Child care is a community issue.
It is up to everyone—parents, business leaders, educators, political representatives, and child care providers—to work together in finding solutions that alleviate the child care barrier.
Iowa Needs Change
- Affordable, quality child care needs to be accessible to ALL Iowans, including those who live and work in underserved rural areas.
- Nontraditional options need to exist for parents who work outside of the 9-5 schedule, including early-morning and late-night shift workers, as well as parents who attend school.
- Child care needs to be more affordable while also ensuring that providers still earn a fair and livable wage.
IWF is committed to engaging the public around issues related to child care.
Currently, IWF leads two initiatives to bring the topic front and center and rally Iowa communities to do something about it.
Building Community Child Care Solutions Collaborative
IWF’s first initiative, Building Community Child Care Solutions, is a state-wide effort created to explore the tactics and strategies that can help communities tackle a range of issues relating to child care.
Much like the SHE MATTERS tours, Building Community Child Care Solutions has hit the road, traveling to different communities in Iowa to talk to child care providers, nonprofits, business leaders, and working parents. During each visit, IWF presents participants with a “tool kit” that outlines how different organizations and institutions can partner together to begin planning and implementing various solutions. The solutions include:
- Building new and expanding existing child care centers.
- Support for child care entrepreneurs.
- Encouraging local businesses to expand and/or add child care benefits, including offering in-house care to workers.
- Working with community colleges to inform and educate the next generation of child care providers.
- Supporting before-and after-school programming.
- Creating viable child care options for second- and third-shift workers.
Child Care Solutions Fund (CCSF)
There are several organizations committed to helping solve Iowa’s child care crisis, but most struggle to secure the necessary financial support. As a grantmaking foundation, IWF is well aware that funding plays a crucial role in helping nonprofits accomplish their missions. For that reason, the Iowa Women’s Foundation established the Child Care Solutions Fund.
These funds are invested in organizations and institutions that focus on strategies to increase women’s economic security by decreasing the workforce gap through access to quality, affordable child care.
This work could not be accomplished without the support of IWF’s statewide partners who are committed to tackling the child care crisis. We are grateful for our partners’ support as we work to overcome this barrier, which is a huge piece of the puzzle in improving the lives of women and girls in Iowa.
Women’s Funding Network (WFN) selected IWF as one of nine national women’s funds to receive a grant that increases the support necessary to advance economic mobility among women and girls. This grant will provide resources to further IWF’s mission to make affordable, quality child care more accessible throughout the state of Iowa.
To learn more about this partnership, we invite you to read the details about the Economic Mobility Hub.