We are excited to welcome our new staff member, Laura House! She is our new Step Up to WAGE$ Program Manager. She will be presenting a free session at our upcoming AECA Conference in October about our education-based wage supplement plan that is available to teaching staff in all licensed centers and family child care homes. Here is more info about Laura, you can contact her at laura@arkansasearlychildhood.org.

Laura earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Youth Development from Milligan College. From 2006 – 2016, she worked for Telamon Tennessee Migrant and Seasonal Head Start as first an infant/toddler Teacher and then Education Specialist. During this time, Laura provided ongoing professional development that supported effective teaching practices and positive classroom management, in turn, ensuring continued positive outcomes for children. In 2017, Laura accepted a position as a Center Director in a faith-based early childhood center. In this role, Laura worked to develop a more curriculum-based learning environment for the center by restructuring both the curriculum and lesson plan. In 2018, Laura and her family moved to Arkansas where she rejoined the Head Start world at Arkansas Ealy Learning. During her time with AEL, Laura served as Coach, Community Partnerships Manager, and most recently, Education Manager. In these roles, Laura was able to continue to provide quality ongoing professional development to education staff via agency-wide, local, regional, and national Early Childhood Education conferences. Some of those include the following: Arkansas Early Childhood Association Annual Conference, Southern Early Childhood Association Conference, Arkansas Head Start Association Institute, and Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education. Laura, her husband Nathan, their son Max and fur-daughter Luna, live in Northwest Arkansas and enjoy playing disc golf, hosting board game nights with friends, and visiting family back home in East Tennessee.

I look forward to working with educators across the state to help them see the value in their continued education for not only themselves but for the children in their care. As a past infant/toddler teacher and advocate for higher pay in ECED, I know first-hand how this monetary supplement will help prove to our early childhood educators how important their role is to the future of not only Arkansas but the country.

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