Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: January 12, 2022
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Telephone: 515-725-5487

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Governor Reynolds Awards $36.6 million in Child Care Grants
Projects Will Create 5,191 New Child Care Slots Across the State, Removing Obstacles to Work

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds today awarded nearly $37 million in Child Care grants to projects that will create nearly 5,200 new child care slots across Iowa.

The money will fund 108 innovative projects in 72 Iowa communities. It will be matched by another $9.7 million in private investment that has been generated through community-based partnerships to alleviate a local child care need.

“I am thrilled to be able to make this substantial investment to expand access to child care for working families,” Governor Reynolds said. “Projects funded through this program will help alleviate the burden of finding child care for families and give more Iowans the opportunity to return to the workforce while create a lasting impact on children, parents, and communities all throughout the state.”

Originally launched in November at $10 million, Governor Reynolds expanded the program to accommodate the overwhelming number of quality applications. Working together, Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Department of Human Services will allocate $26.9 million in DHS federal funds, $3 million appropriated by the Iowa legislature for the Child Care Challenge Fund, and $6.7 million in federal ARPA funds to the top scoring applications.

“As always, Iowans exceeded our expectations in terms of the number, quality and creativity of the applications we received,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “There are an incredible number of innovative projects that will positively improve the lives of the communities, families and children that they serve. Having quality child care significantly increases the number of Iowans who can work, and the investment today will pay huge dividends in our future.”

Iowa leads the nation in the percentage of households where both parents work outside the home. However, 23 percent of Iowans (35 percent of those in rural areas) live in areas lacking an adequate supply of child care. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Federation estimates that this child care shortage costs the state’s economy nearly $1 billion annually in lost tax revenue, worker absence and employee turnover.

The list of approved grants includes:

  • Hull Bright Start in Hull, which currently has a waiting list of 67 children. Its $885,000 grant will expand the current center to open an additional 46 slots.
  • Aspire Home Daycare in Dubuque, a $78,300 grant which will drive the remodeling of two child development homes that will provide care for an additional 20 children.
  • Williamsburg Community School District, a $152,461 grant that will help convert a 4-bedroom house into a childcare center for staff members’ children. The center also plans to work with Kirkwood Community College to bolster workforce and enhance career preparation.

For a complete list of awards, visit this link.