Guest Blogger: Jeff Dyer, AECA Executive Director

I have had many firsts and new beginnings this past year and the same can be said for our association. In June of last year, I officially retired from a 30-year career in K-12 education and began a new chapter with the Arkansas Early Childhood Association. Starting July 1, Paul and I began the process of building an office from scratch and develop the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship Program. As you guys know, AECA has never had staff and the scholarship program was new to Arkansas, as well. Separately, both are big tasks.

There is one reason that both undertakings have been successful and that is the early childhood family around our state. We are so appreciative of those that have been so helpful with their time and knowledge. It has truly been a privilege traveling around the state and getting the opportunity to meet so many people passionate about early childhood education. That passion is what I want to harness as we move forward together promoting the importance of quality early childhood care and education. We have so many great stories that need to be shared. I think the Arkansas Early Childhood Association can be a unifying voice for those stories.

One question we receive many times is what people get for their AECA membership. That is a something we will continue to address and define the role of AECA in Arkansas. A perfect example is providing accurate and helpful information to our members, and the public in general, as everyone deals with the Coronavirus. We definitely want to strive to provide practical information to utilize in child-care settings around our state.

Time really does fly when you are having fun and staying busy. The past 9+ months have been both and I look forward to what the future holds for AECA and early childhood care in Arkansas. One more first, this is my first ever blog. It wasn’t too painful.

I welcome the opportunity to meet more of you, attend a meeting, etc. Please don’t hesitate to call on me anytime.


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