Healthy You, Healthy Family Event

4.6.19 at Downtown Cedar Rapids

Library. Please see attached flyer:

Healthy You, Healthy Family Flyer

Competitive Bid Issued

The Linn County ECI Board issued a competitive 

informal bid to fund programming that provides and

supports quality education, health and social services

for children  (prenatal through age 5). 

Deadline to submit a bid packet is 10 am                                           

on March 25, 2019.  Please contact Kristen Peyton @                                     

319-892-5729 or Chris Kivett-Berry @ 319-892-5721     

for details.

Join the Iowa Women’s

Foundation on 2.19.19 at the

Iowa State Capitol for a Legislative Breakfast to discuss Iowa’s Child

Care Crisis. Please see attached flyer:

Legislative Breakfast Spotlight on Iowa’s Child Care Crisis

Healthy You, Healthy Family Event

1.19.19 at Downtown Cedar Rapids

Library. Please see attached flyer:


Linn County Early Childhood

Iowa co-hosted a State Early

Childhood Iowa Board meeting

on November 1st & 2nd, 2018

Pictured above from left to right: Jeanie Wade-Nagel, CART, Kim Guardado, Family & Community Health Alliance, Sara Nightingale,TIES, Diana Strahan, 1st Five.





Ready10! Launch Party 1.5.19 at Downtown Cedar Rapids Library. Please see attached flyer:

Ready10! 1.5.19

Car Seat Check-up 9/26/18 at Lynch Ford in Mt. Vernon

Please see attached flyer:  Car Seat Check-up 9.23.18

Happy 20th Birthday Linn County Early Childhood Iowa from the staff and children at the Linn County Child Development Center!




Childcare Resource and Referral (CCR&R)                Announces New Parent Referral Line:

To serve Iowa families better, CCR&R has a new statewide parent referral line. We will continue to offer the same friendly service with Parent Educators now available evening and weekend hours to help parents make informed choices about the care of their children.


M/W – 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

T/Th/Fr – 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sat – 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

CCR&R Family Website Page:



ECI Monday Musings 

Welcome to the ECI Monday Musings.  It is a compilation of information, practical advice, training announcements, and/or success stories.  Monday Musings is intended to disseminate information to Early Childhood Iowa Stakeholders in a timely fashion.

Click on the link below to see the latest news:

24/7 Dads Curriculum Drives Positive Parenting

Article from: Prevent Child Abuse Iowa – June Newsletter – Celebrating Fatherhood

The impact of absent fathers is profound: children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens.

Limited resources for fathers involved with the Department of Human Services (DHS) or the legal system only serves to further these issues. But Young Parents Network (YPN) in Cedar Rapids has seen positive impacts of programming geared specifically toward fathers in need of resources and support.

24/7 Dads is an evidence-based curriculum that seeks to engage fathers in their families lives. Dads of any age can attend, and program participation is largely voluntary. Topics covered throughout the 12-week session include co-parenting, dealing with stress, balancing work, family, and relationships, and understanding boyhood to manhood.

Steve Nylin, who has been the Fatherhood Specialist at YPN for the last 15 years, credits the program’s relationship-building and mentorship among participants for the success achieved by the fathers involved. YPN has offered 24/7 Dads for 5 years and has seen many positive outcomes from the program. Several of the dads in the program struggle with relationships in their lives – either with their child’s mother, or other family members – and having a support network of other fathers who have seen and dealt with similar struggles is encouraging to them.

One of the key takeaways for fathers in the program is the impact of respect and values in the family. Steve works with the fathers to develop and understand the connection between their value system and the habits they want their children to learn. This helps the dads learn the impacts of positive parenting, leading to reduced risks of child abuse or neglect. 24/7 Dads curriculum works to give fathers the tools to be the parents they want to be. Steve credits the voluntary participation with much of the success seen by the fathers involved, because “they love their kids and want what’s best for them.”

Our Contact Information
Prevent Child Abuse Iowa
2704 Fleur Drive, Suite 200
Des Moines, IA 50321


Iowa families can’t find child care, leaving parents out of the workforce.


Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Board Members and funded programs write Letters to the Editor!

