I am a citizen volunteer on the governing board of Linn County Early Childhood Iowa (ECI). I also am a retired social work professor; my courses included content on child welfare and on services to families.
My three plus years on the ECI board have opened my eyes to the benefit of providing services to children age 0-5. Preschool age children who receive the help necessary for accomplishing their developmental milestones are in a better position to have success as they enter school. This help can be in the form of health services (dental, vision, hearing), learning focused day programming with teachers skilled in early childhood education, family support services, and improving parent-child interactions through research based training.
Success in school is near universally accepted as a critical component to success throughout life, but so is successful interaction with peers, within families, and with society at large. ECI’s sole focus for funding programs is the 0-5 age group. I am convinced that the investment of dollars in early childhood will reap significant benefits for these children in educational settings, employment, family interaction and life satisfaction.