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Early Childhood Iowa
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Early Childhood Iowa

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On July 1, 2023, Early Childhood Iowa will become part of the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a new organizational structure for state government goes into effect. Government departments and agencies that provide related services or have similar business functions are aligning to better serve Iowans. You can expect the same quality services you get now from Early Childhood Iowa to continue as usual. Our goal is to meet your needs more efficiently and effectively through better coordination as one team. 

Ready to Succeed:

Creating Healthy, Secure & Supported Children in Iowa

The first two thousand days make up the most critical stage of the human lifecycle. These first five years will impact a child’s chances for success for the rest of their lives. Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) is a statewide initiative housed within the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services that unites public and private agencies, organizations, and stakeholders under one common vision, “Every child, beginning at birth, will be healthy and successful.”

Find Local Contacts

“We are ECI” Strategic Plan 2023-2026

Stakeholder engagement is essential to improving outcomes for Iowa’s young children and their families. That’s why the vision and plan for Iowa’s Early Childhood system was built on widespread responses from families and early childhood providers across the state. “We are ECI” represents a strategic plan that recognizes the ever-changing needs for Iowa’s children and families.


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Goal 1:

Promote a coordinated infrastructure to advance the early childhood system.

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Goal 2:

Build public will for investing in young children and their families.

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Goal 3:

Transform the early childhood workforce through formal education, greater professionalism, increased skills and competence, and new approaches to implementing best practices.

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Goal 4:
Equitable Access

Ensure that young children and families receive the services they need when they need them.

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Goal 5:

Improve the quality of early childhood services for young children and their families across early care and education; health, mental health, and nutrition; and family support services.

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Join ECI in Promoting the Success of Iowa’s Youngest Children

Learn About Opportunities to Get Involved

Upcoming ECI Events

Recent News from Early Childhood Iowa

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Align Early Care and Education with the Iowa Early Learning Standards

The Iowa Early Learning Standards (IELS) are for everyone who cares for, educates, and works with young children. The standards are a resource to support and enhance children’s learning and development. The standards are a tool to share information among families, caregivers, child care providers, family support, mental health and health care professionals, teachers, program administrators, and others who care for or work with children during the first 2,000 days of life.

Learn More About the Iowa Early Learning Standards

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