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May 2021 Mid-Monthly Musing

Iowa Child Care and Development Fund State Plan Comment Period

The Department of Human Services is seeking feedback on the draft version of the FFY 22-24 Child Care Development Fund(CCDF) State Plan. This plan outlines how the Department will administer the CCDF program which is responsible for the Child Care Assistance (CCA) program, child care regulation and quality improvement in child care. There will also be a virtual Public Hearing on June 7, 2021 from 10am to 12pm. More information about the draft state plan, how to submit a public comment and how to attend the Public Hearing can be found on the Department’s website.

ECI Stakeholders Alliance Summary

The ECI Stakeholders Alliance met on Tuesday, May 11 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm via Zoom. In follow-up to the presentations, documents shared have now been uploaded to the Events page on the May 11 date. Documents include:

Statewide WAGE$ 

Child Care WAGE$® IOWA (WAGE$) is a salary supplement program offered by Iowa AEYC. As with T.E.A.C.H. IOWA, WAGE$ is a licensed program of 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 program. An informational video is also available.

Thanks to funds from the Iowa Department of Human Services, Child Care WAGE$® IOWA will be available in all 99 Iowa counties effective July 1, 2021. Contact Iowa AEYC to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

WIC Fruit and Vegetable Temporary Increase

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) that was signed into law on March 11, 2021, State WIC Programs are allowed to temporarily increase the amount of the Cash Value Benefit (CVB) for fruits and vegetables up to $35 per eligible participant for four consecutive months. Between June 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021, the CVB that can be used to purchase fresh and/or frozen fruits and vegetables will be increased to the maximum amount of $35 for eligible women and children over 1 year of age. After September 30, 2021 the CVB will return the current monthly amount of $9 for children, $11 for women, and $16.50 for women fully breastfeeding multiples. For more information on Iowa WIC approved foods, please visit https://idph.iowa.gov/wic/using-benefits. Please contact the State WIC Office at 515-281-6650 if you have any questions about these changes.

Tomorrow's Hope: The Promise of Early Childhood Education

This new documentary, Tomorrow’s Hope: The Promise of Early Childhood Education, will premiere on May 20th. Like Starting At Zero, this new narrative documentary was also produced by the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation.
 
Described by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot as a “moving film” that addresses “vital challenges,” Tomorrow’s Hope brings us into the journey of passionate educators and tenacious kids and their families on the South Side of Chicago, determined to carve out the future – despite a sea of incredible obstacles.        
 
For its official release, the May 20th premiere features 30 minutes of brand new, never-before-seen material, adding further resonance and depth.