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‘CAREforce for our WORKforce” launched

The Iowa Women’s Foundation is launching a new campaign to increase the recognition of child care providers as essential, professional workers.

The campaign, the CAREforce for our WORKforce, will also give the public information on how they can support child care providers during and after the pandemic.

The announcement was timed to coincide with National Provider Appreciation Day, a day of recognition for child care professionals celebrated annually on the Friday before Mother’s Day.

“Child care workers are not babysitters — they are highly-trained professionals who provide the critical early childhood support kids need for success later in life,” Dawn Oliver Wiand, executive director for IWF, said. “They’re essential for parents. They’re essential for businesses. And essential for society as we know it.”

IWF will be distributing window clings, stickers, posters and yard signs emblazoned with the CAREforce for our WORKforce logo and is also launching a web page with information for those interested in helping local providers.

The organization, who has found success with previous initiatives to bolster Iowa’s child care industry, said community-wide support will play an important role in the campaign’s effectiveness.

“Without the resources and support needed to survive, providers are closing their doors at alarming rates and many will not be able to reopen. We need a coordinated effort to stem this tide,” Wiand said. “That starts, first and foremost, with getting everyone in our state-parents, grandparents, business leaders, elected officials-to recognize child care providers as the essential professionals they are.”

Individuals looking to support local child care professionals can visit iawf.org/careforce for a list of supplies and services that can be donated. Those interested in participating in the CAREforce for our WORKforce campaign as a volunteer may contact dawn@iawf.org for more information.

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Carrie Kube is a Director for the Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Board.

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