We know the first years of life are the most important for kids. Early Childhood Iowa creates and supports systems that benefit young children and their families. By coordinating health, early care, education and human services at both the local and state levels, ECI strives to provide families with the resources they need to help Iowa kids grow up healthy.
On the podcast this week, Barb Bremner, who directs local ECI work in Polk County, noted that "since 2008, the ECI system statewide has been 'status quo' funded, putting a stressor on local communities. ... These agencies and programs are being asked to do more with less."
The House human service budget includes a $1 million boost to ECI; the goal now is to make sure the Senate includes that funding as well.
Oh my, it's that time again. Presidential hopefuls are campaigning in Iowa—bringing with them attention from the media, national interest groups and fellow Americans. It's an opportunity to place kids and families in the national spotlight.
The Children's Policy Coalition's #Caucus4Kids campaign, supported by 20+ child and family advocacy organizations in Iowa, is intended to raise the profile of kids' issues by getting candidates to offer their thoughts and ideas while on the campaign trail. The Center will be supporting the campaign, and we plan to keep you, our engaged supporters, in the loop. We encourage you to join us at a candidate forum, ask candidates their vision for kids and pledge to attend your caucus Feb. 3, 2020. Visit childrenspolicycoalition.org or join the campaign's Facebook group to learn more.
Foster youth speak up
Dozens of current and former foster youth gathered at the Capitol earlier this week with a single goal—to advocate for themselves and their peers. They met with key legislators, shared personal stories and offered a bright vision for the future of foster care in Iowa. These youth are with Achieving Maximum Potential (AMP), a youth-driven, statewide group that seeks to unleash the full potential for personal growth among foster and adoptive children in Iowa. The Center actively engages with AMP to ensure all kids in Iowa—especially foster youth—have a voice at the Capitol.
Visit our Facebook page to view additional photos from the event.
Want to go deeper? Curious about the status of key bills? The Center maintains a bill tracker to outline the specific legislation we are following this this session.
Find your legislator
Not sure who represents you? With 50 senators and 100 representatives, it can be hard to keep tabs. Visit our Legislator Lookup tool to find out who represents you in the state house and senate, biographical information about each one and a link to their legislative websites, which list contact information and committee membership. All you need to do is enter your home address and zip code.