Governor Kim Reynolds today announced a second round of grant awards targeted at supporting childcare slots through meaningful business incentives. A total of $443,234 will be awarded through Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) and the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support five projects involving 11 participating businesses that will help create 77 new childcare slots.
The grant will help increase flexibility in how childcare slots can be supported or expanded through employer-sponsored childcare. Employers will partner with local and regional childcare centers to increase new available slots for their employees (not at the expense of existing or available slots in the local area).
Today’s awarded projects:
- Versova Management, Sioux Center (15 new slots)
- HNI Corporation, Muscatine (8 new slots)
- MercyOne Medical Center, Waterloo (36 new slots)
- Siouxland DQ, Sergeant Bluff (10 new slots)
- Mason City Chamber Foundation, Mason City (8 new slots)
Visit this link for more information, including background on the grant and a map of awardees.
“Today’s awards build on the substantial investments we’ve made in childcare funding over the past two years. Iowa is creating long term solutions by providing another unique way to incentivize business to provide much needed childcare for their employees,” said Governor Reynolds. “I am proud to support the employers and local providers who have stepped forward to solve these challenges firsthand.”
Grant funding provided to awarded employers will be used to fund part of the cost of childcare for employees. All projects were also required to provide a plan for sustainability of the outcome beyond the grant funding.
“Incentivizing employers to be partners in childcare solutions creates new pathways for Iowa’s labor force. Today’s awards represent an innovative solution, and I look forward to seeing this approach grow to ultimately help workers support their families along with successful careers,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development.
“The last round of funding in September created almost 1,800 new childcare slots in 23 different communities across Iowa,” said Iowa Department of Health and Human Services Director Kelly Garcia. “The payback of these investments in Iowa’s childcare system are many, but most important are long term benefits to Iowa’s children who are more prepared to enter the education system.”
This grant program advances one of the top recommendations of the Child Care Task Force – to incentivize additional business engagement in childcare. Including today’s announcement, over the last two years the state of Iowa has awarded over 190 projects with approximately $75 million in grant funding to help create over 10,700 new childcare slots.