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$30 million recruitment and retention bonus program announced for Iowa Child Care Workforce

Parents have struggled in recent years to find quality, safe, and affordable child care due in...
Parents have struggled in recent years to find quality, safe, and affordable child care due in large part to the COVID pandemic.(KTTC)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 4:14 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - On Thursday, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) announced a $30 million recruitment and retention bonus program to help Iowa’s child care providers attract and retain workers.

Governor Reynold’s Child Care Task Force recommended establishing the program in the hopes of improving the child care system in Iowa. Parents have struggled in recent years to find quality, safe, and affordable child care due in large part to the COVID pandemic.

“Child care is the backbone of our economy,” said 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.”

Current child development home operators, licensed child care center staff, and newly hired employees are all eligible for the bonus.

New hires will also be eligible for a bonus from the program, 90 days after the date of hire, six months after the date of hire, and every additional six months after that until the program’s retention bonus funding runs out.

The state has invested $480 million to support child care since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. For more details on eligibility and the applications process, go to the DHS’ website here.

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