Area residents interested in early childhood programs and child safety have an opportunity to apply for membership on the HAWC Partnerships for Children board of directors.

A Feb. 20 deadline has been set for completed applications to be sent to the HAWC office in Decorah.

HAWC's mission is to promote quality early care, wellness, education and intervention opportunities for children and families through community collaboration and support.

Board members are responsible for implementing state Early Childhood Iowa funding to address building collaboration among early childhood stakeholders; providing in-home visitation support to families with children, age prenatal to 3 years old; increasing quality and capacity of child care; and providing preschool support for low income families.

The board also is responsible for development and implementation of prevention and early intervention activities that reduce the need of child protection and juvenile court services using Decategorization funds from the Iowa Department of Human Services.

The HAWC board consists of four citizen representatives from Howard, Allamakee, Winneshiek and Clayton Counties.

Citizen member qualifications include representation of parents with children age 0 to 5 years old, business community, faith community, education and health. Six other board members represent elected officials and child protective services.

The board is recruiting new members to fill openings for citizen and education representative positions.

Board member duties include development of a community plan, adopting policies and procedures, issuing and monitoring service contracts and other responsibilities of a local government board.

The HAWC Partnerships for Children board typically meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 5 p.m. The location of the meeting varies, being held in Postville or Ossian. Members also are involved in various committee meetings.

Persons with interest in board membership are requested to complete an application.

Applications will be reviewed by the board membership committee with recommendation of appointment being made to the board of directors for approval.

Applications are available by contacting Mary Ohloff, Community Liaison at the HAWC office: 1111 Paine St, Decorah, IA 52101; telephone: 563-382-4447; email: hawcmo@neitel.net. Go to hawc-iowa.com for an application or to learn more about HAWC Partnerships for Children.