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Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Child Care News & Initiatives

Child Care is essential for families and communities because it supports the workforce of today as well as growing the workforce of tomorrow.  This page contains up-to-date news regarding child care initiatives from HHS. Please check back for regular updates as more initiatives are coming out soon!

Cost to Provide Care Survey

HHS is partnering with Iowa State University for the Cost to Provide Care Survey.  This survey is intended to give HHS an accurate estimate of what it costs to provide child care, which helps to inform the Child Care Assistance (CCA) ceiling rates.  The survey is requesting feedback from providers that completed the August and/or September monthly vacancy data collection forms. Providers can expect to receive the survey the week of September 25. As responses to the Cost to Provide Care Survey come in, we may invite additional providers to ensure a representative sample.  If you receive this survey, we encourage you to participate so that the data can be as useful as possible.  Questions about the Cost to Provide Care Survey can be directed to ISU at   

CCA for the Child Care Workforce Pilot Program

Starting July 5, 2023, HHS will implement a one-year pilot program which allows the child care workforce to apply for Child Care Assistance (CCA) for their own children regardless of family income. 

To be eligible for the pilot program an individual must work at least 32 hours per week in a direct care position at:

  • A licensed center, OR
  • A registered child development home OR
  • A non-registered child care home accepting CCA.

If an individual is approved for CCA under this pilot program the individual’s child must be cared for by someone other than the parent/guardian.  For example, if a registered Child Development Home provider were to apply, the child would need to attend a different child care provider.

Additional information can be found in this Frequently Asked Questions document.

Individuals interested in applying may submit an application through the online portal or you can access a printable application on our Child Care Assistance webpage.


Shared Services Project

With the support of Early Childhood Iowa (ECI), HHS launched a multi-phase Shared Services project.  Shared Services is a framework or management structure that allows child care businesses to pay attention to providing high quality teaching and learning, while simultaneously making sure business and administrative tasks are performed well. This project is in response to a recommendation in the Governor’s Child Care Task Force Report and has had proven success in other states.

More information can be found on the ECI Website.


Increase to CCA Initial Income Eligibility

On March 1, 2023, the income eligibility limit for those initially applying to the Child Care Assistance (CCA) program increased from 145% to 155% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

Effective July 1, 2023, the income eligibility limit for those initially applying to the CCA program increased from 155% to 160% FPL.

Note: This is for families who are not currently enrolled in the CCA program.  Families who are already enrolled in the CCA program and are up for redetermination may be eligible for our CCA Plus or CCA Exit programs which have higher income eligibility limits.


CCA Provider Rate Increases

Effective March 1, 2023, the CCA provider rate tables increased.  The new rate tables can be viewed in the copy of the letter sent to child care providers below.  Please note that while the rate tables reflect the maximum that can be paid to a provider by the Child Care Assistance (CCA) program, the state cannot be charged more for a child who receives state child care assistance than is charged to families not receiving assistance (private pay).


Child Care Provider Funding Opportunities

HHS funding opportunities to support child care providers can be found at our Funding Opportunities webpage.