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Please help child care

As a child care provider in Marshalltown, I’m excited to see how child care has become a focus for the Iowa legislature. My message to my lawmakers is this — keep moving child care legislation forward!

Before COVID-19, we had a child care crisis. In rural and urban Iowa, child care had become unaffordable, inaccessible, or simply nonexistent. Pre-COVID, 75 percent of Iowa families with children under the age of six had all parents working outside of the home. On average, one in two children went without access to quality, affordable child care. And in the five years leading up to the pandemic, Iowa lost 33 percent of its child care businesses.

I want to be able to provide quality child care to my community, and having workers that I can count on in my home-based business helps me do that. However, because providing quality child care is expensive – even more so since the pandemic – I’ve struggled with the balance between raising my rates and possibly losing families, or pay my workers lower than I feel like they deserve.

Bills like House File 292 and House File 302 help parents access and afford child care in our community by addressing income eligibility and the child care assistance cliff. House File 301 invests in the child care workforce. I urge Senator Jeff Edler and Representative Susan Cahill, please help get these bipartisan bills across the finish line so businesses like mine can meet the growing needs of Marshalltown and beyond.

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