Welcome to Early Childhood Iowa – Lakes Region
Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) was founded on the premise that communities and state government can work together to improve the well being of our youngest children. (ECI state website: www.earlychildhoodiowa.org)
The Early Childhood Iowa: Lakes Region board is the foundation that enables local citizens to lead collaborative efforts involving education, health, and human services programs on behalf of children, prenatal through age 5, and their families. This partnership unites agencies, organizations, and communities to speak with a shared voice to support, strengthen, and meet the needs of children and families in the ECI: Lakes Region counties of Clay, Dickinson, O’Brien, and Osceola.
Our vision is that every child, pre-birth through age 5, will be healthy physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Our goal is that our community members will have a greater understanding of the needs of our families with young children, and that they all take part in supporting them. Our children will thrive and have the opportunity to live in a nurturing environment that is healthy, safe, and stable. All community members and service providers will treat children and families with compassion and respect. Parents will be prepared to rear, teach, and love their children unconditionally, and children will be ready for life’s challenges of school, relationships, and work. Families will be supported raising their children at home and/or in partnership with quality and accessible childcare.
The ECI: Lakes Region board was established in 1999 as an expansion of the initial Decategorization (DCAT) board. Effective July 1, 2013 the ECI: Lakes Region board began functioning as a separate entity. Its 10 member board consists of citizens and elected officials representing the four county area.
Essential services provided through ECI: Lakes Region include in-home family support services; quality improvement activities for child care and preschool providers, including professional development and training; and increased access to child care and preschools for children living in low income families. Innovative and collaborative efforts among our community members and service providers will continue to ensure the needs of children and families come first in an ever changing environment.
To learn more about how early learning matters, click here to view a video from the First Five Years Fund.