The Arkansas Economic Development Institute at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received $156,850 from the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Childcare and Early Childhood to continue the Arkansas Early Childhood Asset Map program. The Institute will utilize its Census Data Center and GIS Applications Laboratory to provide mapping services, resource guides, and its yearly publication, Getting Ready for School.
The goal of this program is to improve the lives of Arkansas children and families by providing the necessary information policy makers need to help children start and succeed in school. The Institute provides an online GIS map with demographic data such as children in poverty, babies born with a low birth weight, and babies born without prenatal care.
The Getting Ready for School publication provides detailed data of School Readiness Indicators to increase awareness of children and families in the state. The School Readiness Indicators were developed by the Arkansas School Readiness Initiative Team, and provide a foundation for policy makers and community leaders.
“Our relationship with DHS began over 20 years ago with a basic ten page publication,” says Phyllis Poche, Senior Researcher at the Institute. “Today an interactive database and website can track indicators that enable policy makers and community leaders to identify areas most in need of intervention.”