Iowa lost half of licensed daycare providers, report finds

The report from Child Care Aware of America finds that the Hawkeye State currently has 802 licensed providers as of July of this year, down from 1,590 last year

Posted: Sep 30, 2020 2:18 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - A new report from Child Care of America finds that the Hawkeye State lost half of their licensed child care providers this year.

As of July, Iowa has a little over 800 in the state, down from around 1,600 last year. Nationally, the report found that attendance and enrollment remain significantly lower than at the beginning of the year. 17 of 32 states that submitted data for the report lost more than 25 percent of their child care capacity. In addition, as of July of this year, 35% of child care centers and 21% of family child care programs remain closed across the U.S. 

Dawn Bill operates a daycare program out of her Clear Lake home, and cares for kids ages 1 to 12. After schools closed in March, she went down to half capacity for a couple of months, as some parents kept their children home. Since then, she has been operating at full capacity with 12 kids, the most she can provide care for under her category B license. Most of her kids are the sons or daughters of essential workers.

"I have a lot of police officers' children in my program, and healthcare workers in my program, so I'm able to continue care for them when we need them out and about."

The Child Care Aware of America report found that numbers for in-home providers stayed roughly the same from January to July, compared to larger child care centers. Because of the size she operates at, Bill feels in-home providers like herself have fared better during this time.

"Because of smaller groups, a more intimate setting than having all those kids in."

At Sunbeam Preschool in Mason City, director Linette Heimbuch says at times earlier this year, there were days where there were only 4 kids in attendance. However, they remained open, as some of the kids were children of essential workers. In addition, they received assistance from the paycheck protection program, as they only had 3 employees working at one point. Now, attendance is picking up again, with 36 kids currently in the program.

"We're actually having trouble finding workers to come and work. I don't know if people are concerned about COVID that they're not applying to work."

In addition, Heimbuch credits the virus for making staff more aware of sanitation and proper hygiene habits, and parents are being more conscious about making sure their child is healthy. While there have been some employees that were exposed to the virus outside of the preschool and had to quarantine, there have not been any positive cases from any children.

"We haven't had a lot of sickness since we've been doing more of the handwashing and those routines."

Throughout this uncertain year, Bill has had a good communique with her kids' parents, and encourages others to do the same.

"Communicate all the time with your provider. My parents are amazing. The kiddos get a little sniffle, and they're like, 'do you want me to bring them?' They're worried, and that kind of communication works for everybody. And stay positive."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604406

Reported Deaths: 7629
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1249281777
Ramsey52501896
Dakota46829470
Anoka42767458
Washington27423291
Stearns22555224
St. Louis18138313
Scott17550135
Wright16374149
Olmsted13397102
Sherburne1201695
Carver1067248
Clay826092
Rice8200110
Blue Earth762544
Crow Wing681794
Kandiyohi667985
Chisago619852
Otter Tail585884
Benton582998
Goodhue483874
Douglas475481
Mower470633
Winona461351
Itasca459463
Isanti439964
McLeod430561
Morrison424862
Beltrami407861
Nobles407650
Steele397916
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton352856
Freeborn346933
Pine335023
Nicollet331245
Mille Lacs311954
Brown307840
Le Sueur297326
Cass286132
Todd285633
Meeker263342
Waseca238023
Martin235332
Roseau211221
Wabasha20783
Hubbard196641
Dodge18783
Renville182446
Redwood176539
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena163323
Fillmore157410
Faribault154719
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138937
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122612
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine114920
Pope11306
Murray107110
Swift106918
Koochiching95417
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Lake83220
Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48393
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371050

Reported Deaths: 6051
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58259640
Linn21218339
Scott20307248
Black Hawk16139312
Woodbury15238230
Johnson1461985
Dubuque13509211
Dallas1128899
Pottawattamie11225174
Story1071448
Warren583891
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554093
Sioux517474
Webster515794
Muscatine4882106
Marshall486676
Des Moines467472
Wapello4338122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones300957
Henry294637
Bremer288461
Carroll286952
Boone268634
Crawford268440
Benton259855
Washington257251
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232651
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama211971
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198635
Page194522
Buchanan193833
Cedar192423
Hardin187444
Fayette186643
Wright186040
Hamilton181951
Harrison180073
Clayton171157
Butler166335
Madison164619
Mills163824
Floyd163442
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
Allamakee152952
Hancock150334
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137333
Emmet135841
Jefferson133435
Shelby131537
Sac130920
Union130035
Louisa129849
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124817
Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113623
Howard104922
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96732
Monroe96431
Unassigned9560
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7618
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Ringgold56424
Van Buren56418
Wayne54423
Audubon53411
Adams3444
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