Governor Kim Reynolds today awarded $26.6 million in grant funding to 23 projects intended to help businesses jumpstart new childcare opportunities and make it easier for Iowans to find childcare options through their employer.
The Child Care Business Incentive Grant is awarding 19 projects with $25.9 million to address infrastructure projects, while four projects will receive $603,433 to support agreements between businesses and local centers that create new childcare slots. In total, today’s funding from Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) and the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will involve 67 employers and is expected to create nearly 1,786 child care slots. These include area business and industry such as Sukup Manufacturing in Sheffield, the Mason City Chamber of Commerce in Clear Lake and Mason City, and the St. Ansgar State Bank in St. Ansgar.
“Iowa businesses know that access to quality childcare is a major factor in employees’ ability to work,” Gov. Reynolds said. “These awards will support and incentivize employer investment in childcare resources on site or through community partnerships and strengthen our efforts to provide high quality childcare throughout the state of Iowa.”
The Child Care Business Incentive Grant was established this year to enable businesses and employer consortiums to build on-site childcare centers or partner with local childcare providers to increase new childcare slots for employees. This grant program advances one of the top recommendations of the Child Care Task Force – to incentivize business engagement in childcare.
“Not only do today’s awards help employers create or expand childcare for existing workers, but they also enhance their ability to be successful in attracting and retaining new employees,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Our focus moving forward must remain on addressing these specific types of barriers to provide options for families and create an environment where the local workforce can thrive.”
“These grants support Iowa’s investment in quality childcare options and strengthen parents’ ability to provide for their families while gaining the benefits of early learning for their children,” said Iowa Department of Health and Human Services Director Kelly Garcia. “As a working mom who still has a child in care, I see first-hand the advantage children who engage in early learning have and deeply understand the need for additional access in our State. These grants take that next step forward in ensuring Iowa’s commitment to achieving better access for all.”
Today’s awards continue the state’s commitment to funding meaningful childcare projects across the state. To build on these successes, IWD and HHS are announcing a second round of funding for the Child Care Business Incentive slots grant. This new opportunity seeks to provide additional flexibility in the ways employers can partner with local childcare providers to meet the needs of their employees. Grants will support projects that increase licensed or operational childcare slots, add slots to meet new time/day requirements of employees, or fill currently licensed (but unfilled) slots for the benefit of employees.
Applications are now being accepted at IowaGrants.gov. Applications are due by 11:59 a.m. on October 17, 2022.
Click here for Notice of Funding and Application Information: Link
Including today’s announcement, the state of Iowa has awarded 191 projects with approximately $75.6 million in grant funding to help create over 10,700 new childcare slots.