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The Arkadelphia Board of Education has entered an agreement with Southern Bancorp and Clark County Child Care, Inc., to transfer leadership and management of the Clark County Child Care facility and program to the Arkadelphia School District.

According to information from the Arkadelphia School, CCCC has operated as a non-profit organization since it was established 18 months ago as one of the outcomes of the Clark County Strategic Plan. The program currently serves 94 children, aged six weeks to four years.

The school district has reportedly been looking to expand their early childhood program for several years, and had been involved with development of CCCC since its inception. “Discussions of a merger with the District began this summer and the agreement was finalized last week,” said Arkadelphia School District Superintendent Donnie Whitten.

A press release from the school indicates that the school district will begin managing all operations of the CCCC beginning Oct. 18.

The report reads, in part, “The District will provide additional support and personnel in the areas of nursing,technology, maintenance, food service, custodial services and bookkeeping. This support will enable the director and classroom staff to maintain a continued focus on providing a high-quality of education and care to the children.”

The CCCC will also be a part of the Arkadelphia School District’s Schools of the 21st Century program, a Yale University-based initiative that works as a national model to link communities, families and schools, according to information from the program’s website. The program helps prepare children for school before kindergarten in a safe, sound environment that also works to make parents better care-givers and helps to raise healthy, well-fed and physically fit children.

The 21C also provides support to district programs at Louisa E. Perritt Elementary School, Boys and Girls Club of Clark County and Prime Time Afterschool program. More information about 21C can be found on their website at

Whitten said he plans for the program to eventually increase its numbers, but would like CCCC to initially work toward building its accreditation-level.

“A quality early childhood education is an indicator of a successful transition to kindergarten,” said Whitten. “We all must play our part to help our kids in their early years of development.”

The CCCC transition will be led by Patricia Wright, Director of Schools of the 21st Century and Special Programs, according to Whitten. Wright will provide support and leadership to the CCCC Director, staff, students and parents during the process.

“We look forward to the students and parents becoming a part of the Arkadelphia School District,” said Whitten. “It is a great program and with an outstanding facility. We are excited about this opportunity and hope to take our early childhood programs to the next level.”