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Iowa Workforce Development and Iowa Department of Health and Human Services Announce Another Round of Funding for Child Care Business Incentive Grants

September 26, 2022 | Economic Development & Workforce

The Economic Alliance team hears regularly from our members about their workforce challenges, and that includes access to child care that create barriers for working parents. It is estimated that Linn County is deficient more than 23,815 child care slots, while 350,000 slots are needed state-wide. We were pleased to see another round of Child Care Business Incentive Grants announced recently by the Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) and Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Businesses through-out our region have already been successful recipients of these child care grants, such as True North and To The Rescue.

“Child care is one of those issues that will take a multi-pronged approach to tackling and these kinds of public-private partnerships are steps in the right direction,” said Economic Alliance public policy strategist, Barbra Solberg. “We are excited to see another round of grant funding open and encourage businesses to apply for this opportunity. ”

The program is targeted at helping employers offer or expand child care options as a benefit to their employees. This new opportunity seeks to provide additional flexibility in the ways employers can partner with local child care providers to meet the needs of their employees. Grants will support projects that increase licensed or operational child care slots, add slots to meet new time/day requirements of employees, or fill currently licensed (but unfilled) slots for the benefit of employees.

Grant awards will vary in amount as determined by the scope of the project, with a $250,000 cap for increasing available child care slots (expanding hours of services as an example). Businesses must have a minimum of 75 employees (or a combined minimum of 75 employees within the consortium) and provide 50% of the project costs from privately raised or invested dollars, and the State of Iowa will provide 50% of the project costs.

“Addressing child care barriers has been a focal point of our public policy advocacy the last few years and why we’ve worked with policy makers to find solutions,” continued Solberg. “We’ll keep advocating for policies that address access to high quality and affordable child care as we enter the 2023 legislative session.”

The application period is open now, and applications must be submitted by 11:59 AM on October 17, 2022. For more information, please visit If businesses have questions or need additional information, please contact the Economic Alliance for assistance.

Apply here: