Childcare and Employment initiatives announced by Gov. Reynolds

The programs come as part of Future Ready Iowa.
The programs come as part of Future Ready Iowa.
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 8:56 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KWQC) - Iowa will see at least $1.2 million dollars spent with the aim of improving childcare and employment innovations in the state.

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced, in a press release, the arrival of The Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund and The Child Care Challenge Fund. Both fund allocations come as a result of Future Iowa grant opportunities.

The Child Care Challenge Fund’s aim is to gradually improve childcare opportunities and facilities in Iowa. In her release, Reynolds stated, “Let’s remove the obstacles to high-quality affordable child-care so Iowa families can nurture their kids while parents maintain the maximum freedom to enter and remain in the workforce. Tackling the child care crisis in Iowa not only expands opportunities for Iowa families but provides our employers with a steady and stable workforce.”

The Child Care Challenge Fund provides the following:

  • Employers, nonprofits and employer consortiums can apply.
  • Applicants can request funding up to $100,000.
  • The Child Care Challenge Fund can match private dollars and in-kind donations of labor and materials.
  • The funds can be used for new construction of a childcare facility, rehabilitation of an existing structure as a child care facility or retrofitting and repurposing of an existing structure for use as a child care facility

Additionally, Gov. Reynolds signed the Employer Innovation Fund, which her office says is designed to create more opportunities for workers to earn post-secondary credentials for high-demand jobs in the state.

“Gov. Reynolds and the Iowa legislature have made a significant investment in Future Ready Iowa and these two grant opportunities will help communities around the state address local issues,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development.

The Employer Innovation Fund includes the following:

  • Employers, employer consortiums, nonprofits, and educational institutions can apply.
  • Applicants can request funding up to $50,000.
  • The Employer Innovation Fund can match private dollars.
  • The funds can be used to support credit and non-credit programs, along with wrap-around support programs such as childcare, transportation, books, equipment, internet access, and other innovative ways to help Iowans complete job training and education.

Applications for funding opportunities can be submitted on and must be done by February 12, 2021. More information on the programs can be found here.

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