HULL, Iowa (KCAU) — Iowa ranks as a national leader in the percentage of both parents working out of the household, meaning the demand for child care won’t go away anytime soon.

Governor Kim Reynolds, along with the Department of Human Services and the Iowa Workforce Development, announced nearly 37 million dollars in Child Care Challenge grants today that will fund more than a hundred projects and create over five thousand new child care openings statewide.

One of those projects is in Hull at Bright Start Daycare and Preschool, which received $885,000 to expand their facility and open up 46 more slots.

President of Bright Start’s Board of Directors Jessica Bonestroo said while applying for the grant, the demand for their services grew even larger.

“As we went through the process of applications, two other in-home daycares in town closed within that timeframe so it just really amped up the need for even more childcare in the community and we have had lots of calls, lots of people interested in getting in,” said Bonestroo.

Because Bright Start is the only daycare in town now, Bonestroo said their waitlist has grown to 67 families and most of the parents who have children currently enrolled have to commute each day to pick up their kids.

District 6 state representative Jacob Bossman said solutions to this crisis could be coming during the legislative session.

“A lot of the things that I’ve introduced were an employer tax credit bill where any money that employers spend on child care for their employees, the state would give them a 25 percent tax credit to try to incentivize them to either build child care centers or give stipends to their employees for child care,” said Bossman.

House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst said they did not hear enough support for change during Governor Reynolds’ Condition of the State address Tuesday night.

“We think the workforce problem needs to be addressed holistically. Affordable child care, affordable housing, making sure that Iowa is a welcoming state, all of this matters to Democrats and we didn’t hear a lot of that from the Governor tonight,” said Konfrst.

Bonestroo said Bright Start must match the Child Care Challenge’s $250,000 gift before they can begin their plans for facility expansion. Donations can be mailed to Bright Start Daycare at 1003 Okey St., Hull, IA or by dropping them off at Hull’s American State Bank.