Dan Levi (right) of Levi Architects, and Tony Bedard, CEO of Frontier Co-op, accept the first Golden Rattle Awards presented by IWF.

The Iowa Women’s Foundation has established the Golden Rattle Award to honor the work of an exceptional individual and a business that is going above and beyond to assist their employees with childcare. Dan Levi and Frontier Co-op are the first recipients of these awards.

Dan Levi, owner of Levi Architects in Cedar Falls, Iowa, is a founder of the Black Hawk County Child Care Coalition. His work with the coalition is a prime example of an individual that has gone above and beyond sharing his time, talent and dedication to increasing quality, affordable childcare. Dan has helped to create a Child Care Center in a Box by donating architectural designs for building a new center. He has also donated an hour of his time to meet with community leaders across the state wanting to build and/or expand child care centers. Dan is working with leaders in Fairfield, Charles City, Decorah, Dunkerton, Waverly, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Red Oak, Glidden, Griswold, New Hartford and Grundy Center to make sure each community is meeting it’s goals while following DHS and fire marshal codes.

Since 1976, Frontier Co-op has offered affordable on-site childcare to their employees. This licensed facility provides care to 40 children ages 6 weeks to five years throughout the year. During the summer, attendance doubles with a summer day camp program for elementary aged students. On average, employees pay $100 per week for care, and Frontier Co-op contributes an additional $275,00 – $325,000 annually to cover operating expenses such as full-time staff salaries, benefits, meals, supplies and field trips. They also provide a stipend for those employees whose children attend other facilities. Childcare sets this company apart and communicates the culture they are fostering with their employees. It supports their reputation as an employer who values work life balance. They are proud to have a solid employee base, many who have been with the company for some time, including two childcare employees who will be celebrating their 25th anniversaries soon. Frontier Co-op is leading the way for businesses across our state to offer more comprehensive, accessible child care benefits for working parents.

Congratulations to these first recipients of the Golden Rattle Awards! We are proud to recognize their efforts on behalf of the work they are doing and the example they are setting for families, businesses and communities across the state.