Iowa Department of Human Services has the most recent information regarding COVID-19 and child care in Iowa:

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Podcast for Latino Families

Two pediatricians at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have started a podcast for Latino families. The show is called “Las Doctoras Recomiendan” with weekly episodes in Spanish with topics ranging from obesity prevention to recognizing abusive relationships and gang violence, to how to talk to your children about discrimination and racism. They also address issues like disciplining children with cultural sensitivity. The past podcasts can be accessed for free here:

Here is the link to the podcast:

Polk County ECI Applications for Funding

The Polk County Early Childhood Iowa Board is reviewing applications for funding for fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019). Programs in Polk County serving children ages 0-5 and their families are encouraged to apply. Application deadline is March 21, 2019.

Interested programs must demonstrate positive outcomes in one or more of these priority areas identified in the Polk County ECI Community Plan:

  • Healthy Children
  • Children Ready to Succeed in School
  • Safe and Supportive Communities
  • Secure and Nurturing Families
  • Secure and Nurturing Early Learning Environments

Organizations interested in applying for funding should contact:

Barb Bremner
Executive Director
Polk County Early Childhood Iowa
1111 9th Street, Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50314

Early Head Start Child Care Partnership

Fantastic News for Polk County Families!

With the announcement of the awarding of $1.1 million this year for establishment of the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership this has been a very exiting week for Polk County Early Childhood Iowa. The awarding of the federal funds is a tangible success leading from a new partnership forged this summer between Polk County ECI, Drake University Head Start and United Way of Central Iowa. The long-standing collaborative relationships of Polk County ECI and UWCI Women’s Leadership Connection provided strong evidence of our community’s ability and will to support high quality early care. The new Early Head Start Child Care Partnership builds on the more than ten year’s support provided by the Polk County ECI Board to Coalition Child Care Centers.

This link is from local news coverage of the award from the Polk County ECI supported center Oak Academy:

This link is from local news coverage of the award from Polk County ECI supported center Conmigo Early Education Center :

Preliminary winners were announced by the Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families on December 10th during the White House Summit on Early Education. These grants will improve the quality of existing child care programs and expand access to high quality care for infants and toddlers. Thus far, 234 preliminarily selected grant applicants in 49 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands will receive over $435 million in funding to help offer care and services to ensure that infants and toddlers have access to Early Head Start services in their communities.

“Research shows the first three years are critical for brain development, and Early Head Start provides high-quality early care and learning opportunities for our most vulnerable young children,” said ACF Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Greenberg. “These grants will help support working families by providing a full-day, full-year program for young children.”

“We are pleased to partner with communities from all over the country to expand high quality early learning opportunities for children who need it most.  By providing the fundamental services young children need, we will improve their chances to reach their full potential,” said ACF Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development Linda Smith.

President Obama first mentioned the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program in his 2013 State of the Union address, when he proposed a comprehensive plan to support high-quality early education for all children from birth through school age.

For the list of preliminary grantees, please visit the ACF web site<>.

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