March 2024 Volume 34; Issue 7

You can view the complete newsletter here.


From the Executive Director's Desk

April has been a busy month for Department Directors as many of the renewal applications for our grant funded services need to be submitted. In addition, several of the departments have either had on-site reviews or are busy preparing for reviews from their funding sources. WIC staff had clinic site visits completed by State WIC Consultants in Estherville and Le Mars. In addition, an Administrative On-Site WIC Review will be completed in May. Our Head Start staff recently completed their CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) Review and received excellent scores! Kendra Rensink and the Head Start/Early Head Start staff are now busy making final preparations for the Focus Area 2 Review which will take place the week of April 22nd. Child Care Resource & Referral staff completed program monitoring visits with several of the ECI (Early Childhood Iowa) programs. We received our Agency Audit Report and once again had no findings. All of these reviews/audits are necessary to monitor compliance with federal and state regulations and to assure we are meeting our funding sources expectations. Thank you to all of our staff for preparing for these visits and for assuring our day-to-day operations and the services we provide to our families, not only meet, but often exceed, our funding sources expectations. Your dedication to our agency and the families we serve, is greatly appreciated!

Julie Colling, our Energy Services Director for over 45 years, is officially retiring May 3. Laura Benson, FaDSS/Outreach Director, will move into the Family Resource Director position and oversee the FaDSS, LiHEAP, Weatherization and Crisis Programs. Thank you to Julie for her dedication and years of service to our agency – her expertise and knowledge will be greatly missed! 

The next couple of weeks will be busy preparing for our annual meeting which will be held on May 3 at the Le Mars Convention Center. This is one time of the year that we have the opportunity to meet with all agency staff, board members and community partners. The annual meeting provides us with an opportunity to recognize employees for their years of service as well as community partners who have made an impact on our agency and the families we serve.

I hope you’re all able to spend some time outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful weather!

Cindy Harpenau
Executive Director


Child Care Resource & Referral

CCR&R is excited to launch access to real-time data for Iowa!

We collect information on early childhood for programs, community members and more! Using this information can help policymakers make informed decisions regarding child care.

 We are excited to share that we have added the option for instant access to real-time data on our Data webpage.

Use the feature to gather the latest data regarding specific child care services per county. Including:

  • Population
  • Average Income
  • Average Child Care Rates
  • Number of Programs
  • Total Spaces for Children
  • Programs accepting Child Care Assistance
  • IQ4K® - Quality Rating & Improvement System Participants
  • ChildNet Programs
  • CCR&R Services to Programs

Provider Appreciation Day®

CCR&R is committed to helping child care programs reach new heights. While May 10 is celebrated as Provider Appreciation Day®, be sure to follow CCR&R on Facebook May 6-10 for a week-long celebration of Iowa's early childhood educators!


Child Care Collaborative of Iowa

Staff recruitment and retention can keep child care providers up at night. The team at Child Care Collaborative of Iowa (CCCI) understands how stressful this can be and has compiled effective talent strategies to help.

Resources for Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

CCCI’s Business Library features a variety of staffing-related topics. From crafting compelling job listings to conducting successful interviews, these resources will guide child care programs in attracting qualified and passionate individuals.

Learn more about: 

  • Finding talent
  • Creating a job announcement
  • Employee benefits
  • Staff pay and classification
  • Stress management

To access these resources plus explore additional content, simply visit the CCCI Business Library.

CCCI is committed to helping child care programs:

  1. Be the best employer possible
  2. Grow the child care business
  3. Better serve the children in care

Please contact CCCI directly to learn more about financial management consulting and other opportunities at 844-786-1016 or



The Cherokee Outreach Office is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Food baskets can be picked up during this time.

We continue to take applications for the Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP) through April. These applications can be done very easily over the telephone and supporting documentation can be provided to us by fax, email, or text. It only takes a few minutes!

We’ve begun taking Head Start applications for the upcoming preschool season (September 2024 through May 2025). 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 sign-up for WIC services in Cherokee County. WIC is for pregnant women, infants, and children under the age of five. WIC provides information on how to keep your family healthy. They also give you checks to buy healthy foods for free!

For all program applications, 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.



Human Resources

We are hiring! (click link to visit our website and apply today)

  • Classroom Aide (20 hours per week) - Rock Valley, Head Start
  • Child Care Consultant - Remote, Child Care Resource & Referral
  • Family Development Self-Sufficiency (FaDSS) & Outreach Specialist - LeMars, FaDSS/Outreach
  • Child Care Nurse Consultant, Hybrid/Remove, Child Care Resource & Referral
  • Team Leader/Teacher - Cherokee, Head Start
  • Teacher - Le Mars, Early Head Start
  • Assistant Teacher - Le Mars, Early Head Start
  • WIC Professional - Remsen, WIC


Resource Requests

Click the picture or visit this link to request Mid-Sioux resources!

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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