Early Childhood Quality Improvement Project (ECQuIP)

What is ECQuIP?

The Early Childhood Quality Improvement Project (ECQuIP) supports early childhood programs serving at least 30% low-income children in Polk, Warren, and Dallas counties. Our goal is to help programs achieve a level of quality that supports the development of all children and puts them on track with their peers when entering kindergarten. Our team consists of a coordinator, center consultants, literacy consultant, mental health consultants, and child care nurse consultants.  

Supported Programs


ECQuIP Express

August 2021: Using Positive Words with Amy Curtis
July 2021: Emotion Coaching with Johnna Haggerty
June 2021: Laptime Libraries with Jennifer Stritz
May 2021: How to be a Team Player with Amy Curtis

Annual Reports

2019 Annual Report 

Focus on Low-Income Children and Families

Per the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child publication: A Science-Based Framework for Early Childhood Policy, “For young children from low-income families, participation in very high-quality, center based, early education programs has been demonstrated to enhance child cognitive and social development.” The six characteristics of high quality listed in the publication include “(1) highly skilled teachers; (2) small class sizes and high adult-to-child ratios; (3) age-appropriate curricula and stimulating materials in a safe physical setting; (4) a language-rich environment; (5) warm, responsive interactions between staff and children; and (6) high and consistent levels of child participation.” The ECQuIP team works to support the child care programs in these six areas so that the children being served can enter kindergarten on track with their peers not experiencing poverty.


Heidi LaBounty, ECQuIP Manager, heidi@iowaaeyc.org, 515-331-8000 ext. 109


Funding for this project is provided by United Way of Central Iowa, Women’s Leadership Connection, and Polk County Early Childhood Iowa.