To read letters follow these links:

‘Family engagement key to childhood development’ by Linda Bigley

‘Access to quality child care is vital’ by Chris Kivett-Berry

‘We must invest in early childhood education’ by John Rogers

‘Adequately fund child care programs’ by Amy Bruner and Diana Strahan

City of Cedar Rapids Proclaims April 16th “Week of the Young Child”

Pictured above from left to right:  Chris Kivett-Berry, Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Project Director, Susie Weinacht, Cedar Rapids City Council At-Large, Karen Lewis, Early Childhood Iowa Board Member, Dorice Ramsey, Jane Boyd Executive Director.

On April 10th, 2018 the Cedar Rapids City Council proclaimed April 16th through April 20th the “Week of the Young Child.”

To see the full proclamation click here:

City of Cedar Rapids Proclamation

Thank you to Sheriff Brian Gardner and Colonel Stuelke!

Pinwheels were planted at the Linn County Sheriff’s Office today in honor of ‘April – Child Abuse Prevention Month.’

Colonel John Stuelke and Sheriff Brian Gardner with Members of the Community Partnership for Protecting Children, from left to right: Kelly Schmidt, ASAC, Jeanette Shoop, Linn County ECI, Colonel John Stuelke, Sheriff Brian Gardner, Stephanie Muters, 4 Oaks, Diana Strahan, 1st Five HACAP, Madeline DeBoer, Child Protection Center.

April – Child Abuse Prevention Month

Linn County ECI Board Issues Informal Competitive Bid

The Linn County ECI Board issues this informal competitive bid in support of the identified Early Childhood Community Priorities.  The Board is able to offer a 1 year contract to successful applicants for Fiscal Year 2019 (July 1-June 30), with no renewal.

  • The completed Bid Proposal Cover Page, Priority Narrative and Budget are due by 10 AM, April 23, 2018.
  • In the attached Bid Instructions make note of the optional Bidders Conference and the deadline to submit a required Notice of Intent.

Priority 1 Narrative- Affordable Accessible Care

Priority 2 Narrative- Quality Early Learning

Priority 3 Family Support & Parent Ed

Priority 4 Narrartive- Preventive Health

ECI Budget Instructions

Attachment A Insurance FY 19

ECI Budget form FY 19

Bid Instructions for ECI Proposals

Linn County Early Childhood Iowa co-sponsors the Linn County League of Women Voter’s Forum

On Saturday, March 17, 2018, Linn County Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) co-sponsored the Linn County League of Women Voters Forum held at the Kirkwood Community College  Regional Center in Hiawatha.   A large crowd attended to meet with the 8 Linn County Legislators that participated.  Linn County ECI was honored to provide the first question asked of Legislators regarding how they would improve access and quality of early care and education for children of working families.

Dave Loy, ECI Chair, and Chris Kivett-Berry, ECI Director,  share information at the League of Women Voter’s Forum.


A large crowd and 8 Legislators attended the League of Women Voter’s Forum.


Legislators answered a wide range of questions at the League of Women Voter’s  Forum.


TIES Announces Open House on 4/26/18

Linn County ECI Board Annual Charity Drive

Presentation of the Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Annual Charity Drive donation of  760 Cedar Rapids Transit Bus Tickets to agencies working with Linn County Families and Children.

Morgan Boniface, Parent Education Consortium @ Iowa State Extension ; Lisa Bach, Horizons Family Support ; Jeanette Shoop, Linn County ECI Grant Coordinator ; Sara Nightingale, TIES @ Unity Point ; Stephanie Muters, Partnership for Safe Families @ Four Oaks

Why Child Care Matters to Iowa Businesses

Iowa leads the nation in the number of families with parents working outside the home, with three-fourths of households with children under the age of 6 having all parents at home in the labor force.  click here to see the full article:  Why Child Care Matters

Free Child Safety Seat Check

Free child safety seat installation check and education (donations accepted), held the 2nd Thursday of January, March, May, July, September, and November. From 5:15 pm to 7 pm at McGrath, 1040 N. Center Point Road, Hiawatha.

Call 319-286-5434 for an appointment.  (See attached flyer for more information)               Child Safety Seat Check 2nd Thursday


Linn County Early Childhood Iowa participates in the Healthy You, Healthy Family Event

Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Board Members were excited to participate in the Healthy You, Healthy Family Event on 1/27/18 at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. (see photos below)

Board Members provided families contact information on the programs funded, along with information on Linn County Early Childhood Iowa.

