Excel by Eight (E8) is a statewide initiative that has been developed in partnership with Arkansas Community Foundation and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and in collaboration with over 20 statewide entities. Our vision is a state where all children have a strong...
Rita Ward owns and operates Busy Bee Day Care from her home in Mountain View and has been in business since February 2011. After the recent closure of another licensed center in the area, Busy Bee is now the only licensed center for infants and toddlers in Stone County and has a waiting list that’s a year out.
For the first time, Excel by Eight hosted its semiannual Learning Community outside of Arkansas’s capital city, bringing more than 30 community leaders to Independence County in mid-October for local site visits and informative sessions. The two-day event took place in the cities of Batesville and Southside and focused on early care and education for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Jill Wilson, executive director of two child care centers in Mountain Home, and Garrett Dolan, senior manager of corporate social responsibility at Tyson Foods, served on a panel moderated by Roby Brock, editor-in-chief and host of Talk Business and Politics. The panelists discussed the challenges facing employers and child care providers in Arkansas, including quality of care, workforce, and affordability.