Child Care WAGE$® IOWA is Now Statewide  — Aug 18, 2021

Child Care WAGE$® IOWA is Now Statewide

As you may know, Iowa received federal stimulus funds to support the stability of child care as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Human Services is using some of those funds to support the Child Care WAGE$ program in moving statewide.

WAGE$ is a salary supplement program offered by the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (Iowa AEYC). WAGE$ offers supplements to the early care and education workforce, based on the individual’s level of formal education and commitment to their program. WAGE$ was created to increase retention, compensation and education of the child care workforce.

WAGE$ applications are being accepted at this time.

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions:

What if I’m not eligible yet?

  • If you are not eligible because your program is not QRS rated, contact your CCR&R Consultant to start that process.
  • If you need to earn more college education to become eligible for WAGE$, the T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship can help you earn your CDA® Credential, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree, along with supporting you in taking additional early childhood education college credits to move up the WAGE$ scale.

What do you mean by official transcripts?

  • Official transcripts are the transcripts that come directly from the college. WAGE$ cannot accept scanned versions or copies of transcripts.
  • Transcripts should be requested from the college to be sent to WAGE$. They can be sent electronically to wages@iowaaeyc.org or Iowa AEYC, Attn: WAGE$, 5525 Meredith Drive, Suite F, Des Moines, IA 50310.

What are the income caps?

  • Teachers, assistant directors, and home providers have an income cap of $20 per hour or less.
  • Directors have an income cap of $25 per hour or less.
  • Center staff need to submit a pay stub showing their hourly rate of pay and home providers will need to submit their most recent Schedule C.
  • WAGE$ staff will use a common formula to calculate hourly rate based on submitted documentation.

How many hours must I work to be eligible?

  • Applicants must be working with children ages birth to five for at least 20 hours/week. Time with school-age children is not countable.
  • Those who work less than 35 hours per week will receive a prorated annual supplement.

Do I have to pay taxes on my WAGE$ supplements?

  • Yes, because the salary supplement is income. Participants will receive an IRS-1099 form at the beginning of each year if they received $600 or more from Iowa AEYC during the previous calendar year. Participants are responsible for reporting and paying personal income taxes due.
To answer your remaining WAGE$ questions, please check out one of the upcoming WAGE$ training opportunities. Attendees will receive one hour of DHS training credit. Use the hyperlinks below to register or go to i-PoWeR Professional Workforce Registry and search for:
Statewide WAGE$ 101

More information about Child Care WAGE$ Iowa can be found here.