Bilingual Babies Listen to Language

Are two languages at a time too much for the mind?

Caregivers and teachers should know that infants growing up bilingual have the learning capacities to make sense of the complexities of two languages just by listening. In a new study, an international team of researchers, including those from Princeton University, report that bilingual infants as young as 20 months of age efficiently and accurately process two languages. To Read More: Bilingual Babies


Science of Parenting (ISU Extension and Outreach)
Current Research + a dose of reality = parenting success:

Here at Science of Parenting, we believe in the power of parents who, when armed with trustworthy information, are better able to make decisions about what is best for their children and their family. Therefore, we offer parents access to current research around child-rearing so they can find the information when they need it most.
Visit the Website at: The Science of Parenting

Child Care Resource & Referral: 

Wondering where to find information on local child care options? Check out Child Care Resource & Referral @

Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) is a program to support quality child care throughout the state of Iowa. CCR&R is available to assist families in selecting child care providers who best meet the needs of a child and their family. Child Care Consultants provide on-site consultation to licensed preschools, centers, nonregistered home providers and Child Development Home providers.

Benefits of Bilingualism

Some families avoid speaking their native language at home for fear of confusing their children by presenting two languages at once. Actually, learning to be bilingual improves children’s concentration – and that enhanced focus offers lifelong advantages. To learn more, visit:

Resources for Limited English Proficiency (LEP)Families                                                    Linn County Early Childhood Iowa has developed a resource guide for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Families. Please see attached guide: Limited English Proficiency Resource Guide

Gov. Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Gregg announce new statewide childhood health campaign
Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg announced a new statewide childhood health campaign called “5210 – Healthy Choices Count” on Tuesday, 10/31/17. The campaign is a public-private partnership with the Healthiest State Initiative and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to combat childhood obesity. 5210 is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program that focuses on the importance of four simple daily health habits:
 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables;
 2 hours or less of screen time (television, computer, video games, phones, etc.);
 1 hour or more of physical activity; and
 0 (or reduced) sugar-sweetened beverages.
“Research has shown that children who have healthy eating habits, are physically active and spend less time in front of a screen do better in school,” Gov. Reynolds said. “Their reading scores improve, they are able to maintain better focus in class and they sleep better. Children who do better in school are more likely to pursue post-secondary education and are better equipped to contribute to Iowa’s economic success.”

Local Early Childhood Board Seeks New Members

The Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Board invites community members and elected officials to be an active partner in early childhood system building by serving as a Board member. The primary role of the local Board is to award state funds to early childhood care and education programs that serve young children, prenatal thru 5 years, and their families in Linn County. Other duties include assessing community needs and communicating with legislators and community on the importance of quality early childhood.
The Board meets the 4th Tuesday of the month from 3:30-4:30 pm and membership terms are for 3 years. Applications for Board Membership are accepted through November 12, 2017. To obtain a Board Member application visit our website at and click on the Board Information tab and then the link for Board Member Application. Or you may call Chris Kivett-Berry at 319-892-5721.

Recruitment Press Release

Save the Children Action Network

Save the Children Action Network is partnering with the United Nations Association of Iowa to present an evening devoted to children around the world on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 from 6 pm to 7 pm at the Cedar Rapids Public Library.  Please click on the link below for more information:

Save the Children Event


Parentivity is full of ideas and information to assist new parents to create the wonderful, stimulating environment where their child can grow and thrive. Parentivity provides parents with the right information at the right time based on the unique needs of each child: Key Points:  It can be accessed on a computer, tablet or hand-held device  It is available now to any parent in Iowa at no cost!  It has evidence-based content developed by leading experts Check it out for yourself at and share it parents you know.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month which is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident. Cyber criminals do not discriminate; they target vulnerable computer systems regardless of whether they are part of a large corporation, a small business, or belong to a home user. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility in which all Americans have a role to play.

The Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit @ provides resources for all segments of the community.

Car Safety Checklist for Parents and Providers in the Summer (Federal Office of Child Care)














Heatstroke is one of the leading causes of death among children, as they are more vulnerable to heatstroke than adults. As we have seen by statistics gathered over the past 20 years, even great parents can forget a child in the backseat of a car. Although parents and caregivers need to be vigilant about leaving children alone in cars—for any number of reasons, for any amount of time, and at any time of the year—they need to be extra vigilant in the summer months. Bystanders can also help protect other children if they see a child alone in a car.

You can review an important checklist of things to do to prevent a child from suffering heatstroke after being left alone in a hot car at this website. Keep your children, as well as other children under your care, safe this summer!

DHS Launches Twitter Account @IowaDHS

“We’re pleased to announce that the Iowa Department of Human Services has created a Twitter account and will be Tweeting updates, photos and program information.

“We hope you’ll follow us – @IowaDHS



Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day!

Research has found that providing children from birth to five with consistent, language-rich experiences—such as talking, reading, and singing—can have important benefits on their brain development and future school success. However, many families lack access to the types of resources that can help them make the most of these language building experiences. This creates a gap in the quantity and quality of words that children learn, which directly impacts their opportunities to succeed in school and later in life. These tip sheets (see link below), available in English and Spanish, have been designed specifically for families, caregivers, and early educators. They can help enrich a child’s early language experiences by providing research-based tips for talking, reading, and singing with young children every day beginning from birth.


FREE Training available:

Child ADVOCACY 101          

Educate, activate and inspire yourself and others to be a voice for kids by joining us at a FREE Advocate for kids training.  During this training you will learn how to:

  1. Speak clearly about critical kid’s issues
  2. Make the case for early childhood education and the survival of kids around the world
  3. Ask elected officials questions about how they will ensure kids as a priority
  4. Be a powerful advocate for kids                                                        

Earn 2 hours of DHS Training Credit.

Monday, August 7, 2017     6 pm to 8 pm

@ Cedar Rapids Downtown Library

Training Sponsored by:  CR-IAEYC & Iowa City Chapter of IAEYC

Register at:                                                                     

Linn County Child Development Center Recognized for Quality Care

The Linn County Child Development Center recently received a level 4 rating from the Iowa Quality Rating System.  Level 4 is the second highest rating possible.

The Iowa Quality Rating System (QRS) is a voluntary child care rating system for child development homes, licensed child care centers and preschools, and child care programs that are operated by school districts.

Programs complete a rigorous application process to meet key indicators in professional development, health and safety, environment, family and community partnerships and leadership and administration.

Achieving the QRS level 4 certificate means parents and the community can be assured the Linn County Child Development Center is committed to providing the highest quality of care for Linn County children.

Competitive Bid Issued

The Linn County ECI Board issued a competitive informal bid to fund programming that provides preventive child (prenatal through age 5) health services.  Deadline to submit a bid packet is 10 am on June 16, 2017.  Please contact Chris Kivett-Berry @ 319-892-5721 for details.

Healthy Child Screening Day to be held 4/29/17

Bring your young child to the Cedar Rapids Library on 4/29/17, from 9 am to noon, and receive free vision, hearing, dental and developmental screenings.  The health screenings are for any child between 6 months and 5 years. Additional community partners will be providing information, activities and resources. (Parent and child must be present to get screenings.) For more information click on the link below:

Healthy Child Screening Day 2017


ECI Annual Charitable Giving Drive

Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Board Charitable Giving Drive funds purchase of 514 city bus tickets.

Each year the Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Board collects funds for their Annual Charitable Giving Drive. This year funds collected were used to purchase 514 Cedar Rapids city bus tickets and will be distributed to families struggling with transportation issues. Families will be able to use these bus tickets to get their children to daycare, get themselves to their place of employment, go to doctor appointments, go grocery shopping,  and all the other places families with young children need to access.

The Mind of a Child: Children’s MH Summit

The Mind a Child: Children’s Mental Health Summit was held on Saturday, February 18th, 2017. The summit was held at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, and presented by the HACAP Paces to Quality program and Family Connections. Linn County Early Childhood Iowa provided funding so that participants could attend at no cost.


Free Community Baby Shower!

AmeriHealth Caritas Free Baby Shower

Any pregnant mom or women who may be pregnant are invited to attend a FREE Community Baby Shower!  (See Flyer attached above)

February 25, 2017 • Noon – 2:30 p.m. (Attendees are encouraged to attend the entire time. Childcare will be on-site.)

AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa, Community Office, 3223 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Join us for:                                                                                                                                       Free prenatal information, food, fun, activities for kids, &more.                           All attendees will receive a free gift and will be eligible to enter for a chance to win one of THREE car seats to be raffled from our community sponsors: HACAP, KidsPoint, and APSAC – Safe Sleep Task Force

Local nonprofits will be on hand with information and resources.  For more information please call the Community Office at: 515-330-4830 or Kendra Abel at 515-981-3938.  R.S.V.P.’s are recommended but not required.

Links to find Childcare Providers

Are you looking for Childcare? Below are links to help you find providers.

Here is the link to the DHS website to search for a provider or providers based on criteria (county, city, zip code, etc.)

Here is the link to Child Care Resource and Referral to receive a referral:

Linn County ECI holds Networking Meeting

On February 1st, 2017 Linn County ECI held a Networking Meeting for FY 17 programs. Fourteen participants, representing eleven programs, shared information on programs offered, upcoming events, funding issues, and Early Childhood advocacy.


Annual Charitable Giving Drive

The Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Board’s annual Charitable giving drive is accepting cash/ check donations to purchase bus tickets from Cedar Rapids Transit systems for families in need in Linn County.

$1.50 = 2 bus tickets!!!

Check and cash donations will be accepted now through January 24, 2017 and can be delivered in person at LCECI Board meeting on 1/24/17 or mailed to Linn County Community Services, Attn: ECI Grant Coordinator, Jeanette Shoop, 1240 26th Ave Ct. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA. 52404.

Linn County ECI Board holds Retreat at Vets Memorial Stadium

Kernels Welcome ECI Board

Kernels Baseball Club Welcomes ECI Board for their retreat at the stadium.

Linn County ECI Board Retreat at Kernels Stadium

Linn County ECI Board Retreat at Vets Memorial Stadium – Home of the Cedar Rapids Kernels

Funds Available for Professional Development Opportunities from ECI

The Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Board is offering up to $13,000 total, to eligible applicants, in support of Professional Development (PD) opportunities to increase the quality and capacity of Linn County child care providers. The PD opportunities must occur prior to June 30,2017.  This is one time funding and will not be renewed for FY 18.  The Board’s intent is to approve more than 1 funding request.  Priority will be given to proposals that address a training need identified by Linn County Providers (see Attachment A).

  • This is a competitive bid process, open to eligible current ECI programs and other eligible community agencies that serve Linn County.
  • There are deadlines to note including a Notice of Intent to apply.  Reference page 2 of the attached Bid Proposal Instructions for deadline information (see attachments below).
  • Also note the information on Eligible Uses & Participants as this funding source has restrictions.
  •  If after reading the Bid Proposal instructions you would like to submit a proposal then please send a Notice of Intent to apply and then a completed Application and Budget to Jeanette Shoop ,, by the deadlines listed in the Proposal Instructions.
  • Thank you for your consideration of this request.






Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Holds Fall Program Networking Event 10/4/2016

Linn County Early Childhood Iowa hosted a Fall ECI-Funded Program Networking Event on 10/4/16.  Programs represented: Family & Community Health Alliance, Paces to Quality, Horizons Family Support, Linn County Nurturing Parent, Linn County Child Development Center, Parent Education Consortium, Head Start/Early Head Start, Partnership for Safe Families, TIES, and KidsPoint @ Waypoint.  Attendees: Jenny Barnett, RaeAnn Barnhart, Cierra Roquette, Kim Ott, Caitlin Hauskins, Kelly Amos, Morgan Boniface, Amy Bruner, Terri Godwin, Christi Regan, Tawnya Lowe, Lisa Bach, Gloria Witzberger, Chris Kivett-Berry, and Jeanette Shoop.



September 27, 2016 ECI Board Meeting Cancelled

The Sept 27th ECI Board meeting is cancelled.  The Linn County ECI Board policy is to cancel meetings when the Cedar Rapids Schools are closed.  In addition the Community Services Building is the temporary site for County Departments relocated due to the flood.  Parking and meeting space are not available.  Most importantly though this decision allows community members, ECI Board Members, and Partners, to tend to any critical matters affecting you, your family or your clients.

Linn Co. ECI Board members participate in Regional Legislator forum

Two Linn County ECI Board members (Tara Carrera-Bauer and Dan Wiese) participate in 8/19/16 Regional Legislator forum in Iowa City to discuss 2017 legislative priorities.  Legislators, ECI Board members & Staff from 8 ECI areas attended


Linn County ECI Board members (Tara Carrera-Bauer and Dan Wiese)


8/19/16 Regional Legislator forum in Iowa City



New members have joined Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Board.  Please help us welcome & congratulate Linda Bigley, Citizen Representative, and Rod Dooley, Faith Representative.  The new Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Grant Coordinator is Jeanette Shoop.

