Helping People. Changing Lives.
February 2021 Volume 31; Issue 5
From the Executive Director's Desk
This month we will finalize our annual audit report and submit the agency tax return. We had a very good year financially considering all of the activity involving COVID-19. Congress did pass a final budget which will allow for increases in some of our contracts. There is still negotiation taking place on another pandemic relief plan. That process will most likely take until the middle of March. 

The Iowa legislature is in full swing with a good deal of discussion on child care and tax reform. If the legislative schedule continues as it has, the session should end on time this year.

Our state association is involved in discussions with state agencies related to rent/utility assistance relief. The most recent pandemic relief bill included additional funds to states to support relief efforts in these areas. We will most likely play a role in operating these services.

February is the last month of the Head Start/Early Head Start contract year. We will be closing out those contracts over the next several months. Recruitment of students for the coming school year is underway as well. 

Most services continue to be provided via electronic media. This will most likely continue for the next few months. 

I wish everyone a healthy and successful 2021.
Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) has continued to help providers navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic. To support providers CCR&R has updated their website to allow providers to quickly access child care funding opportunities to support their business. Check out the different funding opportunities available to child care providers at
A Northwest Iowa Child Care Provider in Emmet County stated, “Thank you for the business investment grant I received for my child care business. I would not have been able to replace unsafe, damaged items for my business without the grant. It also allowed me to purchase necessary items to help during this time of COVID, such as a contact free thermometer. Thank you for allowing me to purchase items for my specific needs as a child care provider to provide professional and safe products to my families I care for. Please share my gratitude for all those involved in distributing funds to our child care providers.”
Child Care Ready by CCR&R Session 3 is coming to an end! Session 3 focused on centers and new center staff in the CCR&R 23 county service area. Thanks to Iowa Women’s Foundation, CCR&R was able to offer centers an incentive as well as a sign on stipend for new staff being put through this program. A Child Care Center Director in Stratford stated, “The Child Care Ready program provided an incentive for the new employee at our childcare center complete her required training quickly. It was easy to use, and the financial reward was helpful to our facility. We would be interested in utilizing the program again, if possible since we need additional staff.” CCR&R is excited to be able to partner with businesses, leaders and community members to continue to offer Child Care Ready in the future! 
Hello from the Plymouth County Outreach office!

Due to COVID-19, our LeMars office remains closed for in-person visits but services are still available Monday through Friday over the phone by calling 712-546-6603.

With these colder temperatures, we have been busy with Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) applications and emergency propane assistance. Don’t forget—if you have not yet applied for LIHEAP, you still have time to call and schedule your appointment. The new year for this program began in October and it runs until April 30th.

Our office currently has some crisis funds available to help with past due rent or utilities. If you are going through a tough time financially and could use a little extra help, please give us a call to complete an application over the telephone.

We are now taking Head Start applications for the 2021/22 school year! We will be in full swing with Head Start applications for the next several months. Head Start is a FREE preschool program for 3 and 4-year old children. We will be taking applications over the phone so please call our office to apply.

If you or someone you know needs help with food for their household in Akron, appointments can be set up by calling Deb McPherson at 712-548-6592.
418 S. Marion Street | Remsen, IA 51050 | 712-786-2001 | 800-859-2025