ECI Component Workgroups Quality Services and Programs QSP Subcommittees Family Support Resources

Family to Family Iowa

“Family to Family Iowa is a statewide network of Navigators who provide assistance to families of children with special needs (developmental, behavioral, emotional, physical) at no cost to families. They can help families navigate the supports and services available for their child and for other family members. They can also help families develop self-advocacy skills through trainings and more. To learn more, visit

Iowa Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers is the overarching program philosophy of providing parents with child development knowledge and parenting support. Parents as Teachers programming exists in sixty seven sites across Iowa.

Program Goals of Parents as Teachers

PAT State Report

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Early Childhood Iowa

Early Childhood Iowa is a confederation or alliance of stakeholders in early care, health and education systems that affect children age 0 to 5 in the state of Iowa. Its purpose is to support the development and integration of an early care, health and education system for Iowa.

Professional Development Opportunities

Family Development Certification - scholarships are available. For more information about the scholarships and the certification:

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Family Support Research Articles, Briefs and Programs

New research reveals positive impact of Parents as Teachers on school readiness - Findings released at Parents as Teachers 2007 Conference show participation closes the achievement gap between poverty and non-poverty children entering kindergarten and include positive effects of program participation sustained through third grade.
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The Science of Early Childhood Development:Closing the Gap Between What We Know and What We Do

In an effort to identify those aspects of development that are accepted broadly by the scientific community, the National Scientific Council, based at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, brought together several of the nation's leading neuroscientists, developmental psychologists, pediatricians, and economists. This document presents their critical review of the existing literatures in their fields and a consensus about what we now know about development in the early childhood years. The objective of the Council is to move beyond the public's fascination with "the latest study" and focus on the cumulative knowledge of decades of research that has been subjected to rigorous and continuous peer review. The goal of this document is to help the public and its policy makers understand the core principles of that body of work that are now sufficiently accepted across the scientific community to warrant public action.
To read the full article:

Home Visitation In 2005: Outcomes For Children And Parents

This paper explores the extent to which research indicates that home visitation produces benefits for parents and children. Although there are many different types of home visiting programs, this paper focuses on a subset - those primary prevention programs that send individuals into the homes of families with pregnant women, newborns, or young children under age 5 on an ongoing basis, and seek to improve the lives of the children by encouraging change in the attitudes, knowledge, and/or behaviors of the parents.
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Early Head Start and Head Start

Head Start is a national program that promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children (0 - 5) and their families.

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FaDSS (Family Development and Self Sufficiency Program)

FaDSS is a supportive service to assist Family Investment Program (FIP) families with significant or multiple barriers reach self-sufficiency. FaDSS provides services that promote, empower, and nurture families towards economic and emotional self-sufficiency. The foundation of FaDSS is regular home visits with families, using a strength-based approach. For More Information:

Healthy Families America

Healthy Families America is a national program model designed to help expectant and new parents get their children off to a healthy start. Families participate voluntarily in the program and receive home visiting and referrals from trained staff. By providing services to overburdened families, Healthy Families America fits into the continuum of services provided to families in many communities. The goals of HFA are:

For More Information:
Healthy Families America
HOPES - Healthy Families Iowa

Nurse Family Partnership

Nurse-Family Partnership is an evidence-based nurse home visitation program that improves the health, well-being and self-sufficiency of low-income, first-time parents and their children.
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Healthy Start

The purpose of the Des Moines Healthy Start Project is to impact significant disparities in maternal, perinatal, and child health and corresponding perinatal health indicators with a focus on eliminating ethnic and racial disparities. The core services of the project are designed to address factors that contribute to infant mortality, low birth weight and perinatal health disparities. The role of the Des Moines Healthy Start Project includes strengthening existing community resources; addressing gaps in services; identifying innovative service strategies; and facilitating the development of the community's perinatal service system.

The Visiting Nurse Services' Des Moines Healthy Start Project provides comprehensive child, family and community development services for pregnant or postpartum/interconceptional women, infants, toddlers and their families. The program offers participants identified as "high-risk" for poor perinatal (maternal and child) outcomes home-based outreach, recruitment, case management, health education, interconceptional care, depression screening and referral services. The project also provides community support services with an emphasis on building the community's perinatal service system as a means to reduce ethnic, racial and other disparities in perinatal health. Community-driven strategies are employed as part of the project to address the needs of high-risk pregnant women and parenting families with infants and/or toddlers less than two years of age in the Healthy Start Project Area and in Polk County.

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Prevent Child Abuse Parent Iowa

Parent education programs teach families through both in-home and group-based instruction. Programs focus on the needs of both the parents and their children and work with families to increase their healthy interactions. They help families improve their communication and teach parents effective ways to manage their children's behavior. Programs also discuss child development and age appropriate expectations for children.

Young parent support programs provide parenting education on topics like child development, age-appropriate expectations and discipline. They also provide the support that many young parents are missing through meetings with others in similar circumstances. And finally, they connect participants to concrete, community supports to ease stress, such as rent assistance, food, and clothing.