Shared Services Project


April 10, 2024

Dear Child Care Providers,

In October 2022, the Iowa Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) launched a strategy to give child care programs across Iowa tools and resources to support business operations. The strategy is multi-pronged:

  • 12-months of financial management coaching (FMC) through the Child Care Collaborative of Iowa (CCCI);
  • Free brightwheel or Playground child care management system (CCMS) software licenses; and
  • Technology grants

We are EXCITED to announce that HHS will continue to fund monthly software license fees for either Playground or brightwheel through June 30, 2025.

Not currently using a CCMS OR not sure how a CCMS paired with business coaching can help improve your child care business sustainability and reduce time spent on administrative tasks? CCCI is sponsoring webinars where you can learn about business coaching through CCCI and see software demos from Playground and brightwheel. Use this tool during the demos to evaluate the features offered in each software and ask questions.

Following are the dates and times of the webinars and the software that will be demoed. Use this link to join any the webinar(s) you want to attend a few minutes before it starts.

What are Iowa child care providers saying about business coaching paired with either Playground or brightwheel?

“Our FMC has gone above and beyond to help our child care center grow into the successful center it is today. There was a time in October that I remember calling her on the verge of closing our doors for advice on what to do to keep them open. She was able to connect us with the right resources that have led us to be in a successful center that serves several families in our small community. She also walked us through creating policies that are vital to running a successful center including policies for non-payment and parent contracts. She helped us set up our billing system regarding charges/rates and collaborate with Playground to implement the program successfully. Our FMC has been a vital asset to our program and we cannot thank her enough for all her expertise and knowledge.” – Jamie Hastie, Director, Lil’ Vikes Child Care Center, Avoca

“My Financial management consultant has been an absolute game changer for my in-home daycare business. I was not sure using brightwheel was going to be easy for me as I am not tech savvy. She has helped in so many areas to use brightwheel that it has been a much easier transition. A huge help to me was a cost of care resource, this was so beneficial to my future as a care provider. I would recommend all providers take the time to meet with a consultant. It will change the way you financially plan your business both present and future.” – Julie Williams, Julie’s Childcare, Child Development Home – Category B, Norwalk

We believe, and providers have confirmed, that implementing a CCMS with robust features and functionality is a gamechanger, whether you are a home-based provider caring for six (6) children or a child care center caring for 160 children. The software is cutting edge and the financial management coach helps you use the software and support strong business operations.

Watch for another announcement in June when we launch new child care tools and resources for parents, child care businesses, employers, and communities. Stay tuned!


Julie Allison
Child Care Bureau Chief
Division of Family Well-Being and Protection, Child Care Bureau
Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Written by


Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc. is a not-for-profit Community Action Agency established in 1965 to fight poverty at a local level by assisting low-income families in Northwest Iowa to become self-sufficient.

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