DES MOINES — Child care and early childhood education advocates from across Iowa are signaling their approval of a recent measure to increase funding to Early Childhood Iowa (ECI), a state-run organization providing grant monies to programs that support young children and their families.
The measure, House File 758, was passed by the House on April 4, and signed by Governor Kim Reynolds on May 13, marking the first funding increase to ECI since 2008.
The file calls for funds to be allocated to ECI in order to improve the quality of early care, health and education programs; support the professional development of early care professionals; and expand access to home visiting programs and quality preschool and child care programs.
Among the organizations praising the funding increase is The Iowa Women’s Foundation (IWF), a state-wide nonprofit who in recent years has spearheaded efforts to address Iowa’s child care crisis.
“Over the last year, IWF and our many nonprofit partners have been calling on state legislators to address Iowa’s child care crisis, starting with an increase in funding to Early Childhood Iowa,” said IWF Executive Director, Dawn Oliver Wiand. “House File 758 is a step in the right direction, and we applaud Governor Reynolds for supporting this measure.”
According to David Arens, Chair of the ECI state board, “Not only will the additional funding provided for in House File 758 improve the quality of life for children in our state by preparing them to succeed in school—it will help take the strain off working parents who would otherwise struggle to find and afford quality child care for their young children.”
“But the work is not over. We’ll continue to work with organizations like the Iowa Women’s Foundation and Child Care Resource & Referral to make sure this is just one part of a multi-faceted approach to tackle this complex issue.”
The Iowa Women’s Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, committed to improving the lives of Iowa’s women and girls through a diversified mix of funding and action: research, grantmaking, advocacy, education and collaboration. To achieve its goals and make the most significant impact, IWF brings together and invests in organizations across Iowa that make women and girls more successful. IWF is the only state-wide organization working to enhance and improve women’s economic self-sufficiency.
Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) is a government-created initiative that serves as Iowa’s early childhood system, promoting a comprehensive approach of early care, education, health and human services in this state. Their vision is for every community in Iowa develop the capacity and commitment for using data-informed decision making to achieve a set of set of desired results for improving the quality of life for young children and their families.