Skip to content
Our District

Childcare Services in Response to COVID-19

Iowa Child Care Resource and Referral

Helping parents make informed choices

Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) provides services that help parents make informed choices about the care of their children. Before starting your search, we recommend you read Iowa CCR&R’s Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care to give you a greater understanding of selecting quality child care.

Free Referrals

CCR&R refers parents to programs that are most likely to meet their specific needs. Referrals are provided so that parents can look into all of their options – licensed Child Care Centers (CCC), licensed Preschools, registered Child Development Homes (CDH), nonregistered Child Care Homes (CCH) and Department of Education programs. CCR&R gives referrals instead of recommendations or suggestions 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.

Heartland AEA

Temporary Childcare and Respite Information

The information below is for families seeking temporary childcare and/or individual and small group respite care. Services are available for those who are Medicaid-eligible and/or private pay.



Barb Williams, Respite and SCL Service Manager
Phone: 515-251-5533

Temporary Childcare

LuAnn Murgatroyd, Childcare and Day Health Service Manager
Phone: 515-727-0254

Easter Seals

Individual / small group respite and daycare openings:
Renee Bell, Intake Coordinator
Phone: 515.309.1783  •  TTY 515.289.4069  •  F 515.289.1281

Lutheran Services In Iowa

Individual Respite
Danielle Caswell, Service Coordinator
Services for People with Disabilities

LSI: People Focused • Results Driven

3116 University Avenue | Des Moines, Iowa 50311
Phone: 515-271-7467 | Fax: 515-271-7479

Department of Human Services

Tip Sheet for Families Seeking childcare or summer programs During COVID-19 Pandemic:

Child Care Assistance:

Child Care Assistance (CCA) is available to the children of income-eligible parents who are absent for a portion of the day due to employment or participation in academic or vocational training or PROMISE JOBS activities.  Assistance may also be available for a limited period of time to the children of a parent looking for employment.

Child care services are provided to people participating in activities approved under the PROMISE JOBS program and people who receive Family Investment Program (FIP) assistance without regard to Child Care Assistance eligibility requirements if there is a need for child care services.  PROMISE JOBS staff administer Child Care Assistance for the child care needed to participate in PROMISE JOBS activities.

Child care services for a child with protective needs are provided without regard to income.  To receive protective child care services, the family must meet specific requirements, and child care must be identified in the child’s case permanency plan as a necessary service.

To get most of our services, you must fill out an application form.
You can apply for the Child Care Assistance (CCA) program on-line at our Family Portal, where you can apply, access forms and rules, and search for a child care provider.
If you have access to a printer, you can print an application from this website (see links below).  Complete the application by hand, then return it to the DHS centralized child unit in Des Moines.

DHS CCA Eligibility
Human Services River Place Office
2309 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310-5703

You can also get an application form from any county Department of Human Services (DHS) office. Click on County DHS Office Locations to find the location of the county DHS office nearest you.

You may choose a child care provider from a variety of arrangements.  You can choose:

  • A licensed child care center, including licensed before and after school programs
  • A registered child development home
  • A nonregistered child care home
  • Someone who cares for your children in your own home

DHS must approve your provider to receive payment from the CCA program.  Many providers are already approved by DHS to provide care for the CCA program.  If you do not know whether your provider is approved, ask your DHS CCA worker for assistance.

Contact the Centralized Child Care Assistance Eligibility Unit (CCA) at 866-448-4605 for questions about child care. The CCCAU determines initial and ongoing eligibility for Child Care Assistance. Their work includes processing new applications, reviews, and changes reported by families receiving Child Care assistance. The Unit also processes child care payments for providers and handles all provider applications, renewals, and changes reported by providers.