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Programs & Services

The first two thousand days make up the most critical stage of the human lifecycle. These first five years will impact a child’s chances for success for the rest of their lives. Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) is a statewide initiative housed within the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services that unites public and private agencies, organizations, and stakeholders under one common vision, “Every child, beginning at birth, will be healthy and successful.”

Strategic Plan 

Stakeholder engagement is essential to improving outcomes for Iowa’s young children and their families. That’s why the vision and plan for Iowa’s Early Childhood system was built on widespread responses from families and early childhood providers across the state. “We are ECI” represents a strategic plan that recognizes the ever-changing needs for Iowa’s children and families.

“We are ECI” Strategic Plan 2023-2026



Shared Services

Shared Services is a nationally recognized strategy in which small, independent programs share the cost of administrative services, in order to reduce overhead and improve financial performance.

Governor's Child Care Task Force Report (November 2021)

Re-invent vs Re-build: Let's Fix the Child Care System (January 5, 2022), Opportunities Exchange Presentation

Understanding the Business Environment for Iowa Providers (March 4, 2022), Opportunities Exchange Presentation 

Early Childhood Parenting Resources

ECI Toolkit