Iowa task force aims to address child care crisis

A recent employer survey conducted in Cerro Gordo, Hancock and Worth Counties found that an overwhelming amount of respondents say there is no adequate child care in their community. 91.3% of respondents said there is a child care shortage in their community.

Posted: Sep 1, 2021 2:01 AM
Updated: Sep 1, 2021 7:30 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Low wages, long admission waiting times, and a worker shortage. These are all issues needing to be addressed in the ongoing child care crisis in Iowa.

Over the last few years, Iowa lost 33% of its child care businesses, and the state is short 350,000 child care slots for children ages 12 and younger. A recent employer survey conducted in Cerro Gordo, Hancock and Worth Counties found that an overwhelming amount of respondents say there is no adequate child care in their community. 91.3% of respondents said there is a child care shortage in their community.

During a presentation with the United Way of North Central Iowa, Charlie Brown Preschool and Child Care executive director Amber Morud shared the current state of child care in the Hawkeye State and what needs to be done to change it. A member of Governor Reynolds' Childcare Task Force, Morud points to the average statewide child care worker wage of $9.35/hour that has partially made it difficult to recruit employees.

"We are working really hard to try to professionalize the career, try to get the state to recognize that these employees need to be paid better for what they do. They are a huge part of getting these kids starting in life, and laying the foundation for them to go off and be successful in school, because it is early childhood education."

She's had to turn potential business away because of capacity limits, a problem she believes needs attention at the state level.

"We get calls daily for mostly infants, but also kids of all other age groups. I have to tell them it's a 6 months to a year wait."

Some of the recommendations the task force are advocating include increasing wages for childcare workers to attract and retain staff, as well as the inclusion of benefits.

Morud encourages residents to voice their concerns to their local legislators.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 912370

Reported Deaths: 9506
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1780492023
Ramsey736781043
Dakota67355574
Anoka63852570
Washington40349356
Stearns33475276
St. Louis29443403
Scott25842181
Wright25830216
Olmsted22258128
Sherburne18919126
Carver1661066
Clay12033104
Blue Earth1144868
Rice11410138
Crow Wing11170122
Chisago992378
Kandiyohi9800106
Otter Tail9758127
Benton9018125
Beltrami816094
Goodhue805597
Douglas7849100
Itasca769597
Mower731249
McLeod710983
Winona708657
Isanti697883
Steele682731
Morrison671579
Becker627174
Polk599484
Freeborn559646
Carlton543474
Mille Lacs529474
Lyon527261
Nobles524754
Nicollet521160
Pine512642
Cass500553
Todd490743
Brown469757
Le Sueur457733
Meeker431457
Martin385843
Wabasha373610
Waseca372332
Dodge359811
Hubbard354749
Roseau315531
Fillmore304315
Wadena301740
Redwood281245
Houston270717
Renville268051
Faribault257032
Pennington251030
Sibley251017
Kanabec248136
Cottonwood229232
Aitkin221550
Chippewa219442
Pope206710
Watonwan197420
Yellow Medicine187723
Rock177428
Koochiching176023
Swift172622
Stevens167011
Jackson160816
Clearwater157520
Marshall153122
Murray151811
Pipestone149529
Lake132224
Lac qui Parle122125
Wilkin120616
Mahnomen105914
Norman10489
Grant101110
Big Stone9465
Lincoln8745
Kittson73023
Red Lake71310
Unassigned629124
Traverse6056
Lake of the Woods5255
Cook3070

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 523052

Reported Deaths: 7289
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk80319799
Linn32142424
Scott26637292
Black Hawk21974378
Woodbury20490258
Johnson19778105
Dubuque18515241
Pottawattamie15890213
Dallas15320113
Story1380258
Warren8450104
Cerro Gordo7964123
Clinton7725114
Webster7326122
Des Moines7098105
Marshall669093
Unassigned66470
Muscatine6645117
Wapello6441144
Jasper619591
Sioux610177
Lee5908105
Marion557897
Buena Vista502149
Plymouth488388
Henry418655
Benton404859
Jones404862
Bremer395372
Washington391463
Boone389739
Carroll367755
Mahaska365365
Crawford353747
Dickinson314655
Jackson307747
Buchanan305741
Clay295536
Delaware294654
Kossuth289077
Fayette286353
Hardin284353
Tama279777
Page272533
Wright266149
Cedar265527
Hamilton259857
Winneshiek258143
Floyd255449
Clayton244459
Poweshiek237243
Madison234525
Harrison234379
Cass233466
Butler232744
Iowa229634
Jefferson223043
Mills220930
Winnebago215938
Hancock214639
Cherokee211347
Lyon206142
Appanoose205357
Allamakee203955
Calhoun196919
Shelby196442
Union191141
Humboldt185130
Grundy183637
Franklin183029
Mitchell182043
Chickasaw178922
Emmet178246
Louisa176953
Sac171026
Guthrie168137
Montgomery161745
Clarke160829
Keokuk150839
Palo Alto150532
Howard146824
Monroe142739
Ida130141
Greene127517
Davis124625
Lucas124426
Monona122939
Worth12139
Pocahontas120724
Adair114337
Osceola104818
Decatur101913
Taylor98514
Fremont95913
Van Buren93222
Wayne84525
Ringgold76729
Audubon74917
Adams5748
Rochester
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 50°
Mason City
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 53°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 50°
Austin
Mostly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 54°
Charles City
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 52°
Tracking chances for rain and snow
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events