March 2024 Volume 34; Issue 8

You can view the complete newsletter here.

 

From the Executive Director's Desk

The past few weeks were busy with preparations for our agency's annual meeting and the finalization of our annual report. The annual meeting is the one occasion each year when all agency staff can come together. It serves as a time for us to recognize and thank our staff for their years of service. Additionally, we honor our community partners and the recipients of the Richard Hatz Scholarship. This year, we also celebrated Julie Colling, who retired after 45 years of dedicated service to Mid-Sioux and Dick Sievers, our former Executive Director, who was inducted into the Community Action Hall of Fame. Thank you to Miranda Monroy, Beth Tentinger, and the Department Directors for their assistance in making the annual meeting a successful event!

May brings us to the end of the 2024 Iowa legislative session. The debates over changes to Iowa’s Area Education Agencies, teacher pay and income tax cuts made it a difficult session. Other bills of interest included the changes to Iowa’s Boards and Commissions, Medicaid post-partum coverage, childcare tax relief and childcare half day rates. The reorganization of programs and staff within the Iowa Health and Human Services (HHS) has also presented us with changes, specifically, with our Family Development & Self-Sufficiency (FaDSS) program.

Our Head Start/Early Head Start staff recently had their Focus Area 2 Review. This federal review consisted of three in-person and one virtual reviewer who spent four days at our main office and centers. Thank you to all the staff, Parent Policy Council and Mid-Sioux board members who were involved in the review. There were no major findings and the review team was very complimentary of our staff and our Head Start/Early Head Start centers.

The upcoming weeks will be busy with staff working on grant renewals and closing out contracts that end on June 30th. The Head Start school year is winding down, recruitment is underway, and plans are being finalized for the new school year. Referrals are always welcomed for families who are in need of preschool services!

The weather is starting to warm up, the farmers are in the fields and the parking lot is busy with ballplayers and parents heading to the ballfields! Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable summer. 

Cindy Harpenau
Executive Director

 

View Mid-Sioux's 2022-2023 Annual Report

 

Child Care Resource & Referral

Mid-Sioux has held a Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) contract with the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), since 1989. Every five to six years, the CCR&R contract is up for competitive bid. Fiscal year 2024 is the sixth year of the current contract. On November 3, 2023, HHS released a new request for proposal for CCR&R services. This competitive process allowed HHS to make changes to the services. They organized the request for proposals into five CCR&R regional services, four statewide services, and one pilot program. Bidders who submitted bids for the regional services also had the option to bid on one, some or all of the statewide services.

In March, Mid-Sioux was notified we were the successful bidder for the Region 1 CCR&R 23-county service area contract, the three statewide service contracts as well as the pilot program that will eventually be a statewide service too. New staff to be hired to meet the regional contract includes a Behavior Health Specialist and a Community Development Specialist. Additional statewide staff to be hired to meet the new contracts include a Statewide Professional Development Specialist – Curriculum, a Statewide Professional Development Specialist – Online and a Statewide Professional Development Specialist – Special Projects. Thank you to all the Mid-Sioux staff who helped support the grant application. It was a very large application and required the assistance of multiple staff members.

 

Outreach

Hello, from Lyon County!

LiHEAP season is over! We took our last applications on April 30th. Due to changes in funding rules this year, the amount we are able to assist families with has been reduced. This year, we are only able to assist families with up to $700, which is nearly half of what we were able to assist in previous years. In addition, households must have received a disconnect notice in order for us to help with a utility bill. These will be big changes for many clients.

Even though LiHEAP season is over, we can still apply people for our Weatherization program. They will be placed on the weatherization list to see if/when we are able to weatherize their home. Since we will have their income, the clients are also eligible for a large food box from our food pantry and other services that they may need assistance with.

Our food pantry continues to be a big hit among our clients. We received a large donation consisting of 2,140 pounds of food from the Central Lyon CAPS class. Their donation is greatly appreciated. It filled our shelves and will sustain us for quite a while. We also recently received a grant for $2,500 from Cooperative Farmers Elevator and a matching grant of $2,500 from Land O'Lakes Foundation. We are so appreciative to have received these grants to help us purchase extra items that are needed for the food pantry and clients in need. We are incredibly fortunate to have organizations that are willing to partner with us and either donate food or monetarily to keep our food pantry and crisis accounts going.

Lyon County Upcoming Events:

  • June 8 @ 8:30 AM: Lake Pahoja – Kiwanis Kid’s Fishing Day (Free to kids up to 16 years old)
  • June 13 - 16: Heritage Days - Rock Rapids

If you have any questions or are needing any assistance, please contact me. I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe summer!

Pam Ericson
Outreach Coordinator for Lyon and Sioux County

 

Human Resources

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

  • Child Care Nurse Consultant, Hybrid/Remove, Child Care Resource & Referral
  • Child Care Consultant (Sioux, Lyon & Plymouth Counties) - Remote, Child Care Resource & Referral
  • Child Care Consultant (Calhoun, Hamilton, Humboldt, Wright & Webster Counties) - Remote, Child Care Resource & Referral
  • Family Development Self-Sufficiency (FaDSS) & Outreach Specialist - Remsen, FaDSS/Outreach
  • Assistant Teacher - Le Mars, Early Head Start
  • Teacher - Le Mars, Early Head Start
  • Team Leader/Teacher - Cherokee, Head Start
  • Classroom Aide (20 hours per week) - Rock Valley, Head Start
  • Team Leader/Teacher - Hawarden, Child Development Center

 

Resource Requests

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

 
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MidSioux

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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