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Create a licensed center

Out-of-School Time (OST) is supervised programming that youth regularly participate in before school, after school, and during summer break. These programs keep young people safe, provide child care for working families, and organize activities that help youth develop skills and improve academically. Sometimes, these programs are collectively referred to as “afterschool”.

Licensed Centers and Funding Sources

So you'd like to create a licensed child care center? Wonderful!

After school programs can be sustained and improved, but this doesn’t happen easily or by accident! Creating a licensed center that can sustain itself through a combination of state childcare dollars, fees, and additional grant funding can be a smart way to insure the sustainability of your 21CCLC for years beyond the final grant cycle.  

Additional sources of funding for the sustainability of programs include: 

  • Title 1 

  • At Risk dollars

  • Local grants

  • Business partnerships

These additional funding resources can be explored further on our "Afterschool Resources" page. 


Full Document

Iowa Afterschool Alliance: Afterschool in a Box Toolkit

Download the full toolkit.


Department of Health and Human Services 

Official Page of the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Becoming a Licensed Provider

All the information necessary to begin the process of becoming a licensed child care provider. Includes; licensing rules and minimum standards, application initiation, new orientation packet, consultant map, and more! 

New Licensed Provider Application Process

Process too apply to become a licensed child care provider in Iowa. 

Initial checklist for the Department of Health and Human Services

Checklist for providers.

Child Care Resources and Referral Website

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R), provides professional development and consultation services to support child care centers, families, and is the home of Iowa Quality for Kids child care rating system. 

Find a Health and Human Service Consultant in Your Region

A regional map to locate an HHS Consultant.

Health and Human Services Childcare Provider Portal (Existing and New Licensed Centers)

HHS Childcare Provider resource portal, for existing and newly licensed centers. 

iPower Training Registry for Licensed Providers

Professional training portal for staff of licensed providers. 

Iowa Quality 4 Kids

Iowa's Child Care Quality Rating and Improvement System for Licensed Child Care Centers. 

All Health and Human Services Links

A comprehensive list of HHS resource links. 

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