Hot Springs Early Childhood Association (HSECA)

Hot Springs area
President: Kathryn Linch

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Hot Springs Dinner & Tribute

On Monday, April 17th we held our annual Dinner & Tribute night – ‘Early Childhood Professionals Who Are Difference Makers for Children-Families-Communities’ was the theme. Thank you to everyone who attended! 

2024 Meetings

Must register on PDR prior to meeting. Meeting Location: First United Methodist Church Christian Life Center, 218 Pratt Street, Hot Springs. Hours count toward Better Beginnings & DHS Licensing Requirements for annual training hours.

***Door Prizes will be given away at each meeting***

Monday, February 12, 2024
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
“Paint Party”
PDR# 63649
Relaxing art therapy for childcare providers because self-care is important. Additional Information: All supplies will be provided at no cost.
Presenter: Anthony Tidwell, Founder at Cutwell 4 Kids

Monday, March 11, 2024
6:00– 8:00 p.m.
“Sharing Key Experiences”
PDR# 64247
Join us to celebrate Arkansas Children’s Week 2024! Together, we’ll consider ways to support learning and development through five key experiences: Constructive Experiences, Imaginative Play, Creative Expression, Exploratory and Investigative Experiences, and Active/Physical Play.
Presenter: Geania Dickey, dot2dot consulting

Dinner and Tribute
Monday, April 15, 2024
6:00– 8:00 p.m.
“Get Your SHIFT Together”
PDR# 64316
Participants will be guided through a transformative experience focused on self-care and overall improvement of life. Drawing on the principles of life coaching, this session will offer a comprehensive range of strategies, techniques, and reflective exercises including self-assessment, mindfulness, and qualitative communications. This will include interactive discussions, fostering a supportive environment for personal growth and self-discovery.
Presenter: Tracy T Rowe, CEO & Founder of Tracy T. Rowe & Co.
Cost is $5 payable by check or credit card to Donny Caudill, Must register by April 1st

2024 Minutes


Kathryn Linch

Kathryn Linch


I have been in the education field since 2007 when I began my bachelors at the University of Arkansas in Early Childhood Education. I worked in childcare through my college career, and completed a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Harding University in 2016. I am a military spouse with three beautiful children.  Throughout our journey as a Navy family, I have student taught in South Carolina and have been a classroom teacher in Virginia and Guam. I am now a program coordinator for Childcare Aware of West Central Arkansas and look forward to serving the community!

Christine Hudon

Christine Hudon

Vice President

Christine Hudon is the Director of Curriculum for Lakeside Preschool, Inc. She has been in this role for the last 20 years. Lakeside Preschool, Inc. was the first curriculum-based preschool in Garland County when they opened 20 years ago. They were among the first preschools to utilize the Quality (ABC) program when it began. With her bachelor’s in Early Education and a career time frame of 30+ years, she likes to explain her teaching philosophy as teaching & nurturing the Whole Child – Mind, Body, & Spirit.

Christine is a transplant from Chicago, Illinois having now been in Hot Springs for 23 years. She has 3 grown children, 2 fantastic sons-in-law & 2 beautiful grandchildren with a third on the way. She is very excited to be part of HSECA with all the new possibilities arising around us for Childcare as well as Preschools.

Shannon Jones

Shannon Jones

Recording Secretary

My name is Shannon Jones. My husband, Kevin, and I have been married for 34 years and we have one grown son, Daniel. In 1990 we moved to Hot Springs from South Arkansas to serve as house parents for the elementary-aged boys at Hillcrest Children’s Home. I have been at First United Methodist Child Development Center in Hot Springs since December of 2000. I spent my first six months as infant
support staff, fourteen years as the mobile infant lead teacher, six years as the assistant director, and the last year and a half as the director. When I‘m not at work I enjoy spending time at home with my husband and three cats. My husband and I also enjoy serving in various ministries at our church.

Donny Caudill

Donny Caudill

VP of Communications

My name is Donny and I am married to my beautiful wife Jessie, who is also a preschool teacher. We have two children, a son named TJ, who loves football and music and a daughter named Emma, who loves dance and keeping us on our toes. I am currently the Grant Coordinator and Data Specialist for Child Care Aware of West Central Arkansas and I absolutely love it. It’s so much fun being in a position that relates to what my wife does which gives us plenty to talk about. Prior to Child Care Aware, I was a Telecommunications Specialist in the Air Force for 10 years and then moved to the HR Manager position for another 10 years until I retired in 2014. For fun, I enjoy spending time with my family. We try to get outdoors as much as possible and love geocaching and playing Pokémon Go with the kids.

Dot Brown

Dot Brown


Fifty-four years ago I moved to Arkansas from South Louisiana, in the heart of Cajun Country, and boy was that culture shock.  Because of my boss, Maggie Reynolds, for whom the Maggie Reynolds-Deltha Sharp award is named, I immediately became a member of and deeply involved in AECA (it was AACUS then), SECA (it was SACUS then) and the Little Rock affiliate.  From that time forward I have been involved in AECA, SECA, and two local affiliates, serving on the board and planning conferences and trainings for each one.

During all of these years I have been part of the Arkansas early care and education community and my dearest friends are in that same field.  Currently, I am an independent contractor and have an agreement with the Early Childhood, Preschool Program at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.  My contract work has included development of the curricula that is on the Better Beginnings website and development of training that is being presented statewide.

In conclusion, let me say that AECA has been “very, very, good for me” and has kept me involved in and committed to what is best for children, families and early childhood professionals in Arkansas.

Rhonda Golden

Rhonda Golden

Membership Chair
Leslie Paschal Barnes

Leslie Paschal Barnes

Membership Chair

Leslie Paschal Barnes is the Executive Director for the Community Services Office (CSO), which is one of fifteen Community Action Agencies in the state of Arkansas. In addition to a multitude of other services, CSO provides early childhood education services in eight counties throughout Arkansas. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education leadership, Paschal Barnes’ career, which spans more than thirty years, has always focused on advocating for children and families. Paschal Barnes is a proud native of Hot Springs. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, sightseeing and working crossword puzzles. She and her late husband have two children, Julian and Kristen, who reside in New York, NY. 

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