Today, Governor Reynolds announced the final round of Covid-era stipends for  licensed and registered child careproviders, including Child Care Centers and Child Development Homes. The application period begins today through January 12, 2024.

“Child care is the catalyst that drives economic growth,” said Governor Reynolds. “At a time when most parents work outside the home, access to reliable, safe, and affordable child care allows parents to pursue their careers and contribute to the productivity and growth of our economy.”

Award amounts will range from $10,000 to $50,000 based on program size and number of applications received.  Funds can be used for one-time expenses related to employee recruitment and retention, minor renovations, or upgrading equipment. Stipend application and more information about the funding can be found on the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website.

Iowa is committed to multi-faceted solutions to child care challenges to provide quality care for children, keep parents working, and drive economic development.  In addition to issuing more than $218 million in Stabilization Grants directly to child care providers during the pandemic, HHS has launched programs to fund recruitment and retention bonuses, allow child care workforce to qualify for Child Care Assistance, and to promote partnerships between child care centers and local businesses to support wage enhancements for child care providers.   

HHS has also partnered with Iowa Workforce Development to improve access to quality child care options. More than $35 million in Child Care Challenge grants have been awarded to regional and community projects to create more than 4,880 new child care slots across the state. In addition, the Child Care Business Incentive grant program encourages employers to offer child care as part of their benefits package. Funds support infrastructure investments to build or expand child care capacity, or support arrangements between employers and child care providers to expand and reserve slots for their employees’ children. To date, the $27 million in grant awards has generated a $58 million total investment and more than 1,860 new child care slots.

For more information about child care programs, visit the HHS website.