DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — Governor Kim Reynolds awarded grants to projects that will create 5,200 new child care slots in Iowa, according to a release.

The grants will fund 108 projects in 72 Iowa communities and will be matched by another $9.7 million by community-based partnerships to assist local childcare in need.

Several Sioux City childcare facilities will be receiving the grant, including UnityPoint Health — St. Luke’s, which will receive $993,750. The grant will be used to turn current office space into a childcare facility for employees, including an outdoor play area, during the first quarter of 2022. The release indicated the facility is planned to open during the second quarter of 2022.

Helping Hands Preschool & Child Care inc. will receive $712,000, and the funds will continue to support a rehabilitation project currently underway. The release indicated the project’s goal is to complete the expansion by summer 2022 which will open 85 spots for childcare.

The Boys and Girls Club of Siouxland will receive $250,000 to create an after-school program for 160 children in the area. This will serve as a part of a larger campaign project, according to the release.

Alyssa Boisen In-home Child Care of Sioux City will receive $41,213 to renovate the basement into a child care area. The renovations will add 1,000 square feet and an extra restroom, in turn creating 8 open spots for children and hiring another provider.

“I am thrilled to be able to make this substantial investment to expand access to child care for working families,” Governor Reynolds said, “Projects funded through this program will help alleviate the burden of finding child care for families and give more Iowans the opportunity to return to the workforce while create a lasting impact on children, parents, and communities all throughout the state.”

The program was expanded to accommodate the number of applications, which was originally launched in November at $10 million, according to the release.

The Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Department of Human Services will allocate $26.9 million in DHS federal funds, $3 million appropriated by the Iowa legislature for the Child Care Challenge Fund, and $6.7 million in federal ARPA funds to the top-scoring applications.

“As always, Iowans exceeded our expectations in terms of the number, quality, and creativity of the applications we received,” said Director of Iowa Workforce Development Beth Townsend, “There are an incredible number of innovative projects that will positively improve the lives of the communities, families, and children that they serve. Having quality child care significantly increases the number of Iowans who can work, and the investment today will pay huge dividends in our future.”

According to the release, Iowa leads the nation in the percentage of households where both parents work outside the home. Yet, 23% of Iowans (35% of those in rural areas) live in areas lacking adequate childcare. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Federation estimates that the childcare shortage costs nearly $1 billion annually in lost tax revenue, worker absence, and employee turnover.

Other Siouxland childcare receiving grants include Bluff Land Co of Sergeant Bluff, Creative Minds Daycare of Cherokee, Kuemper Cares of Carroll, Lake City Daycare Inc. of Lake City, and the City of SIoux Center.

To view a full list of Iowa childcare receiving grants visit the Iowa website.