U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), who has been working for Iowa’s child care providers – including ensuring quality, affordable, and accessible child care for Iowa’s families and children – worked with her colleagues to secure nearly $32 million in funding for Iowa to support access to child care and child care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state will receive $31,899,093 through the Child Care and Development Block Grant program, which Ernst helped bolster in the bipartisan Phase 3 Relief Program.
“Even before COVID-19, Iowa was facing a child care crisis – with a quarter of Iowans living in what’s called a ‘child care desert.’ I’ve heard from child care providers across the state about the critical need for support in these challenging days, and that’s why I worked across the aisle and fought hard to include additional relief for Iowa children and families,” said Senator Ernst, member of the Senate Small Business Committee. “Our child care providers have continued to provide stability and support throughout this pandemic, and I’m grateful that through these bipartisan efforts we’ve been able to secure nearly $32 million in additional support for our ever-important child care community.”
“Without question, child care is an essential pillar of our economy on which all other industries rely. The crucial relief opportunities made available to families and child care providers through the CARES Act, including emergency CCDBG funding, are essential to ensuring child care providers can continue serving the families of America’s first responders, and be around to welcome the nation’s young children when their parents eventually return to work,” said First Five Years Fund Executive Director Sarah Rittling. “As this crisis continues to unfold, we look to bipartisan champions in Washington like Sen. Ernst for their leadership in ensuring America’s working families and child care providers – many of which are small businesses – continue receiving the assistance they need to weather this storm.”
Working with her fellow members—Democrats and Republicans – on the Small Business Committee, Ernst fought to make sure this new law gives Iowa’s child care providers access to the new Paycheck Protection Program, a 100% guaranteed Small Business Administration (SBA) loan for businesses with 500 employees or less – including child care providers and nonprofits.