Gov. Reynolds signs off on second round of grants to increase child care availability across the state.
Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds awarded a second round of grants to increase access to child care in the Iowa.
A total of $443,324 will be awarded through the Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services to help employees cover the cost of child care for employees in Iowa.
In collaboration with local child care centers, employers will increase newly available child care openings for their employees without harming existing available slots in current child care centers.
“Iowa is creating long term solutions by providing another unique way to incentivize business to provide much-needed child care for their employees,” Reynolds said in a news release on Monday morning.
There are five projects, funded by the grant, in progress that will create 77 employer-facilitated child care openings in Iowa: Versova Management, HNI Corporation, MercyOne Medical Center, Siouxland DQ, and Mason City Chamber Foundation.
The grants build on last year’s initiative which created 1,800 child care slots across Iowa. The program, which was backed by bipartisan support, is being funded by the Child Care Challenge Fund, which was established in November 2021.
“Today’s awards build on the substantial investments we’ve made in child care funding over the past two years,” Reynolds said Kelly Garcia, Iowa Department of Health and Human services Director, said the money will better equip young children to enter the education system.
The awards, which stem from recommendations from the Child Care Task Force and launched by Reynolds in 2022, was created to address the child care shortage in Iowa and to decrease any barriers to work in Iowa.