Posted by ICCRR in News on 5/8/2020

Message for Iowa Child Care Programs from the Department of Human Services

May 8, 2020

Dear Child Care Providers,

In honor of Child Care Provider Appreciation Day on May 8, 2020, we want to thank you for the care you provide children and families in Iowa as part of your child care business.

Each year, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) takes this time to recognize the importance of the work that you do with Iowa’s youngest citizens. Throughout the years, we have thanked you for being an integral service in the community, for working with us through the regulatory and changes to family eligibility from the Child Care and Development Block Grant Reauthorization and for evolving with us to provide high-quality, affordable child care across the State of Iowa for ALL of Iowa families.

However, we know that this year is very different. This year, we are working through the worldwide pandemic, COVID-19. Many of you have had to temporarily close your doors or reduce your numbers. Others have maintained open doors to provide child care services to families that continue to work and essential service personnel. Whatever circumstances you and your program have found yourselves in due to COVID-19, we thank you for the dedication that you have to providing a healthy and safe environment to the children and families you serve.

While the Department must balance multiple child care responsibilities, including regulating programs, accountability for federal child care funds and supporting quality improvement, we strive to support child care providers in meaningful ways. You may be interested in some of the things that DHS has been doing behind the scenes to support your programs.

  • Partnered with the Iowa National Guard to distribute hand sanitizer and disinfectant
  • Worked with Child Care Resource and Referral to provide financial support in the purchasing of necessary items such as cleaning supplies and thermometers
  • Eased regulatory burden of professional development requirements such as CPR certification
  • Eased burden of national fingerprints to reduce delay in staff hiring
  • Eased child enrollment requirements to assure essential personnel can enroll children in child care quickly and efficiently
  • Allow unlimited absent days for CCA children not attending child care program
  • Extended QRS ratings

Iowa also received almost $32 million through the CARES Act and engaged in conversations with advocates and internal and external stakeholders to best determine how to support programs during this time. A survey of child care providers was also conducted to learn more about the current status of providers and what assistance providers need to remain open or to reopen. The response rate of almost 2,000 providers was appreciated and was used to inform how to best use the allocated dollars, which you received notice of earlier this week.

Today, we want to thank you for being our partner, for stepping up for your communities, and for being “the workforce behind the workforce”. The value that you provide to your local community and to the State of Iowa is essential. Thank you.

Julie Allison, Bureau Chief
Division of Adult, Children and Family Services
Bureau of Child Care

Link to DHS Letter


Tags: DHS , provider appreciation

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