Child Care

Child Care Room

Storm Lake Child Care Market Study 

In 2022, The City of Storm Lake applied for, and was awarded, a $10,000 Iowa Economic Development Authority Rural Child Care Market Study grant. The Storm Lake City Council agreed unanimously to fund an additional $5,000 toward the study.  The IEDA grant program supports use of data and analysis by communities to determine specific needs and solutions for local child care.  The information is critical for organizations or providers interested in serving the community of Storm Lake. 

In 2023, First Children’s Finance was commissioned by City of Storm Lake to conduct this Child Care Market Analysis. This analysis provides relevant child care data, child care market analysis, and First Children’s Finance’s key findings of the child care market of Storm Lake, Iowa.

View The Storm Lake Child Care Market Analysis Report Here

The data in this report has been collected from three original surveys developed by First Children’s Finance along with data provided by the US Census Bureau, US Department of Health and Human Services, Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, and Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral. This analysis is First Children’s Finance’s professional interpretation of the data available as of the date of this report. The information and analysis presented in this document are intended to provide a basis for sound business and community planning decisions. 

Storm Lake Strategic Plan for Child Care 

Strategic planning for child care in Storm Lake is currently underway!   This process facilitated by First Children's Finance consists of 4 strategic planning sessions during which the Storm Lake Child Care Steering Committee and strategic planning participants from the community identify priorities to address the child care needs identified in the market analysis report.  Participants will develop a vision and 5-year goals for child care, and then detailed strategies to provide a roadmap to achieve the goals.   

Please join us for a Child Care Strategic Plan Presentation.  We will cover the key findings from the market analysis report and an overview of the goals and strategies from the strategic plan!   RSVP to

Storm Lake Strategic Plan for Child Care Presentation
March 11, 2024 - 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 
King's Pointe Resort - Awaysis Ballroom 
1520 East Lakeshore Drive, Storm Lake 

Iowa Child Care Resource Referral LogoTrying to Find Child Care? Do Your Employees Need Child Care?  

Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral is your child care partner.  Visit their website to learn more about: 

  • Licensed Child Care Centers (CCC)
  • Licensed Preschools 
  • Registered Child Development Homes (CDH)
  • Nonregistered Child Care Home (CCH)
  • Department of Education Programs

CCR&R gives referrals instead of recommendations because CCR&R encourages parents to take the time to research child care programs and providers and make the decision that they feel will be best for their family.   Click here to begin your child care search.  Talk to a Parent Referral Specialist  by calling 855-244-5301, Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. or email the Parent Referral Team: 

Do You Need Help Paying for Child Care? Iowa Health and Human Services Logo

The State of Iowa Department of Heath-Human Services  provides Child Care Assistance.  Child Care Assistance (CCA) helps pay for the care of your child while a parent or caretaker works or attends school.  It might also be used to care for children while a parent or caretaker is looking for work or is temporarily unable to care for children because of medical reasons.    

Interested in Providing Child Care? 

By choosing child care as a profession you have the opportunity to work in a child care center, run your own child care business and help others run their own child care business.  How do I get started?  Check out the information below. 

In-Home Daycare

  • Contact the CCR&R Recruitment & Retention Specialist in your area.
    • CCR&R will guide you through the Department of Human Services (DHS) application process
  • Contact CCR&R to request a provider registration packet.
  • In order to accept Child Care Assistance (CCA) payments, nonregistered Child Care Homes (CCHA) and registered Child Development Homes (CDH) providers must complete the Department of Human Services (DHS) application process.
  • Create your account in Iowa’s Early Childhood and School Age Professional Workforce Registry (i-PoWeR). i-PoWeR is an online tool where child care professionals can locate and enroll for approved Department of Human Services (DHS) professional development.
  • Complete required training.
  • Complete Background Checks and Fingerprinting (forms included in your registration packet).
  • Complete the registration packet with a CCR&R Child Care Consultant.
  • Connect with a CCR&R Child Care consultant to help you prepare your home for a Department of Human Services (DHS) pre-inspection
  • Pre-Inspection of your home by the Department of Human Services (DHS).
  • Correct any pre-inspection issues.
  • Continue to work with a CCR&R Child Care Consultant.

Daycare Center 

  • Obtain information regarding the need for a Child Care Center (CCC) in the community
    • CCR&R can help with providing statistical data and information regarding child care availability and need in your area
  • Contact a CCR&R Recruitment & Retention Specialist in your area
    • CCR&R will guide you through the process of starting a business and support you along the way
  • Find a site for the Child Care Center (CCC) and determine if any renovations need to be done OR create a building plan if building a new center
    • Do not purchase or sign a lease on the site until steps 4-6 are completed
  • Have an inspection done by the Iowa State Fire Marshal
  • Obtain City of Storm Lake Zoning approval for child care at the site
  • Contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) for an application for licensed providers and send in when completed
    • Visit their website to see forms, including the checklist of items to be submitted for initial licensure
    • View the Department of Human Services (DHS) Consultant Map for Licensing Consultant contact information
  • Prepare the center for a Department of Human Services (DHS) inspection, hire and train staff, purchase supplies, prepare files for children/staff, prepare policies and procedures, etc.
  • Continue to work with a CCR&R Child Care Consultant

Go to to learn more about what it takes to start a career in child care today!

Programs Available to Registered Homes and Licensed Centers 

  • The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Iowa program is part of a comprehensive national strategy that provides teacher education and compensation to Iowans who work with children birth to five years old. 
  • Child Care WAGE$® Iowa (WAGE$) is a salary supplement program offered by Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (Iowa AEYC).
  • FieldPrint Fingerprinting can be used for meeting the requirements for licensed centers (and preschools), registered child development homes, and child care homes accepting child care assistance to conduct background checks on all staff and in some cases individuals residing within the home (if home-based care). 
  • Child care management software (CCMS) is software specifically designed to help child care programs automate their day-to-day operations so that staff have more time to spend with children. Child care programs that utilize CCMS can increase efficiency in their operations, reduce costs, and collect all payments that are owed. Currently regulated child care programs in Iowa that are using or sign up to use one of two selected CCMS Brightwheel and Playground are eligible to have their CCMS license paid for by the State of Iowa for up to 12 months. Participating programs are also eligible for up to $1,000 technology grant/support to enable the use of a CCMS.