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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

    Gov. Reynolds Launches Child Care Task Force, Announces Child Care Grant Awardees

    Kim Reynoldshttps://governor.iowa.gov/about-the-governor
    As Iowa’s 43rd Governor, Kim Reynolds is determined to make sure that Iowa’s success is every Iowan’s success. Whether it’s preparing Iowans for cutting-edge careers, fighting for education, improving healthcare and mental health access, or empowering our rural communities, Kim’s priorities are making a difference in all four corners of the state. Her vision keeps Iowans at the center of all decisions, especially in the area of fiscal responsibility. Kim knows that when Iowa taxpayers are able to keep more of their money, great things happen. She also believes in redemption. Kim’s justice reform initiatives carefully balance second chances with victim rights. As Governor, Kim’s strong voice for international trade, agriculture, and advanced manufacturing is opening new markets and maintaining relationships with leaders in China, Mexico, Canada, Israel, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Germany, Brazil and Argentina, to name just a few. Although she’s traveled the world telling Iowa’s story, Kim is still a small-town girl at heart with common-sense values. These principles are reflected in the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa initiative and Future Ready Iowa. At age 57, Kim earned a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University. Then, nearly two years later, on Nov. 4, 2018, she was elected by Iowans to become their first woman Governor. Family means everything to Kim and her husband, Kevin. They have three daughters (Jennifer, Nicole and Jessica) who are happily married, and Kim and Kevin love spending time with their 10 very active grandchildren.

    Muscatine Living

    This content provided by the Office of the Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds as a press release.

    Today, Governor Reynolds has signed Executive Order 8 launching a new Child Care Task Force to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the child care shortage and barrier to work in Iowa. The governor also announced awardees of two child care grant programs totaling $13,053,372 and contributing to the creation of more than 4,000 new child care slots across Iowa.  

    “When we remove the obstacles to high-quality, affordable child care, our families can nurture their kids while maintaining maximum freedom to enter and remain in the workforce,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Today’s announcement will further our efforts to provide high-quality, affordable access to child care in every corner of the state.”  

    The Department of Human Services and Iowa Workforce Development worked together to strategically award $12,052,958 from the DHS Investing in Iowa’s Child Care funding program and $1,000,414 in Child Care Challenge grants to all eligible applicants throughout the state. Child Care Challenge grants support community projects to establish local childcare facilities, while the DHS funding provides support for equipment, personnel, training, and supplies for new or ongoing child care facilities. 

    “The Child Care Challenge was created to bolster and support innovative partnerships between leaders in the community and key stakeholders in the private and public sector,” Gov. Reynolds continued. “Today’s investment allows us to leverage existing resources from DHS to further grow the scope of our program.” 

    “As a working mom, I know how important child care is. Child care is the backbone of our workforce and serves as an early learning platform for our children,” said Director Kelly Garcia, Department of Human Services. 

    “This is a big day for workforce development in Iowa because of the significant investment we are making in expanding child care availability through our investments in 64 different projects around the state, ” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development.  

    To capitalize on this investment, and in furtherance of the recommendation of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Governor Reynolds announced an executive order to establish a new Child Care Task Force, led by Emily Schmitt with Sukup Manufacturing. In 100 days, the task force will present recommendations to the Governor to address Iowa’s child care crisis. Additional members of the task force representing business, non-profit and community organizations, child care providers, and local government include: 
    Jennifer Banta, Iowa City Area Business Partnership 
    Lisa Gates, Friendship Village 
    Miranda Niemi, Quality Beginnings 
    David Arens, Wells Fargo 
    Pastor Philip Herman, Highland Park Community Development Association 
    Mary Janssen, Childcare Resource and Referral of Northeast Iowa 
    Dawn Oliver Wiand, Iowa Women’s Foundation 
    Dianna Williams, Ann Wickman Childcare Center YMCA 
    Erika Fuentes, Crittenton Center 
    Teree Caldwell-Johnson, Oakridge Neighborhood 
    Mayor Roy Buol, Dubuque   
    Mayor Gene Newgaard, Iowa Falls 
    Josh Laraby, Fairfield Economic Development Association 
    Jenna Ramsey, Stanton Community Development 
    Amy Bice, Child Development Home Provider, Cherokee 
    Raven Walker, Child Development Home Provider, Council Bluffs 
    Tessa Dinsdale, Lincoln Savings Bank 

    This content provided by the Office of the Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds as a press release.

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