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Shared Visions Preschool Program

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The Shared Visions Preschool programs provide quality child development programs for children at-risk in 29 Iowa counties. The preschool programs serve children ages three to five and must meet one of the following program standards:

  1. Head Start Program Performance Standards
  2. National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Early Learning Program Accreditation Standards and Assessment Items
  3. Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards (IQPPS)

Legal Requirements and Reports

Iowa Code 256A, Iowa Code 279.51, and the rules in Iowa Administrative Code 281-64 govern the preschool programs. In addition, Shared Visions Preschool programs are required to report to the department annually. A summary of state data is included in the Child Development Coordinating Council Annual Report to the Governor.

FY22 Child Development Coordinating Council Annual Report - Describes the future recommendations of the Council and also offers the status of the parent support and preschool programs serving children and families at risk.

Child Development Coordinating Council

As required by Iowa Code 256A, the Child Development Coordinating Council (CDCC) was established to advise the Department of Education regarding the administration and implementation of two state-funded at-risk programs for children ages birth to five: the Shared Visions Parent Support Program and the Shared Visions Preschool Program. Funding appropriated per Iowa Code 279.51 must be used by the CDCC to award grants for programs that provide services to families and children meeting identified risk factors. The CDCC conducts meetings at a minimum of four times annually. Council meetings are open to the public. Visit the CDCC webpage for a membership list, meeting dates, agendas, and minutes.

Grant Awards and Application

FY24 Shared Visions Preschool Grant Awards - This is a list of awarded applicants and the corresponding grant awards for FY23 Shared Visions Preschool Programs.

Grants are awarded with a renewal option for up to five years provided grantees meet program requirements. All funding is contingent upon annual appropriations. The funding period for Year 1- FY21 was July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021. The remaining renewal years are the following:

  • Year 4 - FY24: July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024
  • Year 5 - FY25: July 1, 2024 - June 30, 2025

Guidance Documents

CDCC Policy Regarding Child Assessment and Student Identifier Numbers

FY21-FY25 Shared Visions Preschool Summary of Data Collection for Year-End Reporting

IowaGrants Login Instructions

Guidance on Program Standards for Shared Visions Preschool Programs

Preschool Ratio and Class Size Maximum by Program Standards

Iowa GOLD Online Procedures

Iowa GOLD Child Transfer Form

Shared Visions Preschool Income Eligibility Guidelines 2023

Shared Visions Preschool and Parent Support - 2023 Income Eligibility Guidelines - Effective May 24, 2023

Shared Visions Preschool Map - Grantees by Contact Person

Shared Visions Programs List - Grantees by Contact Person

Shared Visions Preschool Budget Guidance

Shared Visions Preschool Program, Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program, and Head Start Program (2023-08-29) - A map showing areas in which the Shared Visions Preschool Program, Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program,  and/or the Head Start Program are offered.

Discussion Prompts, Sample Activities, and Observational Tasks

AEA Contacts 2023-24

AEAContact PersonEmail
Central Rivers AEALindsey
Grant Wood AEAColleen
Great Prairie AEAJune
Green Hills AEAAmi
Heartland AEAAmy
Keystone AEAAngie
Mississippi Bend AEAJennifer
Northwest AEAShelley
Prairie Lakes AEAMarcie


Shared Visions Preschool Program Evaluation Report 2016-2017 - An evaluation study in 2017 collected baseline data on participating teachers, sites, and students. Evaluators from the University of Iowa’s Center for Evaluation and Assessment (CEA) collaborated with early childhood staff from the Department to conduct a program evaluation to identify the professional development needs of the Shared Visions Preschool teachers, to evaluate the extent to which teachers are using Teaching Strategies GOLD® according to the grant requirements, and to document how assessment data are used. An executive summary may be found on pages 3 and 4 with the full report following thereafter.


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an organization of 67,000 pediatricians committed to the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. The AAP Parenting Website offers resources for children from birth to grade school and more.

Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) uses local, informed decision making to improve the quality of life for every Iowa child and their families. ECI works through state leadership boards, state advisory, and local structures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of early care, education, health, and human services provided to families with children ages birth to five.

The Head Start Program Performance Standards define standards and minimum requirements for the entire range of Head Start services. They serve as the foundation for Head Start's mission to deliver comprehensive, high-quality individualized services supporting the school readiness of children from low-income families.

The Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (Iowa AEYC) promotes high-quality early learning for all children aged birth to eight by connecting practice, policy, and research. Iowa AEYC advances a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and supports all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.

The Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards and Criteria (IQPPS) support the implementation of quality early childhood programs by promoting the use of research-based practices. The IQPPS Criteria combine content from the core areas of early childhood development and learning, cross-cutting curriculum, instruction, and assessment that occurs in early childhood classrooms and settings.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) leads and consolidates the efforts of individuals and groups working to achieve healthy development and constructive education for all young children from birth to age eight.

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) improves the learning and development of young children by producing and communicating knowledge that transforms policy and practice. NIEER collaborates with a network of local, state, national, and international leaders to design, conduct, and disseminate rigorous research, evaluation, and policy analysis. NIEER also helps prepare the next generation of inspirational leaders and researchers in early education.

Teaching Strategies is an educational publishing company exclusively serving the early childhood community serving children from birth through kindergarten. Information on the required assessment for Shared Visions Preschool Programs can be found by visiting Teaching Strategies GOLD Online.

ZERO TO THREE's mission is to promote the healthy development of our nation's infants and toddlers by supporting and strengthening families, communities, and those who work on their behalf.