Arkansas Early Childhood Asset Map (AECAM)

Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems

  • Data Systems


The Arkansas Early Childhood Asset Map, launched in 2020 by the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education, is a data visualization toolData Visualization Tool: A data visualization tool that makes aggregate data related to early childhood education programs and services available for public view.. It provides program information for public use on early childhood services as captured in the state’s annual “Getting Ready for School” publication. The map includes information on special nutrition programs, Arkansas Better Chance programs, Head Start programs, child care vouchers, and Better Beginnings programs. Supported by a state-university partnership, the map is housed at the Arkansas Economic Development Institute at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and funded by the DHS.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

Strong infrastructure and systems – including governance structures and data systems – are key aspects of high-quality early education and care. And research suggests there is a need for more accessible, affordable, and high-quality early education within a mixed-delivery system; strengthening infrastructure and systems is one important way states and cities can take action to address these needs and accomplish these goals.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) that connect to the need for more robust infrastructure and systems, including data systems:

  • Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
  • But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.
  • No one early education setting type is inherently of higher quality than another; children develop and learn well in every setting type, and in the study, all setting types showed room to grow in quality.
  • We have learned a great deal from this groundbreaking, large-scale study. Nevertheless, there is still much to learn about what children, families, and educators need, and about what “works” – for whom and under what circumstances – across all the diverse settings where young children learn and grow.
Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about Arkansas

Context matters. Visit the Arkansas profile page to learn more about its demographics, political landscape, early education programs, early education workforce, and funding sources and streams.

Visit the Arkansas Profile Here
  • The state population is 3,045,637
  • The percentage of children under 6 with all available parents in the workforce is 67%
  • The rural percentage is 44.5%