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Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Funding Opportunities Available to Child Care Workers and Programs

The following funding opportunities are being made available to child care workers and programs affected by the COVID-19 crisis. To learn more about each option, scroll down and find the corresponding heading for a more detailed description.

  • Recruitment and Retention Bonuses - for individual child care workers
  • Stabilization Grants - for child care programs
  • CCA Absent Day Billing
  • Investing in Iowa’s Child Care (IICC) Funding Program

    Recruitment and Retention Bonuses

    Funds go to child care workers. Each individual worker should apply.  

    Based on recommendations within the Governor’s Child Care Task Force Report, HHS started providing Recruitment and Retention Bonuses to support the child care system and its employees. These bonuses were funded with stimulus funds through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The funding for this project has been exhausted and will end on September 30, 2023. In preparation for the upcoming change, we want you to be aware of the timeline listed below:

    • June 1, 2023: Employees hired after this date will not meet the 90-day requirement to apply for a recruitment bonus. 
    • August 1, 2023: The last day to submit applications.
    • September 30, 2023: All funding will be awarded by September 30.

    Each individual child care employee will need to submit their own application. The application link as well as more information are provided below. If there are additional questions about this program you may email or call 1-833-671-1377.

    Statewide T.E.A.C.H. And WAGE$ Supports

    The State of Iowa and HHS recognize the importance of those that care for Iowa’s children.  Access to educational opportunities as well as competitive compensation for the child care workforce is important to ensure retention of the workforce as well as quality care for Iowa’s children.  The T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ programs support both of these priorities. 

    HHS has been a long-time funder of the T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ programs.  During the pandemic, funding for these programs was increased with stimulus funds, however HHS is now happy to announce that CCDBG funding has been budgeted for these programs that will sustain these increases beyond the availability of stimulus funds.

    For more information about eligibility and to apply to participate in either program please visit the IA AEYC website at:


    CCA Absent Day Billing

    Beginning November 1, 2021, DHS will temporarily increase the number of monthly absent days for the Child Care Assistance (CCA) program from 4 to 6. This change will be effective through September 30, 2024.

    Investing in Iowa’s Child Care (IICC) Funding Program

    Please note: This program is no longer accepting new applications.
    The IICC was a funding program intended to increase availability of child care throughout the State.  The program is administered by Child Care Resource and Referral with funds from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. Funding is available for programs that are licensed or registered by DHS or are seeking to be licensed or registered by DHS. There were three types of funding available:
    • Start-up funding: funding for applicants that are in the process of becoming licensed or registered by DHS
    • Expansion funding: funding for child care facilities that are already licensed or registered but want to expand the number of children they are able to care for.
    • Urgent Regulatory funding: funding for child care facilities that are already licensed or registered and have an urgent need related to regulations.
    • IICC Flyer
    • Awards Summary
    • 2021 Map
    • IICC Round 2
    • IICC Round 2 Award Summary