This is an artist rendering of what the New Jefferson County Kids Inc. Child Care Center could look like. The design is in its beginning stages and is subject to change.
FAIRFIELD, IOWA (March 17, 2020) Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has awarded a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for construction of the future Jefferson County Kids, Inc. child care center (JCK.) The non-profit corporation is currently fundraising for the 14,000 sq.ft. child care center that will serve up to 185 children at full capacity.
“I commend Fairfield for building a robust community coalition that recognizes the importance of quality child care and the role it plays in supporting growth. IEDA is proud to assist with this initiative,” said Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority.
The Jefferson County Kids’ Board of Directors, Early Childhood Iowa for Iowa/Jefferson and Keokuk Counties (ECI) and Fairfield Economic Development Association (FEDA), partnered with Area 15 Regional Planning Commission on the grant application. The City of Fairfield served as the applicant and will serve as a pass-through for the funding.
Joshua Laraby, FEDA’s Executive Director and Co-Project Manager for Jefferson County Kids, said, “This is a strong example of how a rural community can come together through public-private partnerships. This new center will expand child care access and position our community to attract and retain more workforce. Area 15 Regional Planning Commission’s expertise was enormously helpful in the success of this award. This award brings our capital campaign funding to over $2.3 of the $3.5 million goal.”
A 2018 child care market study identified Jefferson County, Iowa has a shortage of over 500 child care spaces. Adding a child care center in Fairfield is the third pillar of a larger overarching child care strategic plan for Jefferson County.
Chris Bowers, Executive Director, Area 15 Regional Planning Commission, stated, “Affordable childcare is a state-wide issue that Governor Reynolds is prioritizing this year, and we know there is a demand for childcare services in our region. Child care is important to economic development, and our employers have brought attention to this. Quality childcare services are essential to attract and maintain a good workforce. Area 15 Regional Planning Commission is proud to partner with FEDA, ECI, City of Fairfield, Jefferson County Kids, and IEDA to make this project a success.”
The CDBG Community Facilities Program is a competitive grant that is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. IEDA is responsible for administering the CDBG funds in non-metropolitan areas of the state.
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