News!


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. https://www.ed.gov/early-learning/talk-read-sing

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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:  https://goo.gl/forms/1D5kRYyklZSGCgpI3                                                                     

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.)

http://ccmis.dhs.state.ia.us/ClientPortal/ProviderSearch.aspx

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

http://iowaccrr.org/who_we_are/region_5/

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 ,  jeanette.shoop@linncounty.org, by the deadlines listed in the Proposal Instructions.
  • Thank you for your consideration of this request.

fy-17-eci-pd-bid-proposal-instructions

fy-17-eci-prof-dev-budget-request

attachment-a-child-care-needs-survey-summary-2-0

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fy-17-eci-budget-instructions

 

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.

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eci-networking-event-1

 

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

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

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8/19/16 Regional Legislator forum in Iowa City

 

WELCOME NEW BOARD MEMBERS and ECI Grant Coordinator

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 www.readingintosuccess.org 

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 chris.kivett-berry@linncounty.org .  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 chris.kivett-berry@linncounty.org 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

HEALTHY CHILD SCREENING DAY

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

FREE SCREENINGS FOR CHILDREN AGED 0-5 Years

(PARENT & CHILD MUST BE PRESENT.)

SCREENINGS MEET PRE-Kindergarten REQUIREMENTS

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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