC Program Manual July 2019 clarification of the promulgated ABC Rules & Regulations of October 2012

Arkansas Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education (DCCECE)

Birth through Prekindergarten Teaching Credential  checklist and application
Infant Toddler Certificate  checklist and application
Licensing Support for Early Care Professionals
Technical Assistance Packet

Arkansas Education Service Cooperatives from the ADE

Arkansas Professional Development Registry (PDR)

Baby Project early childhood research and practice

book clubs

High Five™ Magazine
Ranger Rick Jr.


Frequently Asked Questions About Brain Development from ZERO TO THREE

Caring For Our Children (CFOC)


Constructive Playthings
Hatch Store creative diversity toys
Gryphon House 
Kimbo music downloads
Redleaf Press

Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University a multidisciplinary team committed to driving science-based innovation in policy and practice

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL)

Pyramid Model revised
Tools for Developing Behavior Support Plans
Solution Kit Cue Cards
Turtle Technique
What Works Briefs

Child Development Associate Credential™ (CDA) from the Council for Professional Recognition

children's activities

4 Art Projects for Parents and Toddlers
Early Childhood News Classroom Ideas
Free Activities for Early Childhood Education and Development
Single Portion Play Dough Recipe
Tips and Tools on Play from ZERO TO THREE
Toddler Approved

choking resources

Choke tester  (Kaplan)  (Kaplan Toys)
Prevent Choking! poster  (English)  (Spanish)

Common Core State Standards Initiative

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

Recall list find recent child products recalled by the CPSC
Safety education info for a variety of products from the CPSC

Curricula Concepts

developmental milestones

CDC Developmental Milestones for children ages 2 months to 5 years  (print the checklists)
Communicating With Baby: Tips and Milestones From Birth to Age 5 from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Ear Infections and Language Development brochure 2000 edition from the National Center for Early Development and Learning
How Does Your Child Hear and Talk? from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Infant Hearing in Arkansas info from the Arkansas Dept of Health
Learn the Signs. Act Early program for tracking children's development from the CDC
Your Baby's Hearing and Communicative Development Checklist from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders


All About the IEP a parent's guide to creating a plan for a child's special education
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related information and technical assistance
Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network fact sheet
Autism Data Visualization Tool view estimates and demographics at national, state, and community levels
Autism Spectrum Disorder from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network
Autism Spectrum Disorder additional articles and key findings from the CDC
Birth Defects data and statistics from the CDC
Boardmaker® software to create print and materials for special education needs
Care Plan for a Child with Special Needs in Child Care Explanation
Care Plan Checklist for Children with Special Needs
Center for Parent Information and Resources
Developmental Disabilities tools and resources from the CDC
Early Intervention Day Treatment (EIDT) an Arkansas Medicaid Program for children ages birth to 21. EIDT is the successor program of CHMS and DDTCS in Arkansas
First Connections an Arkansas program under IDEA designed for families and children, ages birth to 3, with special needs
First Signs© educating families and professionals about the early signs of autism and related disorders
iCAN Arkansas' statewide Assistive Technology program
IDEA from the US Dept of Education's Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Office of Special Education Programs for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities ages birth to 21
Part C of IDEA early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities, and their families
Special Education Guide how to become a special education teacher in Arkansas
Special Olympics Young Athletes™ from Special Olympics Arkansas
Types of Developmental Disabilities from the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
United Cerebral Palsy of Arkansas a non-profit organization that serves children and adults with developmental disabilities
Wrightslaw information, laws, and advocacy about children's disabilities for parents and educators

disaster preparedness

Disaster Checklist for Childcare Professionals from Resilient Children/Resilient Communities
RCRC Toolbox from Resilient Children/Resilient Communities

Erikson Institute TEC Center

European Temperament Network


Songs, Rhymes, and Fingerplays from ZERO TO THREE
Red Grammar

Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)


Arkansas Children's for Community, Family and Child Health
Arkansas Women, Infants and Children (WIC) the special supplemental nutrition program from the Arkansas Dept of Health
ARKids First a health insurance program for children in Arkansas through DHS
Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 8th edition from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Healthy Child Care from the American Academy of Pediatrics
KidsHealth from Nemours
Medicaid and CHIP in Arkansas (Children's Health Insurance Program) view documents and info relevant to these programs in Arkansas
Tick bites


Center for Inclusive Child Care
Partners for Inclusive Communities
Welcome the Children

Kindness Curriculum


Getting Started with Mindfulness: A Toolkit for Early Childhood Organizations from ZERO TO THREE

MyPlate ideas and tips to help create a healthier eating style that meets individual needs from the USDA

10 Tips: Choose MyPlate
10 Tips: Food Safety Tips for Preschoolers
Help Preschoolers Eat Well, Be Active, and Grow Up Healthy
MyPlate, MyState Toolkit for Teachers
MyPlate Tip Sheets

nature resources

EPA Environmental Kids Club
Izaak Walton League of America
Keep America Beautiful
National Audubon Society
National Wildlife Federation
USDA Forest Service
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Wildlife Habitat Council

