Who We Impact



By age 5, a child’s brain reaches 90% of its adult capacity, developing 700 neural connections every second. Early learning experiences lay the foundation in the brain’s architecture that will develop into deep, or shallow, roots for learning, health, and lifelong success.

Children that have negative early experiences and don’t receive a high-quality early childhood education are:

  • 25% more likely to dropout of school

  • 40% more likely to become a teen parent

  • 50% more likely to be placed in special education

  • 60% more likely to never attend college

  • 70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime



American women drop out of the workforce every year, and 74 percent say the lack of decent child care is the primary reason why. The lack of child care for lower-wage workers can force parents to choose between losing a job and settling for sub-optimal care.

In Northwest Arkansas, the labor participation rate for females with a child under the age of 5 is significantly lower than comparable regions due to the lack of affordable and accessible quality early education.

Preschool Caucasian Girls in Art with Male Teacher.jpg

early childhood professional

Key ingredients of a well-designed and well-implemented program include a high-quality curriculum, well-paid, well-trained, well-coached teachers, and provisions for accountability.

HighQ Ed Center supports the nearly 5,000 early childhood professionals in our region who serve 27,000 young children. We take an integrative approach to raising the bar for early childhood education through professional development, program development, collaboration, advancement, policy, coaching and mentoring, and resources.



Tomorrow’s workforce is being shaped by today’s early childhood programs. Investing in this community wide effort will improve the fiscal health of Northwest Arkansas by strengthening human capital, enhancing economic growth, increasing revenues, and ensuring a talent rich pipeline for the Northwest Arkansas workforce.

We strive to foster a culture of continuous quality improvement in early education programs so that every child in Northwest Arkansas has access to a high-quality early childhood education, ultimately benefiting the child, workforce and society. It truly takes a village to raise a child.