A teacher smiles and works with two small children in an early childhood classroom

Prioritizing Early Childhood

Educational Equity Work in Action

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation is proud to work with grantees such as The Arkansas Early Childhood Association (AECA) which received grant funds to support the development of a strategic plan driven by engagement of its members that supports equity and innovation.


AECA is a non-profit organization comprised of early childhood professionals and parents who share a common concern about the well-being of young children and their families. Their mission is to connect, develop, and represent Arkansas early childhood care and education professionals. In doing so, we elevate the diversity, equity, and vibrancy of the profession and to ultimately promote high-quality care and education for all Arkansas children & families.


AECA has a licensed program titled The T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Early Childhood ® Scholarship Program. It is a national, evidence-based strategy that creates access to higher education for teachers, directors and family child-care providers working with young children.

T.E.A.C.H. provides comprehensive scholarships to enable early educators to take coursework leading to credentials and degrees by making it possible for them to afford both the time and expense of going to school. At the same time, T.E.A.C.H. will help leverage the financial resources necessary to provide capacity in higher education to help individuals attain their educational and career goals.

T.E.A.C.H. is a change agent for the early care and education (ECE) workforce. The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood ® Arkansas Scholarship Program was developed to upgrade the level of education of teachers working with young children while making the educational process affordable, increasing wages and reducing turnover.

AECA hosts conferences that exemplify trends in their field and research proven strategies to use in classrooms and for family engagement. They host annual conferences as well as local affiliate meetings across the state. Their next conference, BeYOUtiful 2022, will be hosted in North Little Rock at the Wyndham Riverfront — October 12 – 15.

Support The Arkansas Early Childhood Association

Help support early childhood professionals and parents who are committed to protecting the wellbeing of young children and families.