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Iowa to offer $30 million in bonuses to child care providers

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Money for Hayfield Community Food Pantry

DES MOINES, Iowa – $30 million is going to be spent to help Iowa’s child care providers attract and retain workers.

The creation of a recruitment and retention bonus program was recommended by the Governor’s Child Care Task Force.

“Professionalizing the state’s child care workforce starts with investing in providers,” says task force chair Emily Schmitt of Mason City.  “That’s going to encourage those employees to see there’s a viable future in the profession. Every business is struggling with labor. Supporting child care will not only enable those Iowans but ultimately help the workforce.”

The Iowa Department of Human Services says current child development home operators, licensed child care center staff, and newly hired employees are eligible for the bonus.  Each new hire or newly registered child development home meeting eligibility requirements will be eligible for a sign-on bonus 90 days after the date of hire.  Six months from the date of sign-on bonus and every six months after that, any person meeting eligibility requirements that remains employed at the same child care facility will be eligible for a retention bonus until the funding runs out.

“Child care providers are a critical piece of the workforce shortage solution, providing the care and resources so many families rely on daily,” says Governor Kim Reynolds.  “Because of their work, parents are able to return to or remain in the workforce. Their hard work and dedication deserves recognition and appreciation.”

Additional details on eligibility and the application process will be published in February on the Department’s website at as well as communicated directly to providers through our partnership with Child Care Resource and Referral -

“Child care is the backbone of our economy,” says DHS Director Kelly Garcia.  “This recruitment and retention program will help bolster Iowa’s child care workforce and help support the families that rely on it. This is a significant investment in our state and in our future.”

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