Programs & Services

For questions and more information on HACAP's Children's programs call us at (319) 393-7811 or by emailing


CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program) is offered free of charge to providers whose childcare development home is registered with the State of Iowa. It is a federally funded program that offers financial reimbursement to providers serving nutritious meals to children in their care. The program also offers free nutrition training, in-home provider support, professional development, and fast, easy, paperless online claiming.

View "What is CACFP?" Video Here

Child Care Nurse Consultants

Child Care Nurse Consultants are Registered Nurses that provide guidance and technical assistance to child care providers, families, and communities regarding the health and safety of children. Consultant activities may range from answering specific questions by telephone to staff education and scheduling on-site consultation visits.

Head Start/Early Head Start

Head Start and Early Head Start are comprehensive early childhood development programs that serve children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families. As child-focused programs, they have the overall goal of increasing the  school readiness of young children in low-income families.

In addition to center-based school readiness programs, Early Head Start provides a home program for pregnant women and children age birth-3.


Paces to Quality

HACAP's Paces to Quality Program assists home and center-based child care providers in Linn County through professional development, home visits, equipment grants and more.  Funding provided by Linn County Early Childhood Iowa and Variety - the Children's Charity of Iowa.

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Head Start FAQ

With Head Start, do the families have to pay for full day services?

There are no fees for children & families enrolled in Head Start/Early Head Start. All supplies and materials are provided for enrolled children.

Are the parents required to work to have all day services?

Parent(s) are required to be working and/or attending school for a minimum of 28 hours per week to receive full day services. This is verified at time of enrollment by completing a work/school verification form. Parents are required to provide proof of working and/or going to school through paycheck stubs and/or school enrollment forms.

Where does Head Start funding come from?

Head Start/Early Head Start program services are funded through grants. Awarded grants are from the federal, state and local levels.

Do Head Start hours of operation meet family needs?

Head Start/Early Head Start hours of operation are dependent on the funding source and classroom program. Part Day services are four days a week for three and one half hours and are offered in the morning or afternoon. Full day program operations are nine to ten hours a day five days a week. We do not offer evening or weekend care, but are able to refer families to Child Care Resource and Referral to assist with unmet child care needs.

Paces to Quality FAQ

What does Paces to Quality do?

Paces to Quality provides a menu of supports (site visits, equipment grants, training) and resources (accreditation/Child Development Associate (CDA), environmental rating scales) to home and center-based child care programs in order to improve the quality of early learning environments. Paces to Quality works with each early care provider at his or her current skill level. The program offers support to home and center-based providers who may not be familiar with the tools to improve quality. Each participant will be provided multiple strategies to make positive changes in the early care and education environments.

What should parents see when looking for quality child care

As your child's parent or guardian, you are the most qualified to decide what is the best child care option for your family.

  • Screen caregivers by phone first, then schedule a visit or multiple visits
  • Interview each caregiver and leave yourself plenty of time for questions and observations. Ask for references and follow-up with calls to the references
  • Use a checklist during your visit and interview. (We searched on the internet using the words, "choosing child care" and several free PDF documents popped up). The checklist should include Health & Safety, Physical Environment, Learning Activities, Caregiver Interactions and Program Structure
  • You may expect to sign a written agreement which defines caregiver and parent expectations (Hours, vacations, sick days, fees, meals, emergency procedures)
  • Trust your instincts in choosing the best child care option!

Do all child care providers have to join Paces to Quality?

No, but we hope anyone considering child care as a professional will consider being a Paces to Quality home or center-based provider. You may contact us for more information or questions at 1-800-233-0054 or 319-739-1556.

Are you from the Department of Human Services (DHS)?

No, Paces to Quality is not a regulatory agency; our services and provider participation are purely voluntary.

Head Start Eligibility Requirements

The Head Start and Early Head Start Programs use a variety of weighted criteria to determine eligibility. Please call us at 319-393-7811 to have a biological parent or a guardian arrange an application appointment. Some of the selection criteria include the following:

  • Family income is at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Income is based on the past twelve months of income or the most recent tax return.
  • Families who are currently receiving TANF services or benefits automatically meet the income eligibility guidelines.
  • For Head Start services, the child must be three-years old by the public school cut-off date of September 15th.
  • For center-based Early Head Start Services, the child must be 18 months old at enrollment.
  • For home-based Early Head Start the applicant must be 0-3 years old or a pregnant mother upon enrollment.
  • Head Start/Early Head Start also serves children with documented disabilities, regardless of income.