Through Early Childhood Iowa (ECI), every community in Iowa will develop the capacity and commitment for using local, informed decision making to achieve the following set of desired results for improving the quality of life in this state for young children and their families:
- Healthy children,
- Children ready to succeed in school,
- Safe and supportive communities,
- Secure and nurturing families, and
- Secure and nurturing early learning environments.
To achieve the desired results, the initiative has three main parts: State leadership board, State advisory structure and a local structure. All efforts of the state and communities need to work together to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of early care, education, health, and human services provided to families with children zero through age five.
The ECI State Board promotes the vision for a comprehensive early care, education, health, and human services system in this state. The Board provides oversight of state and local efforts. Responsibilities include strategic planning, funding identification, guidance, tracking, and reporting the data on the ECI Results and Indicators as well as program data; advocacy; and public awareness of the importance of early childhood.
The ECI Stakeholders Alliance is a confederation of stakeholders in early care, health, and education systems that affect children age zero to five in the State of Iowa. The Alliance provides advice to the ECI State Board, the governor, general assembly, state board and other public and private policy bodies and service providers in coordinating activities through the state. The ECI SA provides input into the development of a comprehensive, integrated early childhood system for Iowa that integrates early learning; health, mental health and nutrition; family support; and special needs/early intervention systems.
ECI Areas, which represent all 99 counties in Iowa, enable local citizens to lead collaborative efforts involving early care, education, health, and human services on behalf of the children, families, and other citizens residing in the area. Each area is designated by the ECI State Board and with that designation status has its own board to perform the necessary functions, including the administration of any grant monies to programs and services that support young children and their families.
Introduction to Early Childhood Iowa
The video below provides a tutorial about the structure and work of Early Childhood Iowa.