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The original item was published from 11/29/2021 1:39:40 PM to 1/1/2022 12:00:01 AM.

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Early Childhood Iowa

Posted on: November 29, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Linn County Welcomes New Early Childhood Iowa and Decat Director

Amy Grunewaldt

The Linn County Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) and Linn County Decategorization (Decat) boards are pleased to welcome Amy Grunewaldt as the new ECI / Decat Director for Linn County. As an experienced leader in the human service sector, Amy is excited to work with the boards and partners to continue ensuring children and families thrive in this community. Amy succeeds previous Director Chris Kivett-Berry, who has embodied this work from its inception. 

“The board was looking for a candidate who has demonstrated strategic leadership and has an ability to build relationships in the community to help children succeed and Amy possesses those skill sets and many more,” says ECI Board Chair Andrea Rogers. 

“I have been blessed enough to work in collaboration with many local partners in this community and although the challenges with childcare, education, and children’s physical and mental health are multifaceted, the one thing I have learned working with these great organizations in this community is that they are all willing to work together in creating solutions that require cross-sector collaborative work,” states Grunewaldt. “It is not easy work, but with the business, healthcare, and human service sectors working together, we will be able to ensure our children are healthy and successful.”

Linn County supports ECI and Decat by providing staff resources and office space. ECI and Decat are housed within Linn County Community Services.

About the ECI Board

Early Childhood Iowa was established by mandate of the Iowa Legislature in 1998 and reflects a commitment to serving Iowa families in partnership with local communities. This designation provides the local ECI Board with access to annual state allocation to fund local, quality, early childhood services. Linn County was one of the first three areas in the state to be designated as an ECI area. The citizen-led ECI area board works to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of early care, education, health, and human services provided to families with children prenatal through age five, and overall support of early childhood programming in the community. 

The Board’s vision is that every child will have access to quality services empowering them to be healthy and successful.  

Learn more at


About the Decat Board

Decat was created in 1987 via Iowa legislation in response to the growing number of children entering foster care. Legislation allows local flexibility in use of state funds to better meet the needs of youth and families. The Linn County Decat Board annually allocates funds to service providers that meet the Decat intent of reducing out of home placement of children.  

Learn more at  

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