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I want to thank those who ran for their local school boards or city councils. This is the time of year that citizens get to make their voices heard. They get to decide who will serve for the next 4 years on the school board or city council. Not everyone wants to offer himself or herself as a candidate for a public office. Sometimes things can get a little nasty. Most of the time, here in our area people are courteous and treat opponents with respect, even if they may disagree on issues. Congratulations to the winners and also to those who came up short. Both are necessary for our system to work.

According to the Secretary of State, we had a record turnout in Iowa for city council & school board elections this year. More than 425,000 votes were cast. The turnout in 2019 was roughly 358,000. That was our intent when we amended the law to require both school board and city council elections to be held in November. Before the amendment, school board elections were held in September, and turnout for both elections was much lower.

                                                  Child Care Assistance

Governor Reynolds has announced a new program to assist with child care assistance for Iowa parents. Here are the key points:

  • “Implementation of a childcare management system 
    This statewide, web-based platform will enable providers to leverage a shared services model for many business operations such as administrative tasks, group purchasing, and professional development. This system will be available in 2022.
  • Creation of a ‘Best Place for Working Parents’ designation  
    This designation will recognize employers that go above and beyond to accommodate their employees with children. The new, public designation will help job seekers quickly identify family-friendly employers and will encourage businesses to invest in childcare. This program will begin in January 2022.
  • Additional $10 million in funding for the Child Care Challenge Grant Program 
    To support the expansion of existing childcare facilities or construction of new centers that will increase the number of childcare slots available to Iowa families, Iowa Workforce Development, in collaboration with the Department of Human Services, has launched another round of funding for the Childcare Challenge Grant Program, available today.
  • $100,000 for integrated model of child careand preschool learning opportunities
    The Iowa Department of Education, through ESSER III funds, is making available $100,000 for grants that will advance planning efforts for blended childcare and preschool learning opportunities.

$200 million for funding stabilization grants for financial loss due to the pandemic 
The Iowa Department of Human Services is providing up to $200 million in federal funding to assist eligible childcare providers.”

Author: Julian Garrett