Des Moines, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is infusing funding into a comprehensive set of child care initiatives that focus on supporting Iowa families, quality care delivery and attracting and retaining child care workforce. The initiatives were developed and vetted with input from providers, parents, Early Childhood Iowa as well as the Child Care Task Force. With a new formalized office of Child Care within HHS, these one-time and ongoing programs will build a sustainable and strong child care system for the state.  

“Iowa families deserve a strong, reliable child care system statewide,” stated Governor Reynolds. “We’ve made significant investments over the last few years to expand access, support providers, and partner with employers. Now, with the addition of a dedicated team within the Department of Health and Human Services, we will empower more parents to provide for their children and reach their potential.”      

Highlights of the initiatives include:

  • Increasing “front door” eligibility for Child Care Assistance (CCA) from 145% to 155%. This will provide more families with low income access to CCA subsidy, increasing the hourly wage for initial eligibility from $17.40 to $18.60
  • Increasing the payments child care facilities receive when serving CCA families.
  • In a two-year pilot project, full-time child care facility employees will be categorically eligible for CCA, regardless of income.

“What we’re announcing today expands eligibility, enhances the quality of care and supports our providers. The team has crafted a multi-faceted strategy that really hones in on addressing the collective challenges we face in the state with child care. And as a working mom who relies on child care, I see this investment as invaluable” said Kelly Garcia, HHS Director.

 See a presentation with a full description of these initiatives at the HHS web site.


Media Contact:
Alex Carfrae,