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Arkansas Forestry Commission
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Arkansas Natural Resources Commission
Arkansas Urban Forestry Council
University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service

early childhood
Children & Nature Network
Green Hearts, Institute for Nature in Childhood
Green Hour
Natural Learning Initiative
Natural Playgrounds
Nature Explore
Nature Works Everywhere
Poisonous and Nonpoisonous Plant Guide

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) promoting high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research

Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment  (pdf version)
Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP)
Early Childhood Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evaluation
Learning and Development Resources for Families

National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education (NRC)

Caring for Our Children (CFOC) National Health and Safety Performance Standards Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs (4th edition)
most up-to-date source

COVID-19 Questions-CFOC Crosswalk
Chapter for Children with Food Allergies
Chapter Staff Regarding the Presence of Toxic Substances
Chapter and Pick-up
Chapter 7: Infectious Diseases
Appendix J: Selecting an Appropriate Sanitizer or Disinfectant 

National PTA®

National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) a multi-tiered system of support to improve the social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes of young children birth to 5 

New America indispensable policies and practices for high-quality pre-K


Parenting in Arkansas eNewsletter
Parent Center Network a site for products related to children and parenting

position statements

The American Academy of Pediatrics Position Paper
NAEYC Position Statement


Prevent Portion Distortion
Rethink Your Drink
Sugary Drinks Addiction in America
Supermarket Secrets


aha! Process, Inc.
American Psychological Association
Children's Defense Fund
Circles® USA
Commonway Institute for Societal Transformation
Communication Across Barriers
Facing History and Ourselves
The National Association for Multicultural Education
National Center for Children in Poverty
Search Institute
Teaching for Change
Teaching Tolerance
Teaching Channel

professional development

Individual Professional Development Plan
Research and Evaluation Division

professional organizations

Arkansas Early Childhood Association (AECA)

Association for Early Learning Leaders formerly known as the National Association of Child Care Professionals

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

National Head Start Association (NHSA)

Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA)

Project Play Positive Learning for Arkansas' Youngest from UAMS


Games to Play with Toddlers 2002 revised edition by Jackie Silberg
125 Brain Games for Toddlers and Twos 2012 revised edition by Jackie Silberg
125 Brain Games for Babies 2012 revised edition by Jackie Silberg
Simple Steps: Developmental Activities for Infants, Toddlers, and Two-Year Olds 1999 by Karen Miller
The GIANT Encyclopedia of Transition Activities for Children 3 to 6 2005 by Kathy Charner

R.E.A.C.H. Reaching Educators and Children from UAMS

Reading is Fundamental

Rehabilitative Services for Persons with Mental Illness (RSPMI) revised 1/1/2016 from the Arkansas Dept of Human Services


ChildSafe Kit request a free kit, a must-have for all parents
Period of PURPLE Crying® from the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome
Play Safe info about toy safety from The Toy Association, Inc.
Safe Kids Worldwide protecting kids from unintentional injuries
U.S. Safety Standards safety rules and regulations in the toy industry 
You Can Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome from the Arkansas Dept of Health 

Safe to Sleep® Campaign from the National Institutes of Health

Safe Sleep for Your Baby August 2014 brochure
Campaign materials a variety of materials to view, download, print, or order
What Does a Safe Sleep Environment Look Like? April 2018 poster


Al's Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices
Devereux Early Childhood Assessment Preschool Program 2nd edition
The Incredible Years
Second Step
Skillstreaming in Early Childhood (revised edition)
Tools of the Mind® helping children become intentional and reflective learners, by creating a classroom in which instruction reflect children's learning capacity, rather than age-level expectations

Storyline Online stream videos featuring celebrated actors reading children's books alongside creative illustrations

Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention (TACSEI)

ABC Recording Form
Complete Guide to Positive Behavior Support
Functional Assessment Interview Form
How to Make a Visual Schedule  
Routine Based Support Guide
Teaching Classroom Rules
Teaching Tools practical strategies for teachers to create a plan for supporting young children with challenging behavior


TEACH Early Childhood® National Center creating a professional, educated and fairly compensated early childhood education workforce

TEACH Early Childhood® Arkansas flyer

TEACH Arkansas Scholarship Program a licensed program of the Child Care Services Association and administered by the Arkansas Early Childhood Association

TEACH Arkansas Programs Level Up brochure from the Arkansas Early Childhood Association

The Toy Association™ a unifying force for members’ creativity, responsibility, and global success, advocating for their needs and championing the benefits of play

TIPS for Great Kids! a useful, practical info for parents that leads to successful outcomes for children ages birth to 5 years from UAMS

TIPS Topics Index
Social-Emotional Health

valid and reliable screening tools

Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory
Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status
Pediatric Symptom Checklist
Possible Problems List


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