February 2016                       
Volume 26; Issue 5     
From the Executive Director's Desk

Dick Sievers Executive Director

February is the last month of the Head Start/Early Head Start program year.  We had a very good year although this past month the weather has hampered our ability to keep classrooms open.  We are beginning recruitment efforts for the new program year.  Please watch the media and our website for information on the upcoming activities.

LIHEAP efforts are continuing with application numbers similar to last year.  The weather may bring more people in to apply once the latest utility bills come out.  Thanks to everyone for their efforts in reaching out to eligible families.

We continue to plan for a new Head Start center in Cherokee.  Meetings have been held with an architect and engineer.  Preliminary floor plans should be available soon.  Final determination on the size of the center will need to be made within the next month.  This spring promises to be very busy with this project.

Legislative activity at the State Capitol is increasing.  Medicaid managed care is a big topic.  We have signed contracts with 2 of the 3 managed care companies.  Progress is being made but the changes in billing and service contracts are still to be determined.  Not much time remains, as implementation is set for March 1st.  Other items of interest at the Capitol include:  FaDSS funding, Infrastructure funding and child care services.

Audit reports for the year ending September 30, 2015 should be available soon.  The agency tax return is due shortly as well. 

A grant application has been submitted via the Iowa Community Action Association to provide assistance to crime victims. We should know the outcome in a few weeks.  This will be a very positive form of support to families if it is received.  Thanks to the ICAA staff for their work on the application.

The coming weeks will be busy as always.  That is always good.  As Abe Lincoln said: "Every blade of grass is a study: and to produce two where there was but one, is both a profit and a pleasure."

More About Us
Family Development & Self-Sufficiency
FaDSS staff Laura Benson, Coordinator and Specialists Katie Vis and Kayla Lennon (shown below) attended the annual FaDSS Day on the Hill on January 13th at the State Capitol in Des Moines. A rally was held in the Rotunda with a FaDSS participant sharing her success story with the group. Our booths were open from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm for Legislators to visit with staff and participants. Lana Shope and the IFDA (Iowa Family Development Alliance) Legislative Committee do a great job in organizing the day. It was a good day and we are fortunate to always have a great turn out from our area Legislators. We do have some newer Legislators representing our counties so it was a good opportunity to meet with them and explain the program. We greatly appreciate our Legislators taking time out of their busy schedules to visit with us. A special thanks to Senator Bill Anderson for the tour he took us on. After many, many stairs, we reached the very top of the Capitol building! What a beautiful view it was!

Left to right:  Kayla Lennon, Laura Benson & Katie Vis
 Statewide, the FaDSS program is asking for a $1 million increase this year. The FaDSS program not only saves the state of Iowa money, it creates a culture of economic independence benefitting families, communities and the state for years to come. With many programs to fund, we do our best to show the positive impact FaDSS has on the Iowa economy and on Iowa's most fragile families. The statewide return on investment is $1.15 with Mid-Sioux's return on investment being $2.43. Statewide, for all families exiting FaDSS in FY 15, the average monthly income from wages increased by 330%, from $110 to $447, while enrolled in the program. Monthly FIP (Family Investment Program) payments were reduced from $378.96 at enrollment to $113.97 when exiting the program.
We hope as the session progresses, decision makers will agree that investing in FaDSS is an investment in Iowa's future. We help develop Iowa's future workforce and FaDSS has the ability to impact children of these vulnerable families.

Child Care Resource & Referral
#TogetherWeWill... Work together to provide quality child care programs for Iowa's youngest citizens!
NW Iowa CCR&R - Region 1
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's efforts unite agencies, organizations and community partners to speak with a shared voice to support, strengthen and meet the needs of all young children and families.

Child Care Resource and Referral is proud to partner with Early Childhood Iowa, educating and advocating for quality early childhood experiences for all of Iowa's children!
Two child care programs from NW Iowa have been selected to attend the Day on the Hill, February 23rd. Their voices will reach legislators with the message the first 2,000 days of a child's life have a profound and lifelong impact on the ability to become productive citizens.
Quality Child Care Matters!
  •  Access to high quality child care leads to a more skilled workforce.
  •  Families and employers depend on quality child care for more stability for today's employees and to lay the foundation for tomorrow's workforce.
  • The cost of care is often related to the quality of care and the quality of care is related to a child's healthy development. Investing in quality child care today so that children start school ready to learn pre-empts a lifetime of remediation at a far higher cost.
    To learn more about the free services offered to providers and parents by Child Care Resource & Referral, visit their website at www.iowaccrr.org.
    CCR&R is committed to ensure that Iowa's vision is met: "All children, beginning at birth, will be healthy and successful." 

    CCR&R of NW Iowa  |  www.iowaccrr.org   
    Funding provided by the Iowa Department of Human Services through the Child Care Development Fund
Cherokee Outreach

Hello from the Cherokee County Outreach office!

Nicole accepting a donation for the Cherokee
 Crisis Program from Joey Reinders from
Allete Energy
This has been a frigid start to 2016. We are sure looking forward to a warm Spring! 

With these cold temperatures we have been busy with LIHEAP applications and emergency propane assistance. We have had over 350 households approved for LiHEAP here in Cherokee County. Don't forget if you have not come in and applied for LIHEAP, you can still call and schedule your appointment. Applications will be taken through April 30th.

We finished 2015 in Cherokee County with a holiday gift program to help low income families with Christmas presents. We were very lucky to have 18 sponsors purchase and provide gifts for 64 individuals. Those 24 families were very thankful for the generosity shown to them by Cherokee County.

February we begin taking Head Start applications for next school year. We will be in full swing with Head Start applications for the next several months.   The Cherokee Head Start enrollment evening will be March 10th at 5 pm at the Cherokee Head Start center. If families are unable to make it that evening, they may call our office to schedule an appointment for that and we will let you know what to bring in with you.

We now have a Senior Aide who is helping in our Cherokee County Outreach office. Diana is a  welcome addition and a friendly smile to all who visit our office. She helps schedule appointments, organizes donations we receive in our office, makes food baskets, and assists with special projects.

We have been receiving food donations from the Hy-Vee Warehouse in Cherokee. They have been donating around two pallets a month, equaling around $1500 a pallet! We have been very blessed with all the support Cherokee County shows to our local food pantry and crisis funds through the many donations from businesses, churches, various individuals, and organizations. This truly helps us out greatly!
Are you wanting to sign your child up for Early Head Start or Head Start Services?

If so, contact your local Outreach Office to fill out an application:
Cherokee County- 712-225-1083 
Ida County- 712-364-2175
Lyon County- 712-472-3746
Plymouth County- 712-546-6003
Sioux County- 712-722-3611

Night Recruitment meetings are also held at your local Head Start Center- Feel free to attend and fill out an application:
Akron- March 8 @ 5:30pm
Cherokee- March 10 @ 5:00pm
Le Mars- March 1 @ 5:30pm
Orange City- March 7 @ 5:30pm
Rock Rapids- March 21 @ 5:30pm
Rock Valley- March 14 @ 5:30pm
Sioux Center- February 25 @ 5:00pm or February 26 @ 11:30am
Hawarden- March 8 @ 5:30pm

If you have any questions or would like to know more about our services, please contact us at 1-800-859-2025!

418 S. Marion Street | Remsen, IA  51050 | 712-786-2001 | 800-859-2025