Our People

The following people are vital to helping Children First achieve its mission.

Children First Director

Ginger Knisley
Children First Director
307 Bank St.
Keokuk, IA 52632
319-526-5686 or 660-988-1468

Children First Board Members

Chad Reckling
Lee County - Consumer Representative
560 Division St Suite 200, Burlington, IA 52601
Van Buren County - Consumer Representative
Lee County - Business Representative
Amanda Manning-Maras
Van Buren County - Business Representative (Vice Chair)
1002 6th Street
Keosauqua, IA 52565
Jolene Dilks
Lee County - Health Representative
1626 Morgan Street
320 Avenue E
Ft Madison, IA 52627

Van Buren County - Health Representative
Carloyn Baker
Lee County - Faith Representative
2777 252nd Ave
Montrose, IA 52639

Mike Linnenbrink
Van Buren County - Faith Representative
804 University Street
Donnellson, IA 52625
Kayla (Markell) Schwartz (Board Secretary)
Lee County - Human Services Representative
1961 Mill Rd. Donnellson, IA
Regina Wells
Van Buren County - Human Services Representative
502 North Iowa Street
Milton, IA 52570
Don Hunold
Lee County - Elected Official
2315 180th Avenue
Donnellson, Iowa 52625
Mark Meek
Van Buren County - Elected Official (Board Chair)
303 1st Street
Bonaparte, IA 52620
Alka Khanolkar
Lee County - Education Representative
2743 355th Street
Keokuk, IA 52632
Dave Kirchner
Van Buren County - Education Representative

Early Childhood Task Force Members:

  • Cheryl Flaatten, Early Childhood Director - Community Action of Southeast Iowa
  • Cyndi Mason, Child Care Nurse Consultant - Lee County Health Department
  • Janet Phelps, Director - Van Buren Job Opportunities & PAT
  • Sarah Tweedy, Owner - Raisin Em Up Child Care
  • Ginger Knisley, Director - Children First local area Early Childhood Iowa Board
  • Missy Park, HOPES Program Manager - Lee County Health Department
  • Rachael Patterson-Rahn, Oral Health Coordinator - Lee County Health Department
  • Marcia Munford, Head Start Director - Community Action of Southeast Iowa
  • Chad Reckling, Child Care Compliance - IA DHS - Des Moines County
  • Julie Meir, CCR&R Child Care Consultant
  • Kathy Osipowicz, Child Passenger Safety Technician - citizen member
  • Jamie Beskow, 1st Five HMDI Site Coordinator - Lee County Health Department
  • Arin Jones, CPPC Coordinator, ISU Extension - Mt Pleasant
  • Carolyn Baker, Children First Board member, volunteer
  • Morgan Small, VB Head Start supervisor - Sieda Community Action
  • Dara Madigan, WAGE$ - Iowa AEYC
  • Jocee Kelly, WAGE$ - Iowa AEYC

Our Mission...

Children First empowers children and families to thrive and prosper through quality services, resources, and support, in response to community need.

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