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Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. 

-Fred Rodgers

2024-2025 Preschool Scholarship and Transportation Assistance Applications are now available! 

Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) was founded on the premise that communities and state government can work together to improve the well being of our youngest children. ECI's efforts unite agencies, organizations and community partners to speak with a shared voice to support, strengthen and meet the needs of all young children and families. 

It is believed that individuals in local communities working together can identify and implement the best means for attaining desired results. The role of the State is to be a partner to support and facilitate growth in community responsibility; not assume the directive role that the public has come to expect of government. 

State funding for Early Childhood Iowa (and its predecessor, Community Empowerment) has continued since its inception. These resources allow local ECI boards to: expand home visitation and parent education; create quality improvement activities for child care and preschool providers, including professional development and training; increase the availability of infant, shift care and inclusive child care; and increase access to child care and preschools for children living in low income families.

Vision & Mission



Vision: Every Child in Muscatine County, beginning at birth, will be healthy and realize their full potential.  

Mission: ECIMC is a community group promoting the well-being and healthy development of Muscatine County children ages 0-5 by optimizing strengths and eliminating barriers for children and their families.  



There are 2000 days between birth and the first day of kindergarten. The first 2000 days of a child’s life have a profound and lifelong impact on physical and emotional well being, readiness to learn and succeed, and ability to become a productive citizen.

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