This week, Governor Reynolds signed Executive Order 8 launching a new Child Care Task Force to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the child care shortage and barrier to work in Iowa.
The Governor also announced awardees of two child care grant programs totaling just over $13M and contributing to the creation of more than 4,000 new child care slots across Iowa. The Department of Human Services and Iowa Workforce Development worked together to strategically award slightly over $12M from the DHS Investing in Iowa’s Child Care funding program and just over $1M in Child Care Challenge grants to all eligible applicants throughout the state.
Child Care Challenge grants support community projects to establish local childcare facilities, while the DHS funding provides support for equipment, personnel, training, and supplies for new or ongoing child care facilities.
Jefferson County Kids Inc hoping to break ground on their new facility sometime early this summer was among the awardees from the DHS in the amount of $365K. FEDA executive Director Josh Laraby said the grant will be used for classroom equipment in the new childcare center and that they are very grateful.
Laraby added that the funding brings them near the completion of their $3.5M Capital Campaign.
The new Child Care Task Force mentioned will primarily consist of those representing businesses, non-profit and community organizations, child care providers, and local government. It was also announced that Laraby was appointed to that Task Force by the Governor.