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  Funding Opportunity Details
 -426666-Rural Child Care Market Study Grant
  Rural Revitalization
  Application Deadline: 09/01/2022 11:59 PM
Award Amount Range: $10,000.00 - $10,000.00
Project Start Date: 10/01/2022
Project End Date: 06/30/2024
Award Announcement Date: 06/01/2023
Eligible Applicant: Incorporated cities in Iowa
Program Officer: Liesl Seabert
Phone: 515-348-6154 x
Categorical Area: Child Health, Community Development, Early Childhood Services & Supports, Economic Development, Rural Issues, Youth

Child care is a challenge across rural communities in Iowa and across the nation. However, the solutions are often more complicated than the construction of a new facility. Many factors need to be carefully analyzed to first determine the market feasibility for development of a child care center, expansion of an existing one or support for in-home providers. 

The Rural Child Care Market Study Grant program seeks to support the use of data and analysis by rural communities to determine the specific needs and solutions for their area. Through greater understanding of their geographic market, demographics, competition, and other factors, communities can be armed with the information they need to make proactive steps towards addressing their child care challenges. Funding from the program will empower communities to partner with a third party to assess their current child care market environment and develop strategies.

The program, defined in Iowa Administrative Code, is administered by the Center for Rural Revitalization, a division of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), in consultation with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Forces. 

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Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Use of Funding
The Rural Child Care Market Study Grant Program provides funding for market data collection, analysis and development of strategic goals for child care through a professional third-party partner. 

Eligible Applicants
The following entities are eligible:

  • City and county governments or federally recognized tribal governments physically located in Iowa; 
  • 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 nonprofit agencies and foundations;  
  • public and private schools serving grades pre-K through 12 and physically located in Iowa; and
  • higher education institutions located in Iowa.

The study must benefit and take place in a community in Iowa with a population of 20,000 or fewer and not contiguous to a city with a population of 40,000 or greater. If a county-wide application, must be within one of the 88 least-populous counties in Iowa. An eligible applicant may submit an application that includes one or more partners and may apply on behalf of multiple cities or an entire county if the county is one of the 88 least-populous counties in Iowa. 

Eligible Project Requirements
Requirements for Rural Child Care Market Study awards include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Applicants must demonstrate the capacity for grants administration.  
  • Applications must provide 1:1/2 cash match. 
  • Applications must agree to contract with a professional third-party partner for completion of the market study and strategic goals.
  • Applicant communities must identify the third-party organization in their application that will conduct the analysis and planning process. The third-party partner should include an in-depth research process, facilitated community sessions and a final report with action steps.

Grant Request Amount
Grant Recipients will be awarded $10,000. Grantees will receive one market study and one set of goals, regardless of the geographic area.

Match Requirement
Applicants are required to demonstrate investment in projects by providing a minimum of 1:1/2 cash match. The cash match must be secured, dedicated to eligible expenses, a legitimate part of the proposed project and must be expended within the eligible funding period. Cash match constitutes actual cash contributed to direct project expenses by the applicant or other funding sources. The 1:1/2 match requirement may be raised through a combination of public and private sources but may not include in-kind donations of goods or services, unsecured funding or loans. For example, an applicant requesting $10,000 in grant funds must have at least $5,000 in cash match. 

Funding Period
All project activities and incurred expenses must occur within the eligible contracted funding period of June 15, 2022 – June 30, 2023. Funding is awarded on a reimbursement basis after expenses have been incurred for approved project activities within the eligible funding period. Expenses incurred before or after the eligible funding period are not eligible for reimbursement.

Disbursement of Funds
Disbursements will be made on a reimbursement basis. Disbursement claims must be for an amount equal to or greater than $500 per request. All claims must be made through When submitting a claim, the following items are required: 

  • An invoice and proof of payment.
  • A status report for the claim period. Status reports must be received once per quarter. If no funds are requested, recipients should still file a status report.
  • Additional documentation requested by IEDA, as needed.

Reporting Requirements 
Quarterly Reports
Each quarter, the recipient must provide an update on the percentage towards completion and a narrative of the activities taken place.   

Recipients shall also provide a narrative description of any deviations from the proposed timeline, tasks and objectives during the reporting period. If the reported deviations impact the remainder of the project, the recipient must also notify the program manager via email.  

Final Report 

  • The final report will be submitted via within 120 days of the project completion date. 
  • The IEDA will withhold 5% of project funds until the final report is received and approved by the program manager. 
  • The final report shall contain the following information: 
    • Executive Summary  
    • Timeline of the completion of each goal or objective
    • Narrative description of grant activities undertaken to support the project
    • Narrative description of project achievements
    • Benefit the end product provides or will provide 
    • Narrative description of any deviation from the original budget, timeline or any grant activity
    • Online Application Submission
    • Applicants must create a login to view the full program application. Applications must be submitted via and will not be accepted in any other format. Late, incomplete or ineligible applications will not be accepted. 

Review Process
Applications will be reviewed for completion, eligibility and adherence to published guidelines. Eligible applications will be referred for competitive review by a volunteer panel, including the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative task force members and expert professionals (grant review committee). The grant review committee reserves the right to recommend conditional funding and partial funding. Funding recommendations will be submitted by the committee to the IEDA Director for consideration and approval. The applicant’s authorized official will receive award notification, and all funding decisions are final.

Local Child Care Steering Committee
Applicants are asked to establish a local steering committee to guide the process and serve as a liaison between the third-party partner and the community. The recommendation is that the steering committee be comprised of seven to 10 individuals - such as elected officials, school administrators, child care providers, chamber or economic development staff, representatives from real estate and finance, non-profits, major employers and residents - that share an interest and commitment in addressing local child care needs.

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