Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children


iowaeycNonprofit Organization: Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (Iowa AEYC)

Hackathon Year: 2016

About the Project: To ensure that Iowa’s youngest children have a high quality early learning experience, the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (Iowa AEYC) determined the state’s early childhood workforce needed an easily accessible, interactive platform to inform them about mandatory training requirements, formal education opportunities, and how to move forward on a career pathway in early care and education.

“The value of such an educational tool was clear to us,” said Rick Roghair, Early Childhood Iowa’s Professional Development Director.  “There are 22,000 professionals in this workforce who provide services to 195,000 Iowa children from ages 0 to 5.  Helping this workforce succeed has huge implications for our kids’ futures.”

The necessity for a statewide single-source online career pathway platform was identified in 2015, after years of discussion.  But as a nonprofit agency, with volunteer committees, and limited funding resources, Iowa AEYC lacked the ability and the funding to tackle this project.

dsmHack helped Iowa AEYC create the interactive online career pathway to help each child care provider identify her/his current level of professional competency and explore possible next steps for advancement. The tool had its formal launch in May.  After the launch, Iowa AEYC received inquiries from peer organizations as far away as Connecticut asking how they could offer a similar resource in their state.

“As we prepared for the dsmHack event we made our list of what we hoped to come out with after 48 hours.  We knew what would be awesome, what would be over the top — and the team even exceeded those expectations,” said Rick.

“Everybody in our agency is so excited about this project. dsmHack moved us years ahead on our work and for these 22,000 providers and the kids they serve, the benefits are real.”

It’s Live Now: Click here to visit the completed project site.