Rallying for Legislative Support on Child Care in 2023
Community outreach has been crucial for the Iowa Women’s Foundation in the past few years. Not only has it helped the Foundation identify the six primary barriers to success, but it has been an invaluable tool for collecting data and hearing from families regarding the child care crisis—which continues to be the number one barrier across the state.
The team’s focus now is to share their findings and present the data to local legislators, community leaders, business owners, and families in communities across the state. With their boots on the ground, the IWF team has presented on the child care crisis and its impact on our families, workforce, and economy. These presentations have successfully garnered the attention of stakeholders and sparked important discussions to find solutions that benefit everyone.
Ultimately, we need to think bigger, bolder, long-term and beyond one-time Federal COVID relief dollars. Our 2023 legislative recommendations are:
- INVESTING IN THE CHILD CARE WORKFORCE. Child care providers earn an average of $10.76 per hour in Iowa, leaving us ranked 45 in the nation. The third-lowest paid profession statewide after locker room attendants and lifeguards.
- Identify a sustainable source of funding for Child Care WAGE$® Iowa and T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® IOWA statewide beyond SFY24.
- Implement tax cuts and credits to incentivize participation in the child care workforce.
- Increase child care assistance reimbursement rate to increase revenue for child care businesses.
- Create a subcategory of commercial property used for child care centers to treat property tax the same as residentially classed property.
- Identify a sustainable public-private funding source to help support the shared services business competencies programs long term.
- Increase income eligibility for Child Care Assistance to 185% incrementally at 5th percentile annually and 75th percentile of the market rate survey. Iowa’s income limit is currently 145% of the Federal Poverty Level. In comparison, Iowa is ranked 46 of all states.
- Identify long-term funding to support additional Business Incentive matching grants. Previous grant program resulted in 36 applications. Additional communities were interested in applying but unable to meet the timeline.
- Implement tax incentives and credits to incentivize businesses to increase investments in child care, resulting in an increase in quality child care across the state.
As IWF continues to advocate for legislative changes that will bring relief to the child care industry and families who rely on it, the team needs your help to reach out to your local city and state representatives!
Additionally, if your community would like to host an IWF presentation to discuss the impact of the child care crisis on families, businesses, and the economy, please reach out to Ann Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org.