Clear Lake council makes $50,000 pledge over two years to support childcare coalition

CLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake’s City Council this week approved a $50,000 pledge over two years to support an initiative to make sure every child in Cerro Gordo County has access to reliable child care.

The Cerro Gordo County Child Care Works coalition is raising money to help boost employee pay at 10 child care centers in the county who are understaffed, and in turn with more staff being hired, opening up daycare slots in those centers. The coalition has been trying to secure $600,000 in pledges in an effort to get another $600,000 in matching funds from the state.

City Administrator Scott Flory says the funds would be managed by the nonprofit overseen by the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation. “We ultimately have an agreement with the North Iowa Corridor EDC, so these funds are going to flow to the nonprofit that we work with for economic development. They’re actually setting up an administrative policy and process in terms of how those dollars would be managed and distributed. So at this point, it’s just more of a demonstration of this is what we would contribute to it. Ultimately you’ll be seeing later on a formal agreement that will memorialize out how those dollars are paid out, the checks and the balances if you will.”

Councilman Bennett Smith says, “I think that’s a very effective way of doing it Scott, and frankly, there’s a tremendous need as we discussed at our other meeting for it, and the opportunity with a state grant that will match it two-for-one, I can certainly support this.”

The City of Mason City had previously pledged $100,000 in unspent American Rescue Plan Act funds toward the coalition, while the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors have approved a pledge of $50,000 over three years. For more, head to the website childcareworksnorthiowa.com