About Better Beginnings
Making Reading Fun
Children take their first steps towards language well before they talk. Your talking, singing and story telling and your child’s playful experiences with books are the building blocks for communicating, reading and writing. This downloadable resource will share simple ways for you and your child to enjoy books together. Available in English or Spanish.
What is Better Beginnings?
A great way of putting our children first!
High quality child care and early childhood education sets the stage for how well our children learn, how they think of themselves and how they interact with their world. We as parents, child care providers, educators and citizens have a responsibility to make sure all of our children have the very best experiences they can. Better Beginnings, Arkansas’s Quality Rating Improvement System, has been developed to do just that.
Better Beginnings emphasizes parents’ understanding of the value of quality child care while providing them with an on-line vehicle for identifying and locating quality child care providers in their communities.
Better Beginnings also gives Arkansas child care providers valuable tools for improving the quality of their programs at every level. By establishing recognized standards of excellence and providing a mechanism for providers to meet or exceed these standards, the quality of child care in Arkansas will continually improve and our children will get the start they need to be happy, healthy and productive citizens.
Parents and families
Selecting a child care provider is one of the most important and emotional decisions a parent will make. It is also one of the most difficult. “Where should I start?” “What questions should I ask?” “How can I be sure my child will be safe?” The Better Beginning website provides parents with answers to these questions and so much more.
The Better Beginnings website makes it easy for parents to:
- learn what to look for in a child care facility
- know what questions to ask about child care
- find licensed Arkansas child care providers in their area
- compare child care providers based on their quality ratings
Child care providers
Child care providers are important in providing our children a good start. So it only makes sense that we furnish them with the tools they need to create, maintain and improve healthy, challenging and safe environments for the children and families they serve. By establishing a criterion for quality child care, Better Beginnings gives providers a means of self-evaluation and a clear path to improve their programs.
Arkansas child care administrators and program directors should:
- Click here for the complete rules for Better Beginnings
- Click here for a guide to becoming a Better Beginnings Certified child care provider
We all recognize that our children are the future of our state. They will be the future parents, business owners and workers who will keep Arkansas strong and prosperous. That’s why we take pride in making our children’s safety and well being a priority. Better Beginnings is about our commitment to holding those who are providing child care services to established standards of quality and ensuring they have the resources they need to meet those standards.
Quality child care also has an impact on our state’s short-term economic growth. Those who consider Arkansas as a future site for their businesses will look favorably on the availability of quality child care services for their families and their employees.
Better Beginnings: Quality Ratings by Design
When providers successfully complete the certification process, their child care facility will receive a one, two, or three stars representing the level of certification achieved. This quality rating will be posted on the Better Beginnings website as a resource parents and others can use in making important child care decisions. Those licensed, registered and church-operated exempt providers who choose not to be formally evaluated will be listed on the website, but will not receive a rating.
How does the certification process work?
Better Beginnings is a multi-step certification process that begins with completion of the Better Beginnings Application Checklist (PDF). Providers can use this self-assessment checklist to identify requirements they are already meeting and those additional requirements they will need to meet in order to receive certification. Through this website, providers can also access child care provider toolkits that will help them begin addressing those areas they need to improve. This website also includes a list of frequently asked questions to help familiarize providers with the Better Beginnings rating system.
DHS/Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education
700 Main Street, Little Rock, AR 72201 or P.O. Box 1437, Little Rock, AR 72203-1437
Phone 501-682-4891 • Fax 501-682-2317 • TDD 501-1550