WAGE$

What is Child Care WAGE$® Iowa?

Child Care WAGE$® Iowa (WAGE$) is a salary supplement program offered by Iowa AEYC. WAGE$ works hand-in-hand with T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Iowa. WAGE$ offers salary supplements (also called stipends) to the early care and education workforce, based on the individual’s level of formal education and commitment to their program. 

What are the eligibility requirements?

Female caregiver building legos with young child

To be eligible to receive a WAGE$ stipend you must:

  • Work in an HHS-regulated early care and education program that participates in the Iowa Quality Rating System (IQ4K®/QRS) or is nationally accredited, and accepts Child Care Assistance (CCA)
  • Earn at or below $25/hour (any eligible position)
  • Have one of the education levels listed in the supplement scale (see below), from regionally accredited schools
  • Work 20 hours or more per week with children birth to preschool-age at least six months in the same child care program and be employed there when a final confirmation has been completed

What are the award levels?

Below is the WAGE$ Supplement Scale, effective July 1, 2022. Read more about WAGE$ in our Overview Booklet (PDF).

LevelEducation RequirementAnnual Supplement (QRS/IQ4K 1-2)Annual Supplement
(QRS/IQ4K
3-5)
10

10
Master’s or Doctorate Degree plus or including 24 EC credits
Bachelor’s Degree with a Teaching License with an EC Endorsement
$5,250$9,200
9

9
Master’s or Doctorate Degree plus or including 18 EC credits
Bachelor’s Degree plus or including 24 EC credits
$4,350$7,600
8

8
Master’s or Doctorate Degree plus or including 9 EC credits
Bachelor’s Degree plus or including 15 EC credits
$3,450$6,050
7

7*

7*

7*
Associate Degree plus or including 24 EC credits
Master’s or Doctorate Degree (less than 9 EC credits)
Bachelor’s Degree (less than 15 EC credits)
90 credits toward a Bachelor’s Degree plus or including 24 EC credits
$2,700$4,750
6*

6*
Associate Degree plus or including 12 EC credits
60 credits general education plus or including 18 EC credits
$2,100$3,700
5*

5*

5*
Early Childhood Community College Diploma
36 credits general education plus or including 12 EC credits
Associate Degree (less than 12 EC credits)
$1,650$2,900
4*24 credits general education plus or including at least 6 EC credits$1,200$2,100
3*12 EC college credits (could be part of a CDA Credential™, Paraeducator, Apprenticeship, Community College EC Certificate, etc.)$750$1,300
2*Active Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™ (earned with less than 12 college credits)$525$900
1High School Diploma and training not for college creditN/AN/A

Supplement totals shown represent annual awards for full-time eligibility.

*Temporary levels of education. Early care and education providers at one of these levels must move to a higher level within two years to retain eligibility. Deadlines will be reestablished at each temporary level. 

The following notes apply to multiple levels throughout the scale:

  • EC credits are defined as college coursework focused children ages birth to PreK.
  • General education, such as English, Math and Science, is coursework earned toward a two or four year degree.

Questions?

Call 515-331-8000 to speak to a counseling specialist or email wages@iowaaeyc.org.

Ready to apply?

Apply online here. If you are unable to complete the online application, please contact wages@iowaaeyc.org for an alternate application.

WAGE$ is a licensed program of the Child Care Services Association.

Child Care WAGE$® Iowa is funded by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services.

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