SF 2299 was signed into law by Governor Branstad May 27,  2016.

SF 2299 was signed into law by Governor Branstad May 27, 2016.  The bill included recommendations from a joint Local-State ECI work group to increase efficiency of the ECI system while maintaining accountability.

Linn County ECI Board’s Book Drive Collected 85 Books!

85 books

Linn County ECI Board’s Book Drive collected 85 books for Reading Into Success!  The books will distributed as part of Kids Fest on Saturday May 7 from 9am – Noon at Downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library.  To-date Reading Into Success has collected 1,526 books for Kids Fest!

For more information about local Reading Into Success efforts go to 


Linn County ECI Board issues FY17 Bid Proposal Packet

The Linn County ECI Board is issuing a competitive bid proposal packet to agencies wishing to request ECI funds for state fiscal year 2017.  The Proposal and Budget are due by 10 am, April 25, 2016

  • In the Bid instructions make note of an Optional Bidders Conference and the Required Notice of Intent deadlines.  The format of the Bid Proposal is also new.

On March 22nd the Linn County ECI Board adopted their new Board Priorities.  Please carefully review the Priorities and their associated definitions and strategies.  Select the one (1) Priority that your program can best impact and submit a proposal for that Priority.  If you can impact more than 1 Priority then submit a separate Proposal per Priority.

  • All proposals must include these 3 items (at a minimum):  Part 1 and Part 2 plus the Budget.

Below please find the required documents embedded in hyperlinks:

QUESTIONS:  Any questions about the Proposal or the Process should be submitted via e-mail to .  Although I can’t provide guidance or advice regarding the Proposal and Process I can clarify as applicable.  Answers that I can provide will be sent to all entities that submit a Notice of Intent.  Also questions can be answered at the Optional Bidders Conference.

Sincerely, Chris Kivett-Berry  (Director, Linn Co Early Childhood Iowa & Decat)


Healthy Child Screening Day on April 23, 2016 at Cedar Rapids Public Library from 9 am-1 pm.


ECI bus tickets press release March 2016


Annual ECI Board Fundraiser nets $441!

Linn County ECI Board members contributed $441 to purchase discounted bus tickets through City of Cedar Rapids Transit Department.  Bus tickets will be distributed through Linn County ECI funded programs for Linn County families and children facing transportation barriers.


An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

On January 17, 2016 The Gazette ran an article by Dan Wiese, ECI Board Member, titled In early childhood, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can find the content of the article at The Gazette on-line or as a pdf.

Annual Charitable Giving Drive

The Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Board’s annual Charitable giving drive is accepting cash/ check donations to purchase bus tickets from Cedar Rapids Transit systems for families in need in Linn County.

$1.50 = 2 bus tickets!!!

Check and cash donations will be accepted now through January 26, 2015 and can be delivered in person at LCECI Board meeting on 1/26/15 or mailed to Linn County Community Services, Attn: ECI Grant Coordinator, Robin Robinson, 1240 26th Ave Ct. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA. 52404.

Welcome New Board Members!

New members have joined Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Board.  Please help us welcome & congratulate Dan Wiese- Business Representative, Dave Loy- Faith Representative and Wyatt Dagit- Faith Representative.


 Opportunity for Professional Development  $

The ECI Board is pleased to announce that they have a small pot of funds ($9,638) available to support Professional Development for child care providers in Linn County.

If a community agency/entity is interested in bringing (& coordinating) a valuable training or conference to Linn County before June 30, 2016 then please review this funding opportunity.  The funds can also be used by child care providers currently under contract with Linn County ECI to send their child care staff to a local or regional training/conference (as opposed to hosting a training/conference).

  • It is important to note that these are 1-time funds and will not be renewed.
  • The professional development activity must be conducted prior to June 30, 2016.

This funding opportunity is open to the community.  Contact Chris Kivett-Berry, Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Director at or 319-892-5721 for proposal materials.

Kirkwood students produce videos for ECI

Linn County Early Childhood Iowa partnered with the Kirkwood Community College Media department to produce an informational video. We would like to thank Kirkwood students, Cassem Aossey and Zack Goodall, for their great work. Enjoy!

