DES MOINES, Iowa (WOI) – Child care workers in Iowa are speaking out after it was announced the state passed on a federal grant worth $30 million.
The Governor’s office did not submit the application for these funds, in part because it required a $3 million dollar match from state funds.
Jillian Hernik, with the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children, said her biggest worry is not being able to pay people working in child care a living wage.
COVID relief funds have helped staff more centers, but those funds will end in fiscal year 2024.
Child care workers are concerned that without consistent funding, staffing levels and child care overall in Iowa will suffer.
“We’re going to revert right back to the childcare crisis,” Henrik said. “We will lose people in the field again.”
Hernik also said this funding would have gone toward increasing the quality of child care, improving skills of child care providers, and to help young mothers.
Governor Reynolds’ office released a statement saying nearly $175 million in federal funding is still available through the Department of Health and Human Services.
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