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February 2021 Monthly Musing

FY20 ECI State Annual Report

The information in this year's report is a culmination of both at the state and local level efforts with highlights of the work within the early childhood system. The systems-level highlights report breaks begins with a letter from our ECI State Board Chair, followed with a culmination of achievements from each of the three main parts of ECI's organizational structure: ECI State Board, ECI Stakeholders Alliance, and the ECI Area boards; and various data highlights emphasizing our system's efforts in moving the strategic plan forward. 

In addition to the FY20 highlights report, several supplemental annual reports extend FY20 data such as the ECI Adopted Statewide Indicator charts that share population-based data to describe Iowa's current status. ECI state and local efforts are supported via funding distributions which are provided in funding history charts. 

WAGE$ is Expanding!

The Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (Iowa AEYC) is excited to announce that within the Governor’s efforts to confront Iowa’s Child Care Crisis, $7 Million would be allocated to support statewide Child Care WAGE$ Iowa (WAGE$).  

On January 12, 2021 Governor Reynolds delivered her 2021 Condition of the State Address and within her Vision for Iowa (report) the Governor laid out a plan implementing strategies to confront Iowa’s Child Care Crisis. Included in the strategies is $7 million for WAGE$ to offer salary stipends to the early care and education workforce based on staff level of education and commitment to their program.

Child Care WAGE$ Iowa is an evidence based salary supplement program offered by Iowa AEYC. As the sister program to the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® IOWA scholarship program, WAGE$ is licensed and monitored by Child Care Services Association. WAGE$ offers salary supplements (also called stipends) to the early care and education workforce based on the individual’s level of formal education and commitment to their employing program.

Iowa AEYC holds the license to administer Child Care WAGE$ Iowa, an evidence based early childhood workforce initiative and has been administering the program since 2013. WAGE$ is currently available to early educators in 38 counties. 

To learn more about the WAGE$ Program, view the T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ Annual Report.

We cannot continue to under pay and under value the early care and education workforce. 
Strategies to increase compensation and reduce turnover in the early care and education workforce are critical to the economic recovery for Iowa and Iowa’s families. This opportunity to expand the WAGE$ program statewide is a necessary first step.
” Iowa AEYC Executive Director, Jillian Herink 

Celebrating Essential Child Care Providers

Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) is extremely excited to invite #Essential child care providers to our week-long celebration! #ItsAllAboutYou
CCR&R will be hosting virtual themed events SEVEN times during the week of February 16 -20 and we welcome you to join us on Zoom to enjoy any or all of them! Registration information is now available. 

Upcoming Series of Leadership Development Trainings

The Iowa Head Start Association (IHSA) is pleased to announce a series of leadership development trainings with Sarah Ennis from SparkPoint. Trainings will take place in March through June 2021 virtually via Zoom.

Please note that you do not have to attend all trainings in the series. Registrants can and pick and choose the trainings they would like to attend. Separate registration links for all sessions can be found below. Please see the attached flyer for training descriptions and additional details.

Click the trainings below to register:

Running Effective Meetings and Trainings – March 25

Difficult Conversations – April 15

Time Management and Prioritization – May 13

Staff Evaluation and Performance Improvement – June 17

2021 Federal Poverty Guidelines 

Annually the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services releases updated poverty guidelines. Across our early childhood system there are a variety of eligibility criterion that utilize the federal poverty guidelines. ECI provides and updated resource guide to provide an at-a-glance view of various percentages of the federal poverty guidelines; which many services utilize in renewal agreements in the future fiscal year.