IHSA Agency Messages - January 2018

IHSA Agency Messages - January 2018 — Jan 22, 2018

The Iowa Head Start Association Board met Wednesday, January 17, 2018 and has the following messages for you:
QRIS Update
A work group of Head Start directors combed through the Head Start Performance Standards and aligned them with the proposed new QRIS system.  The group recommended that Head Starts come in at a level 5.  Documentation was provided to the QRIS oversight team in October. IHSA is awaiting response from the oversight team.
IHSA Membership
Please remember that all grantee employees and parents are members of the Iowa Head Start Association. The 2018 membership card is attached for your use.
Grantees will be billed for IHSA dues in January, 2018.  The dues structure is $1600 base + $1/child based on 2016-2017 PIR funded enrollment.  The IHSA board voted to increase the base due to the loss of TMC in Iowa and some reduction in enrollment across the state.
Regional Awards
As discussed at the most recent director networking session, IHSA is striving to increase award nominations.  Please start thinking about who would be a great nominee!  See email from IHSA president Tonya Weber for additional details.
Day on the Hill
This year’s early childhood day on the hill will be Monday, March 19 from 11:30 – 3:00. The theme for the day is two-generational work – a perfect fit for the important impact made by Head Start.  If you’re interested in attending, please contact ashley@iowaaeyc.org for details. 
Use of CLASS in DRS
We hope you were all able to provide feedback via survey. The first draft of comments is available online.
2018 Legislative Agenda – Iowa Community Action Association
  • Support a 3% provider increase. The last increase was approximately 2% ($150,000) in FY2015.
  • Taxes
  • Protect the Earned Income Tax Credit from any reductions.
Child Care 
  • Increase the income eligibility level for families to receive child care assistance to 175% of the federal poverty level.
  • Create a tiered reduction in child care assistance allowing for a gradual phase-out of benefits.
  • Increase the child care provider reimbursement rates.
  • Maintain Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) funding.
  • Infrastructure
  • Appropriate $1.8 M from RIF to be used for technology and infrastructure improvements for local Community Action Agencies.
Funding for Programs Serving Children
  • Maintain level funding for Early Childhood Iowa, State Funded Early Head Start, Wrap Around Funds and Shared Visions.  Most Community Action Agencies access a variety of funding sources to provide a safe and effective learning environment for young children currently living in poverty. Blending and braiding these four funding sources with federal Head Start and Early Head Start funding enables parents to work and/or attend school while their children are preparing to become lifelong learners.
Energy Issues
  • Regarding energy policy changes, protect the needs of individuals and families with a low income, preserving utility company investments that support the federally funded Weatherization Assistance Program
  • Continue solar energy growth and invest in a low income community solar project. One way for Iowans with a low income to benefit from solar power is through Community Solar projects (sometimes called Solar Gardens). These are solar power plants (a large number of solar panels) that are shared by more than one household.  So if you don’t own your own home, have too much shade, or can’t afford the installation of your own solar panels, a community solar project may offer another way for you receive the benefit of reduced energy costs. 
  • Address the issues that individuals and families with a low income are facing due to the functions of the Managed Care Organizations.
2017-2018 Professional Development Schedule
January 2018
22-24    Family Support PBIS Training
30         Reflective Supervision Training
February 2018
6          Director Networking - Self-assessment, Focus Area #1 and #2, home visiting, plus any other topics you would like to discuss.
6          Health Networking – TA system support
March 2018
6          Nutrition Networking
6          Director Networking    
21         IHSA Board Meeting
April 2018
3          Director Networking    
3          Parent Family and Community Engagement Networking
May 2018
1          Director networking
1          ERSEA Networking
1-2        PIWI Train the trainer
3-4        TLC Training
16         IHSA Board Meeting
July 2018
18         IHSA Strategic Planning
October 2018
5          IHSA Annual Meeting
5-6        Early Care and Education Fall Institute