Secure and Nurturing Early Education Environments

Research offers evidence that a high-quality, research-based early education program, especially for low-income children, lays the foundation for later school success. Children who attend high-quality early education exhibit stronger language, math, thinking, and social-skills.

Quality early education environments for children age birth to five use a full range of research-based teaching strategies to address individual children’s needs, abilities, and interests and to provide a broad base of developmentally appropriate experiences. Programs have organized quality environments with appropriate learning materials, equipment, and spaces.  Secure and nurturing early education environments apply low adult-child ratios, small class size in group settings, and consistent relationships with primary caregivers.  They build responsive, positive relationships between children, families, and early childhood professionals and promote family centered principles in the delivery of services for children and families.

Our priorities for this result:

Increase the accessibility and availability of quality early education.
Our community will address access barriers including the affordability of care, hours of care, barriers to providers accepting State Child Care Assistance, and issues of transportation.
We will address the need for additional infant care, quality providers accepting state funded care, and full-day, full-year programs.

Increase quality in early education.
We will support and make available high quality professional development opportunities and services which align with quality demonstration programs.  A specific area of need is children’s social/emotional development.
Our collaboration will work to increase parent and community demand/expectations for high quality early care and education environments.

Current funded programs that address this result:

4Cs Child Care Provider Supports

4Cs Positive Environments for Positive Behaviors

Grant Wood AEA Childcare Alliance Response Team (CART)

HACAP Head Start Expansion

Home Ties Emergency Child Care

NCJC Early Education Expansion & Wraparound

School Ready Scholarships

Additional resources:

Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) of Southeast Iowa    877-216-8481
CCR&R is a program to support quality child care throughout the state of Iowa.  CCR&R is available to assist families in selecting child care providers who best meet the needs of a child and their family.  Child Care Consultants provide on-site consultation to licensed preschools, centers, non-registered home providers, and Child Development Home Providers.

Iowa’s Quality Rating System (QRS) 
Iowa’s Quality Rating System (QRS) is a voluntary child care rating system for child development homes, licensed child care centers and preschools.  The QRS was developed to raise the quality of child care in Iowa, increase the number of children in high-quality child care settings, and educate parents about quality in child care.
Useful links:
Child Development Homes participating in QRS
Child Care Centers participating in QRS

Iowa Child Care Provider Training Registry
The Child Care Provider Training Registry is a resource to providers so that they can identify and participate in continuing education opportunities.
For assistance setting up your Training Registry account, see the Iowa CCR&R website for more information.

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