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Osceola County launches Child Care Initiative Fund

One step in the Osceola County Child Care Strategic Plan is to “Establish a county-wide child care initiative fund.” That fund is now ready to go.

Stock image of child care.
Stock image of child care.
Stock image by BBC Creative on Unsplash
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SIBLEY, Iowa — The Osceola County Child Care Initiative Fund was recently launched to help address challenges facing the child care industry in Osceola County. The goals of the fund are to support existing Osceola County child care providers, provide incentives for new providers, and offer help toward capital improvements for existing child care centers and purchase and/or construction of a new center.

An employer survey conducted as part of the Child Care Market Analysis of Osceola County indicated that 42% of employers would make a donation or financial contribution for the general operations of a child care center. Part of the Child Care Steering Committee’s work is to “create a fund to support local child care providers that is seeded though donations from local businesses and individuals.” The committee will serve as fund advisors and they will determine potential uses and help secure funds.

The Osceola County Child Care Initiative Fund was created as a subfund of the Community Foundation of Osceola County, which is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.

Child Care Steering Committee members are Stephanie Neppl, executive director, Osceola County Economic Development Commission; Jamie Craig, superintendent, Sibley-Ocheyedan School District; Ashley Ackerman, executive director, Sibley Chamber of Commerce/City of Sibley Staff and Mitchell Ackerman, Sibley City Council and business owner.

“A primary goal of our Child Care Strategic Plan is to create 140 additional spaces in Osceola County. The intention of the child care initiative fund is to support efforts to help meet that goal,” said Neppl. “We will continue to raise funds, and when the steering committee decides the fund is endowed, we will open up for requests from the fund and share the process for awards.”

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Early supporters of the fund are Osceola County Economic Development Commission ($5,000), Osceola County ($5,000), City of Sibley ($5,000) Sibley Chamber of Commerce ($1,000) and Sibley Kiwanis ($1,000).

Donations can be made at any time online at desmoinesfoundation.org/osceolacountychildcareinitiativefund, or by check to: Osceola County Child Care Initiative Fund, c/o Osceola County Economic Development Commission, 300 7th Street, Sibley IA 51249.

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