Fun, games and a quality early childhood education. That's what hundreds of kids are getting at the Helen Walton Children's Enrichment Center. Kirsten Herbert, the Development Manager of the center said, "It really has an impact on the rest of their life." The center provides direct services for children from 6 weeks to Pre-K with the ultimate goal of helping them succeed. Herbert said, "It makes me feel very proud of the services we deliver both to our 250 children and their families and the services that we deliver to the community as well." Helping children in their own center isn't the only focus. It also strives to assist hundreds of other child care facilities in Northwest Arkansas. Laura Kellams, the NWA Director for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families explains, "They're working to ensure that more centers throughout our region have high quality services for kids." Advocates say investing in a child's education as early as possible means big things for the economy as well. They say graduations rates increase while the use of social services down the line decrease. Kellams said, "There's nothing more important for our community and for our economic development than for our kids to succeed in their education." Organizers say with a 3 star Better Beginnings rating by the state, the center serves as an example for providing a high quality early childhood program. They also hope the community understands the importance of such programs. Kellams said, "Kids who have access to high quality education are more likely to be reading on time and more likely to succeed."
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