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Helen R. Walton Children’s Enrichment Center

While Northwest Arkansas continues to rank as a premier job growth region, our community has identified access to high quality early childhood programs as the top quality of life concern. The Early Childhood Initiatives Center (ECIC) supports the 494 early childhood programs that provide care and education to over 32,000 children in Northwest Arkansas. We employ a 7-prong approach of professional and program development, accountability, resource and financial support, awareness, and advocacy to create systemic change towards state quality accreditation. The goal of the Early Childhood Initiatives Center (ECIC) is to be an anchor of support so that 100% of early childhood education programs in Northwest Arkansas are quality accredited, ensuring that every young child has the opportunity to have a high quality education.

The ECIC has reached capacity in both space and resources by serving over 240 centers in our current facility, but we are still leaving 18,000 children in our region behind. It Takes a Village to Raise a Child Capital Campaign will expand the Early Childhood Initiatives Center to serve as a place where all early childhood professionals can share knowledge, resources, and best practices to benefit the growth and education of young children.

We will educate community leaders, city officials, foundations, and corporations about the difference between daycare and high quality early childhood education, and the economic impact it has to our region, workforce, and future talent pipeline. By banding Northwest Arkansas leaders together in support of early childhood, we will encourage community wide engagement through volunteering, advocating and giving opportunities.