On January 12, 2021 Governor Reynolds delivered her Condition of the State Address and within her Vision for Iowa (report) the Governor laid out a plan implementing strategies to confront Iowa’s Child Care Crisis. Included in the strategies is $7 million for Child Care WAGE$® IOWA to offer salary stipends to the early care and education workforce based on staff level of education and commitment to their program. Thanks to the aforementioned strategy, WAGE$ has been statewide in Iowa since July 1, 2021.
After almost six months of statewide Child Care WAGE$® IOWA, Iowa AEYC wanted to share a data update with relevant information about the impact the program has already made for the early care and education workforce. Prior to July 1, WAGE$ was only available in 38 counties, with at least one person on the program in 33 of those counties. It is now available in all 99 counties, with at least one person on the program in 84 of Iowa’s counties. To date in FY 22, 850 individuals have received a stipend compared to 275 in FY 21.
WAGE$ and its sister program, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® IOWA work together to address common issues in the early care and education field: compensation, retention, and education.