May 2022 Volume 32; Issue 8

You can view the complete newsletter here.


From the Executive Director's Desk

We were able to have our annual meeting on May 6th. It was very good to have all the staff together again. We honored staff and board members for years of service and presented awards to five of our community partners. Thanks to everyone for making the day very enjoyable.

The Iowa legislature will end this session sometime in May. The last issue seems to be with the governor’s school voucher proposal. Issues around childcare, unemployment and remaining priorities have all been agreed to. The budget will be the final issue dealt with in the standings bill which is the last one of the sessions.

At the federal level, the budget for the current year has been agreed to. We saw some small increases in our budgets which we appreciate. Next year’s budget will be completed on time in my opinion. That is unusual but I’m thinking the coming elections will push members to end the session as soon as they can.

Inflation has caused difficulty for many of our families. Gasoline and food prices have gone up significantly. The Consumer Price Index rose by 8.5% in March. These changes are reflected in our Women, Infants & Children Program (WIC) and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP) participation. Interest was raised by .5% by the federal reserve which should help to drive down inflation.

The coming weeks will be busy with grant applications and our Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) standards internal review. The weather has started to warm and we were fortunate to receive some rain. Farmers are busy in the field which is very good to see.

Respectfully, Dick Sievers, Executive Director


Annual Report

Mid-Sioux is excited to share the release of our 2020-2021 Annual Report. Be sure to check out all of the services we have been able to offer to help families and children in your community!


Head Start / Early Head Start

Sign up now for the FREE Head Start & Child Development Center Preschool Programs!  Kindergarten readiness for 3 and 4-year-old children. Visit or call 800-859-2025 for an application.

Give your child a “Head Start” in their education!


Child Care Resource & Referral

Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) is now reaching every family in Iowa that has a newborn baby. A new postcard, “Looking for Child Care?” is being mailed along with every new Iowa birth certificate.

 The State Child Death Review Team (CDRT), with members from the Iowa Department of Human Services and Iowa Department of Public Health, reached out to Child Care Resource and Referral to request if there was any way they could help share information regarding child care to parents.

CCR&R worked with the team to create a postcard specifically for the birth certificate mailings. An estimated 42,000 postcards will be mailed to Iowa families each year. CCR&R is excited for this new partnership and a chance to educate these new families on choosing child care.

What does this mean for providers?

When a family connects with CCR&R Parent Referral Specialists, we take time to share some educational tools regarding quality care and offer assistance to families so they can look into all of their options.

Having accurate information on a child care program in the CCR&R database allows us to assist in marketing child care programs to parents looking for child care. Our referrals help programs maintain capacity by filling their vacancies. CCR&R now has an online system that lets providers update their child care program's profile! Providers - please check out our Update Your File webpage and stop back often when you have changes to the status of your program.

New Parent Services Video

We are also excited to announce a new video highlighting our Parent Referral Services for Iowans. We will be using this new marketing video when offering presentations for parent education programs, birthing classes and more! We enjoy connecting with parent groups to help parents learn more about quality child care so they are more informed when making choices for their family. Watch video here.

Texting Option for Parent Referrals

Our goal is to provide an opportunity for every parent to reach the CCR&R Parent Referral team. Now, you can text us! This texting tool is the latest edition of our Parent Referral marketing efforts and offers a way for parents to connect with our online referral options by texting.

This parent text campaign will send no more than six texts offering referral assistance and tips to help parents with their search. Text: IAchildcare to 59925 and start your search today! (Our texting system is automated and personal responses may be delayed.)

“Our Parent Services team is excited to have additional ways to connect families with our free referral services. We are hoping to reach more families and assist with finding programs that meet their child care needs. CCR&R values the opportunity to help parents understand what quality care should be and help them find services for their children," states Becky White, Parent Services & Regional Director.

Families can find more child care information, helpful tips and resources to assist with their child care search at:


Cherokee County Outreach Office

The Marcus Meriden Cleghorn Remsen Union (MMCRU) Middle School Social Studies class recently held a food drive with donations coming to our office. They were studying about homeless and how many people are going without food and wanted to do their part to help those in need in their communities!

The Cherokee County Outreach office is open on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00-4:30. Food baskets can be picked up during this time and we are still taking applications to help families through our crisis programs with heat, electricity, and water. 

We recently wrapped up the application period (October – April) for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP). We were pleased we ended up serving a few more households this year than last year!

We’ve begun taking Head Start and Early Head Start applications for the upcoming preschool season (September 2022 through May 2023). Head Start is a free, federally funded program for preschool children. It provides children with activities that help them grow mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically. If you know of anyone that has children 3-4 years of age, please send them our way!

We can also help interested families signup for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) services in Cherokee County. WIC is for pregnant women, infants, and children under the age of 5. WIC provides information on how to keep your family healthy and assist with funds to purchase healthy foods for your family!

For all program applications and any questions, please give us a call. We can tell you everything you need to bring to complete an application. Our phone number in Cherokee is 712-225-3322.

Nicole Mier, Outreach Coordinator, Cherokee & Plymouth Counties,


Lyon County Outreach Office

Hello from the Lyon County Outreach Office!

I moved from the Intake Staff position to the Outreach Coordinator position the first of April for Sioux and Lyon Counties. I am really enjoying my new position. I have been working to promote our Lyon County office this year. Hopefully, I can get more businesses involved with us and get more of the public to know we are here! Our office is open every Wednesday from 9:00-4:00.

We had a very generous client donate four pictures for our walls in the Rock Rapids office. They really look nice in our newly remodeled space.

Things have slowed down now that Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP) season is over. In Lyon County, we served 256 households compared to 233 last year! How exciting to have helped that many more people this year! We are still taking applications for utility and water assistance, along with Head Start applications for next school year.

We are also taking pool pass applications again this year. We haven’t done very many yet. But now with the hot, humid temps, I’m sure we’ll see more people wanting those.

Some of the upcoming events in Lyon County:

  • June 16-19 – Heritage Days in Rock Rapids
  • July 15 – Granite Tractor Pull 2022 in Larchwood
  • July 18-21 – Lyon County Fair in Rock Rapids

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Have a great summer!

Pam Ericson, Outreach Coordinator, Sioux & Lyon Counties,

Written by


Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc. is a not-for-profit Community Action Agency established in 1965 to fight poverty at a local level by assisting low-income families in Northwest Iowa to become self-sufficient.

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