Child care opportunity
If you’ve ever struggled to afford child care (and many Iowa families have), you’ll know it’s a huge deal that Congress last month increased funding for child care by 80 percent. Now we need to translate that federal win into concrete improvements in child care affordability here in Iowa.
In March, Congress passed the largest single-year increase in the program’s history to the Child Care Development Block Grant. Currently, Iowa receives $82 million in federal funds that it invests, along with $28 million of state dollars, in our Child Care Assistance program. The new federal funding, which is ongoing, will bring an additional $19 million to Iowa for FY 18 and FY 19.
The Center has been working closely with the United Way of Central Iowa and other groups to make sure those funds are used to expand access to child care for hard-working families.
Yesterday we delivered to legislators a letter signed by 40 Iowa organizations—representing business, higher education, social service and early care and education—asking for two concrete actions related to Child Care Assistance:
Increase the reimbursement rates for participating providers who care for infants and toddlers so they reflect the true cost of care and assure adequate capacity in our system
Increase family income eligibility level so more families can access quality care for their children while they work to get ahead
We’d love to expand the list of groups signed on to this request. Email policy director Sheila Hansen to learn more.