Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says no to federal child care aid
Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office and leaders in the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services declined to sign off on a federal grant application that could have brought Iowa $30 million in funding for child care services.
- The governor's office did not want to commit $3 million in matching state funds towards child care, the Dispatch reports.
Why it matters: One of the state's biggest concerns is access to child care, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and disproportionately hurts women in the workplace.
- A 2021 state report showed one in four Iowans live in a child care desert. That figure jumped to one in three for rural areas.
State of play: In September, the federal government made $266 million in preschool development grants available to states to help fund existing early-childhood programs, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reports.
- Iowa was one of only 25 states deemed eligible for the funding
- Early Childhood Iowa, a program within the Iowa Department of Management, spent two months working on the grant.
The other side: Anne Discher of Common Good Iowa, a policy-making nonprofit, said she believes it's reflective of the governor's resistance to taking funding from the Biden administration.
The big picture: It's the latest potential money the state has rejected, including millions in rental assistance.
- Reynolds announced on Fox News last year that she had returned $95 million from the federal government intended to help schools during the pandemic.
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