Every three years, the state of Arkansas decides how to use federal money from the Child Care Development Fund (CCDBG) This is the money that provides child care assistance to families (vouchers) and quality improvements like professional development and supports for our Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) Better Beginnings.

In Arkansas, DHS/Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education (DCCECE) administers the CCDF funds. The state drafts a plan and is required to post it for citizens to comment with feedback. They have created a special email address for sharing comments: CCDFStatePlanComments@dhs.arkansas.gov. All comments MUST be submitted to this email address by Monday, June 7, 2021. This process only works IF we provide feedback, so therefore AECA is encouraging everyone to share their ideas and have our voices be heard.

AECA created a list of recommendations to share with the Division (DCCECE) in the comment process. We have organized the recommendations to align with the categories within the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) plan for Arkansas. We have used this frame to link with the planning process provided by the state, however, we are also aware that the state has been allocated $464,955,451 through the American Recovery Plan (ARP) to be used 2021-2024. It is our hope that recommendations that align closely with the stabilization objectives of those funds would be considered.

Here is a direct link to each of our one-page recommendations, for your convenience:

Ensure Equal Access to Child Care for Low-Income Children

Recruit & Retain a Qualified and Effective Child Care Workforce

Support Continuous Quality Improvement

Our complete recommendations document can be found here.

We thought sharing it with you might spur some ideas for your own comments. We HOPE that MANY of these recommendations would support you and your program. If so, we thought you might submit them as a comment as well. The more of us that share the same idea, the stronger our voices!

PLEASE take the time to look them over, then share the ones you like OR your own, using the CCDFStatePlanComments@dhs.arkansas.gov email by Monday, June 7, 2021.

Remember, you are #keyplayers and your voice is important in shaping the future of early childhood education in Arkansas. Use this opportunity to be heard! Please share this post with anyone you know who can add their comments.

We thank you for speaking up for children, families, and your fellow early childhood professionals across our state. 

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