Child Care Solutions for Businesses

The Bottom Line: Investing in Child Care Pays Off.

Child care is essential for working parents. When businesses invest in solutions that increase access to affordable child care for employees, they create a stronger, more engaged workforce. Not only that, but costs related to turnover, absenteeism, and other interruptions are reduced.

Child Care is a Workforce Issue

Research shows that access to child care matters a lot. Employee exit surveys have found child care is listed in the top three reasons for turnover, and in a study conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), it can take up to 60% of an employee’s annual salary to find their direct replacement.

Child care issues also cause working parents to be absent from work for nearly two weeks per year. According to the Early Care & Learning Council, when companies provide child care benefits, employee absences decrease by up to 30%, and job turnover declines by as much as 60%.

There is a childcare crisis happening in the US, and it’s directly affecting employees across every sector. Now is the time for employers and government officials to step up and implement creative solutions to ensure the long-term sustainability of our workforce.


Policy Agenda Infographic featuring the following Information 75% of children under age 6 in lowa have all parents working outside of the home Child Care issues result in an estimated $935 million loss annually for lowa's economy lowa loses an estimated $153 million annually in tax revenue due to child care issues CHILD CARE AND BUSINESS DATA Absences and employee turnover cost lowa employers an estimated $781 million per year When companies provide child care, employee absences decrease by up to 30% and job turnover declines as much as 60% -CHILD CARE AND THE WORKFORCE DATA 85% say they would leave their jobs for one with more family-friendly benefits Working parents are absent from work for nearly two weeks per year because of child care issues 63% of parents say child care costs influence their careers 65% of working parents have their schedules affected 15 times a year on average causing them to be late or leave early because of problems with child care CHILD CARE IN IOWA DATA Almost 25% of lowans live in a child care desert where there is a shortage of licensed or registered child care options. That number is even higher when looking at the shortage of infant, toddler and 2nd and 3rd shift child care options lowa has lost 33% of its child care providers over the past five years Estimates show there is currently a shortfall of more than 350,000 child care slots In lowa 51% of our child care supply could be lost due to COVID-19, impacting an additional 78,013 slots 1.56 children per slot pre-COVID-19 and 3.18 estimated children per slot, post COVID-19 Data from Center for American Progress, Child Care Aware, Child Care Resource and Referral, ReadyNation, US Census Bureau, and US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. More information can be found at

Iowa Business and Child Care Coalition

With child care even more inaccessible today than before the pandemic, parents—many of them women—are dropping out of the workforce at record rates. As a result, the workforce gap continues to grow wider.

IWF has partnered with business leaders from across the state to form The Iowa Business and Child Care Coalition (IBCCC) in an effort to help close this gap.

The IBCCC approach includes:

  • Sharing best practices and information on business-provided solutions—such as co-op child care, on-site child care, and compensation packages that feature child care assistance—and modeling expanded offerings in our own workforces.
  • Exploring models of shared services that can support and expand the child care ecosystem.
  • Advocating for common sense change in the child care system that supports registered operations, increases access to support, and reduces barriers without impacting the quality of services.

We are grateful for our business partners who are dedicated to exploring this issue for the benefit of businesses and families all across Iowa.

Dave Arens

Private Wealth Asset Management

Amanda Accola

Alliant Energy

Nicole Crain


Michael Erickson

Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Teri Gibson

TrueNorth Companies

Mary Janssen

Child Care Resource and Referral

Diane Kremzar

University of Iowa

Amy Kuhlers

Iowa Economic Development Authority

Dan Levi

Nancy Lowenberg

U.S. Bank

Jo Christine Miles

Principal Foundation

Jamie Miller

Iowa Credit Union Foundation

Katie Morris

The VGM Group

Joe Murphy

Iowa Business Council

Jen Neumann

de Novo Marketing

STacey Pellett

John Deere

Katie Petru


Kyle Roed

CPM Holdings, Inc.

Megan Schulte

Frontier Co-op

Barbara Solberg

Cedar Rapids Economic Alliance

Sonya Thrall

Western Home Communities

Mindi Vandenbosch

Vermeer, Forage Solutions

6 sheets of information cascade out of an open folder that reads "Iowa Business and Child Care Toolkit"
Interested businesses, trade groups, and other organizations can request a downloadable or printed toolkit at no cost. Large quantities of printed toolkits are available for business associations or groups exploring the issue.

ToolKits For Businesses

The IBCCC created a toolkit to help businesses address how child care affects workforce participation. The comprehensive toolkit includes detailed information on how to implement one or more of six solutions:

  • Backup Child Care Options
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Off-site/Nearby Partnerships
  • On-site Child Care
  • Subsidized Child Care

Child Care Surveys

IWF developed surveys to help gauge employee interest in types of child care assistance and the impact it has on attraction and retention. For more information, request your surveys and business partnership examples below. These include:

  • Survey on child care impact for employees
  • Survey on child care needs for employers
  • Survey on child care for businesses
  • Partnership examples

Employer Engagement Director

IWF has partnered with the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) to hire Sheri Penney as a full-time Employer Engagement Director. Sheri’s role is to educate businesses and community leaders on the economic impact of child care while also providing assistance for those interested in exploring and investing in child care solutions.

What an Employer Engagement Director can do for you:

  • Delivers presentations to business leaders and community stakeholders
  • Connects interested businesses to child care experts and businesses who have already made an investment in child care within their community.
  • Offers resources for data collection, identifying needs, meeting needs, and support in sustaining a long-term plan
  • Provides 1:1 tech support
For more information, please contact