Early Childhood Iowa Area (ECIA) boards may want to change boundaries to either merge with other ECIA boards or break into a smaller geographic area. This document outlines the process related to boundary changes.
Process for Early Childhood Iowa Area
Early Childhood Iowa Area (ECIA) boards may want to change boundaries to either merge with other ECIA boards or break into a smaller geographic area.
To promote quality and efficiency, the Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) State Board encourages single county, rural boards to merge. However, the ECI State Board does not encourage larger, multi-county boards to break apart and become smaller boards.
Any ECIA board(s) considering a boundary change must use the following process:
Step 1. A thorough discussion between the ECIA boards that are considering a boundary change must happen before submitting a letter of intent. The ECI State Board must receive a letter of intent from the impacted ECIA boards, no later than September 1st.
The letter of intent must include:
• Minutes of all ECIA board meetings, including public forums and committee meetings, where there were discussions of a boundary change.
• A justification for requesting the boundary change. The justification must provide supporting documentation describing why a boundary change is in the best interest of children 0 - 5 and their families who live in the impacted areas.
• Documentation describing how the boundary change improves efficiency and effectiveness in the impacted areas.
The rationale for a boundary change must be compelling in order for the ECI State Board to move to Step 3.
Step 2. The ECI State Board will review the letter of intent and attached documentation at the next scheduled meeting to determine if the Early Childhood Iowa boards’ request to change boundaries has merit.
• If the Early Childhood Iowa boards’ request does not include documentation of thorough discussions about a boundary change, including public forums and committee meetings, with all impacted parties, the request does not move to Step 3.
• If the Early Childhood Iowa boards’ request does not provide compelling evidence of the positive impact for children and families that will result from a boundary change, the request does not move to Step 3.
• If the Early Childhood Iowa boards’ request does not provide compelling evidence of the potential efficiencies and effectiveness created by a boundary change, the request does not move to Step 3.
The Early Childhood Iowa State Board may form a subcommittee of its members to review the letter of intent and documentation and make a recommendation to the full ECI State Board. The Board will seek legal counsel guidance for assistance.
If the Early Childhood Iowa State Board determines that the ECIA boards’ request meets all of the guidelines outlined above, the request moves to Step 3.
Step 3. The State ECI Technical Assistance Team assigns a staff member(s) to the areas requesting a boundary change. The State Technical Assistance Team will provide technical assistance and/or mediation services to the impacted ECIA board(s.)
As part of the technical assistance, the State Technical Assistance Team will explain implications of a boundary change, including fiscal resources and the designation process.
Step 4. The Early Childhood Iowa Office must receive an Application for Designation from the newly defined Early Childhood Iowa Area based on the boundary change no later than February 1st.
The application must include the following:
A. A new Community Plan(s) that clearly describes the new geographic area (Tool NN).
B. A completed board member matrix, utilizing the template from the ECI annual report
C. Board bylaws.
D. A Transition Plan that describes the newly defined ECIA board’s process to:
• Secure a new fiscal agent;
• Procure liability insurance;
• Build a presence in the area as a coordination board;
• Distribute the funds beginning July 1st;
• Track the funds (role of the fiscal agent, board, ECIA Director);
• Complete the annual report for the previous boards;
• Close the books as of June 30th;
• Transition of any carry forward funds;
• Utilize the work of a committee, if applicable, for any of the items mentioned above;
• Maintain storage of records of the previous ECIA Boards.
All designation application documents must meet requirements in Iowa law and set in policy by the Early Childhood Iowa State Board.
Step 5. After receiving an application, the State Technical Assistance Team reviews it and completes a designation site visit. Based on the application and site visit, the State Technical Assistance Team provides a designation recommendation to the Early Childhood Iowa State Board.
Step 6. At the next scheduled Early Childhood Iowa State Board meeting, board members review the recommendation and decide on the request for designation.
Step 7. If the Early Childhood Iowa State Board approves the designation request, new boundaries are effective July 1st. The new Early Childhood Iowa area receives a Compliant level rating in the Levels of Excellence Rating System.