Choosing Quality Child Care

Over the past 6 months Child Care Resource and Referral and the ECI Public Engagement Component Group (Parent Engagement Work Group) collaborated to convene early childhood professionals from various agencies and child care providers in Iowa to create materials for parents who are looking to choose quality child care.

See the new video below that provides great information for parents on “Choosing Quality Child Care.”


Healthy Child Screening 2015


APRIL 25th, 9 AM – 1 PM, Cedar Rapids Library, Beems Auditorium 2nd floor of the library (see attached flyer below)

Bring your child to the Library and receive…

Vision Screening * Hearing Screening * Dental Screening *

Developmental Screening * Immunization & Health Info *

Literacy & Learning Info * Child Care & Community Info




Healthy Child Screening 2015


Linn County ECI issues FY16 Bid Proposal Packet

Linn County ECI is issuing a competitive bid proposal packet to local entities wishing to request ECI funds for FY16. Please see attachments below if you are interested in submitting a bid proposal. At this time the Linn County ECI Board is offering a 1-year only contract.

The successful applicant will provide services in support of the updated Linn County ECI Board priorities. There is an optional Informal Bidders Conference on April 9th at noon, to be held at the Linn County Community Services Building, 1240 26th Ave Ct. SW, Cedar Rapids. The deadline to submit the required letter of intent is April 16, 2015. The Bid Proposal Narrative and Budget are due by 10 am, April 28, 2015.

Attached please find:

  • Bid Process Instructions
  • Bid Proposal Narrative
  • Attachment A
  • Budget Instructions
  • Budget Request form

FY 16 ECI Bid Process Instructions
Linn ECI FY 16 Proposal Narrative

Attachment A FY 16 Data

FY 16 ECI Instructions for Budget

FY 16 ECI Budget request

Linn County ECI hosts 2nd Annual Program Fair

On March 25, 2015 Linn County ECI hosted a “Program Fair” at Grant Wood AEA. The fair was highlighted by a “scavenger hunt” for the Linn County ECI Board Members. Board Members had the opportunity to speak with 12 different agencies that offer 17 programs funded by ECI. Also attending the fair were three families that have benefited from programs funded by ECI. As Board Members spoke with each agency they “hunted” for a unique fact in order to complete the scavenger hunt activity. The overwhelming consensus from Board Members was that the fair provided a very personal and meaningful way to learn more about how the funded programs operate, and the positive impact they have on local children and families.

ECI Board Member, Jody Weigel, visits with staff member Pam Holtz at the Partnership for Safe Families.

ECI Board Member, Jody Weigel, visits with Pam Holtz at the Partnership for Safe Families display table.

Kirkwood Community College Students producing ECI Video

On March 9th, 2015 Zack Goodall and Cassem Aossey, Kirkwood Students, along with their instructor Randy Langel, interviewed Ro Foege, former Iowa State Representative and Chris Kivett-Berry, Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Project Director, for the video they are producing for ECI.

Video - Ro Foege

Zack Goodall, Randy Langel, Cassem Aossey interviewing Ro Foege.

Video --CKB

Zack Goodall, Randy Langel, Cassem Aossey (hidden) interviewing Chris Kivett-Berry.

Early Childhood Iowa Day on the Hill – Regional Forum 2015

On 3/5/15, nine local ECI Boards covering eighteen counties, hosted an Early Childhood Iowa Regional Forum at the annual ECI Day on the Hill in Des Moines.

Information was presented to legislators on the history and facts about ECI, why ECI services are important, the local governance structure, accountability and quality assurance measures, levels of excellence, along with the challenges of flat funding, nominal administrative funds, and categorical stipulations.

ECI Regional Forum Presentation at DOH

Linn County residents, volunteers, and providers meet with Rob Hogg to discuss the importance of ECI. From left: Barbara Chadwick, Diana Strahan, Amy Bruner, Rog Hogg, Kim Ott, Doug Griesenauer, Jeanette Shoop

Linn County ECI Board Members and staff, along with providers meet with Rob Hogg to discuss the importance of ECI. From left: Barbara Chadwick, Diana Strahan, Amy Bruner, Rog Hogg, Kim Ott, Doug Griesenauer, Jeanette Shoop

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