2023 Iowa Solutions Summit: Childcare




Registration closed. Contact with questions.

IWF is proud to announce the first Iowa Solutions Summit with a focus on one of our six barriers. This year, we are discussing one of the most critical barriers faced by Iowa’s women and girls: access to affordable, quality childcare.


Why Childcare Matters

Did you know there is a shortfall of 346,051 childcare spaces in Iowa at any given time?

When parents can’t find childcare, they can’t work. This impacts your local businesses, economy, and community.

Along the same lines, we can’t have childcare spaces without childcare workers. But our childcare workforce is suffering, and without affordable wages, many are forced to leave the industry.

You can help make a difference, whether you rely on childcare or not!

Attend the 2023 Iowa Solutions Summit to hear from the experts who have childcare solutions in their communities and how finding solutions benefit all Iowans. Childcare is critical to every community’s economic stability. The Solutions Summit will assist you in creating a plan for your childcare needs.

Agenda and Breakout Topics Information

8:15 am – 9:00 am        Pre-Conference Networking and Registration

9:05 am – 9:30 am        Welcome from IEDA Director Debi Durham

9:30 am – 9:45 am          Welcome from IWF President & CEO Deann Cook

9:45 am – 10:00 am      BREAK – Vendor Booths Open

10:00 am – 11:00 am     Breakout Sessions (select from list below)

11:00 am – 11:15 am     BREAK – Vendor Booths Open

11:15 am – 12:30 pm    Lunch – Iowa Legislative Panel: Policy Updates & 2024 Priorities

12:30 pm – 12:45 pm    BREAK – Vendor Booths Open

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm      Breakout Sessions (select from list below)

1:45 pm – 2:00 pm        BREAK – Vendor Booths Open

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm        Breakout Sessions: 

  • Advocacy in Action – how to tell your communities story to legislators to advocate for supportive policies. Dave Stone, UWCI; Andrea Woodard, DSM Partnership
  • Technical Assistance from IWF – how we work to support your community. Sheri Penney, IWF
  • Strategic Communications – Tools to communicate your community’s vision for childcare solutions and making the ask of decisionmakers and investors. Clarence Hudson, Fox Growth Strategies 

3:00 pm – 3:15 pm        BREAK – Vendor Booths Open

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm        Iowa Department of Health and Human Services: Accessing State Resources

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm        Bringing it Home – Action Steps for Your Community

  • Solution: Onsite Builds
    • Megan Schulte – Frontier Co-op
    • Teresa Hovell – Vermeer Corporation
  • Solution: School District Partnerships
    • Superintendent Barb Schwamann – Riceville CSD
    • Superintendent Chris Fee – Andrew CSD
  • Solution: Business Partnerships with Providers
    • Sara Blair – Country Maid, Inc.
    • Tracy Feathers – MercyOne Siouxland
  • Solution: Inter-Generational Care
    • Cathy Essick – Brooklyn Community Estates
    • Leah Bauman – Center Director
    • Laura Nelson – Perry Lutheran Homes
    • Amanda Ballentine – Acorns and Oak Academy
  • Solution: Wage Enhancement Programs
    • Cindy Im – Hamilton County
    • Missie Forbes – 4Cs
    • Laurie Nash – Johnson County Social Services
    • Jennifer Banta – United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties
  • Solution: We Need Childcare – Now What? High-Level Roadmap to How to Start a Childcare Solution
    • Dan Levi – Levi Architecture
    • Mary Janssen – Child Care Resource & Referral

Becoming a Vendor

Interested in becoming a vendor at the Solutions Summit?

There are two registration options for business and non-profit. Registration deadline is November 22. All vendors will receive the following:

  • 8 foot cloth and skirted table with two chairs
  • Power and extension cord
  • 2 complimentary tickets to the event

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this important event, contact Tisha at for more details.