Early Childhood Task Force

The Early Childhood Task Force serves as an advisory committee to the Children First Board.  Representation on this committee is diverse and membership is open to anyone with an interest in children prenatal through five.  Meetings are typically held monthly at 9:30am on the Lee County meeting day. See posted agendas and/or event calendar for next scheduled site and date. For more information contact Cyndi Mason at (800) 458-6672. 

Task Force Goals...

  • Strive to improve the quality of child care based on state and nationally approved assessment tools and early childhood initiatives.
  • Encourage all child care providers to access available assessment/consultation services with appropriate follow up.
  • Encourage registered/licensed providers to attend Department of Human Services approved trainings provided by the Children First funds.
  • Make recommendations to the Children First Board to fund programs that will encourage professional development for providers.
  • Maintain representation from each county.
  • Continue to provide information to all providers in an effort to encourage registration/licensing and assist existing providers to maintain their existing license/registration.
  • Provide education and support to communities and families regarding quality early learning environments.
  • Promote healthy children by supporting education including, but not limited to, lead exposure, immunization, medical home, insurance coverage and access to oral health care.
  • Provide support in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
  • Express appreciation to licensed and registered child care providers annually.

Task Force Mission...

To improve early childhood care, education and socialization while enhancing early childhood health, safety and development in Lee and Van Buren counties.

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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