Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced $26.6 million in grant funding to 23 projects across the state that will help businesses create more child care options for their employees. The Child Care Business Incentive Grant is awarding 19 projects with $25.9 million to address child care infrastructure projects. The remaining four projects will receive more than $600,000 to support agreements between businesses and child care centers to create more slots. The funding will involve 67 employers and is expected to create more than 1,700 child care slots, according to a news release. The grant was born from the Child Care Task Force recommendations in an effort to incentivize business engagement in child care. “Not only do today’s awards help employers create or expand child care for existing workers, but they also enhance their ability to be successful in attracting and retaining new employees,” said Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Our focus moving forward must remain on addressing these specific types of barriers to provide options for families and create an environment where the local workforce can thrive.” In addition, Iowa Workforce Development and the Department of Health and Human Services is announcing a second round of funding for the grant. Grants will support projects that increase child care slots, add slots for workers who work nontraditional hours or fill currently licensed slots for the benefit of employees. Applications are due Oct. 17. More information can be found on the Future Ready Iowa website. To date, the state of Iowa has awarded more than $75 million in grant funding to 191 projects to help create more than 10,700 new child care slots.