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Child Care Assistance

State of Iowa Child Care Assistance (CCA) Program

What's Available?

Child Care Assistance (CCA) is available to the children of income-eligible parents who are employed or participating in an approvable academic or vocational training or PROMISE JOBS activities. Assistance may also be available for a limited period of time to the children of a parent looking for employment or when the parent who normally cares for the child is unable to do so due to hospitalization, or outpatient treatment for physical or mental illness.

Child care services are provided to people participating in activities approved under the PROMISE JOBS program and people who receive Family Investment Program (FIP) assistance if there is a need for child care services. PROMISE JOBS staff administer Child Care Assistance for child care needed to participate in PROMISE JOBS activities.

Who Can Get Help?

You may get help from the Child Care Assistance program if you:
  • Have a child who needs care who is under the age of 13 (or under the age of 19 if the child has special needs).
  • Are a member of a Family Investment Program (FIP) participant household.

If you're not a Family Investment Program participant, you may qualify for the CCA program if you:

  • Have a child who needs care who is under the age of 13 (or under the age of 19 if the child has special needs) and have income under the program's limits and work an average of 28 hours per week; or
  • Attend an approvable training or education program full-time; or
  • Working and attending training for a total of at least 28 hours per week; or
  • Are looking for work; or
  • Are unable to provide care because of an approved medical reason.

Income Eligibility Levels (based on monthly gross income

1 member in family: Basic Care $1,467, Special Needs Care $2,024
2 members in family: Basic Care $1,989, Special Needs Care $2,744
3 members in family: Basic Care $2,511, Special Needs Care $3,464
4 members in family: Basic Care $3,033, Special Needs Care $4,184
5 members in family: Basic Care $3,555, Special Needs Care $4,904
6 members in family: Basic Care $4,077, Special Needs Care $5,624
7 members in family: Basic Care $4,599, Special Needs Care $6,344
8 members in family: Basic Care $5,121, Special Needs Care $7,064
9 members in family: Basic Care $5,643, Special Needs Care $7,784

How To Apply

To receive Child Care Assistance you must fill out an application form. See links below. Applications for Child Care Assistance for families living in Johnson County can be mailed or delivered to the Johnson County office. You may not e-mail or fax applications. An original signature is required.

Please complete the application by hand then return it to the Johnson County Department of Human Services Office.

Applications are also available at the Johnson County Department of Human Services Office. You may pick up an application between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

Johnson County Department of Human Services
855 S. Dubuque Street
Iowa City, Iowa 52240

Map It Bus Route
(Lakeside or Broadway bus routes)

Or, you can mail your application directly to:
Human Services River Place Office
2309 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310-9930

Eligibility for Child Care Assistance is determined by review of the information provided on the application form. Within 30 days of receipt of the application, you will receive a notice in the mail of your eligibility status.

Program Links

English Child Care Assistance Application
Spanish Solicitud Para Child Care Assistance
English Child Care Assistance Brochure
Spanish Child Care Assistance Brochure

Who Can Care for My Child?

You may choose a child care provider from a variety of arrangements. You can choose:

  • A licensed child care center,
  • A registered child development home,
  • A nonregistered child care home-the person must pass the child abuse and criminal record checks,
  • Someone who cares for your children in your own home (provided there are 3 or more children),
  • A licensed before-and-after-school program

What Must My Child Care Provider Do?

Your provider must be approved by DHS in order to receive payment from the CCA program. Many providers are already approved by DHS to provide care for the CCA program. If you do not know whether your provider is approved, ask your DHS CCA worker for assistance. If your provider is not yet approved, DHS will provide you with the necessary forms to take to your child care provider.

Who Can Help Me Find Child Care?

You want to be sure your child is properly cared for and safe from harm. You want to make the best choice possible. The Iowa Child Care Resource and Referral system can give you information on the different types of child care and how to choose quality care so you can select the type of care that is best for your family. They can help you find child care that meets your needs.

Agencies Serving This Area

4 Cs Community Coordinated Child Care
1500 Sycamore Street
Iowa City, Iowa 52240
(319) 338-7684
Web site

Child Care Resource and Referral of Southeast Iowa
A program of Community Action of Eastern Iowa
500 E 59th Street
Davenport, Iowa 52807
(866) 324-3236
Web site
Counties served: Benton, Cedar, Clinton, Des Moines, Henry, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Muscatine, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama, Van Buren, and Washington

Click here to search for Regulated Child Care Providers in Southeast Iowa (including Johnson County)

Johnson County Empowerment Child Care and Preschool Assistance Programs

School Ready Scholarships

The School Ready Scholarship program offers assistance to parents in paying for a quality pre-kindergarten educational experience for their child. Scholarships are available for children who turn 3 before September 15 and who meet eligibility guidelines. For more information, contact Laurie Nash at 319-339-6179 or email at [email protected]. Additional information can be found on our website at

For Families
Child eligibility:
  • Family income at or below 200% of federal poverty level
  • Turns 3 prior to September 16 of the school-year in which funding is provided
  • Not eligible for State Child Care Assistance or Promise Jobs funding for this care
  • Child must reside in Johnson County

Family Responsibility:
  • Families apply directly for the program
  • Families must obtain agreement from their child's care provider to accept Empowerment reimbursement
  • Families are responsible for following their contract with the provider
  • Families are responsible for any tuition and fees above what the School Ready Scholarship provides

For Providers
Early Education/Preschool Program responsibility:

Each early education program will enter into a contract with Empowerment agreeing to:
  • Identify a quality rating measure, obtain the qualification, and provide that to Empowerment
  • Be reimbursed at their current rate
  • Collect from the family any fees assessed directly to the family
  • Provide Empowerment with performance measure data as required by the state

For additional information about Johnson County Empowerment Programs go to: