Early Childhood

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The Office of Early Childhood (formerly known as Division of Child Care & Early Childhood Education) knows that the earliest years are critical for brain development and learning so they work to ensure children and families have access to a safe, high-quality, and nurturing care. The office ensures that Arkansas children and families have access to a safe, high-quality, developmentally appropriate early-learning environment. The office accomplishes this by educating and assisting parents; licensing, regulating, and supporting child care providers, and working with communities to prepare children for future success. It also works closely with the Early Childhood Commission.

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Tonya Williams

OEC Director

Director Williams oversees efforts to ensure children and families have access to high-quality child care through licensing, training, and funding. She has served in that role for more than 15 years and is responsible for overseeing child care and residential licensing, the Better Beginnings quality improvement system for early education, administering several federal programs that serve young children and families, and USDA nutrition programs. Tonya is passionate about improving the quality of early childhood education for all children in Arkansas.

Director Tonya Williams

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Publish date: 4/23/2023
Posted by: Office of Early Childhood

The owner and operator of a preschool in Ash Flat and the education coordinator at a Head Start program in Little Rock have been named the 2023 Arkansas Outstanding Early Childhood Professionals of the Year, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) announced today.