Excel by Eight Welcomes Sanci Richardson as Communities Manager

Excel by Eight (E8) has added Sanci Richardson as communities manager. With an extensive community and economic development background, Richardson will help design and implement a strategy that organizes and engages individuals and organizations in E8 communities to...

“Don’t look at us as babysitters. Look at us as early education professionals.”

Alicia Williams owns and operates three child care centers in El Dorado and Benton. Despite her successes as a business owner and her passion for early care and education, working in child care and owning a privately owned center can be difficult. We talked to Alicia about the challenges she faces, especially when it comes to balancing what families can afford to pay and what employees need to earn.

8 Takeaways from the Excel by Eight Foundations Summit

Last month, the Excel by Eight Foundations Collaborative gathered in Little Rock with stakeholders and partners for a Summit to celebrate early successes for our policy agenda and begin setting our agenda for the next several years. Through informative panels and...

Independence County: Building Brains in Preschoolers One Conversation at a Time

Independence County: Building Brains in Preschoolers One Conversation at a Time

Preschools in Independence County have adopted innovative technology to support early brain development. LENA – short for Language ENvironment Analysis – is a professional development opportunity for early childhood educators that uses cloud-based software and a small, wearable device – often referred to as a “talk pedometer” – to measure and increase conversational turns that happen between a child and an adult caregiver.

Independence County hosts Excel by Eight fall 2022 Learning Community

Independence County hosts Excel by Eight fall 2022 Learning Community

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.

Excel by Eight promotes Jessi Rice Woods to communities director

Excel by Eight promotes Jessi Rice Woods to communities director

Excel by Eight (E8) has promoted Jessi Rice Woods to communities director. Rice Woods began working for E8 as a community consultant in January 2019, marking the beginning of the initiative’s shift from the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to its current...

Child Care Roundtable addresses challenges facing child care providers, employers, and families

Child Care Roundtable addresses challenges facing child care providers, employers, and families

In early September, Excel by Eight partnered with the Institute for Economic Equity at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and Arkansas Asset Funders Network to host a roundtable discussion on “Child Care and the Economy.” The event featured business and industry leaders from across the state who shared insights and discussed opportunities to support child care for the current and future workforce.

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.