Quality childcare for working families
By Sen. Rich Taylor
Most young children in Iowa grow up in homes with working parents. In fact, Iowa has the highest percentage of households with children under age six who have all of their parents in the labor force-- 77 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
These statistics illustrate that Iowans work hard. With young kids in childcare an average of 36 hours per week, it also shows the importance of high-quality care.
The brain develops rapidly from birth to age five, building the foundation of cognitive and character skills. As many families know, good care that helps ensure a child’s success in school and life can come at a high cost.
The joint Health & Human Services Appropriations Committee recently heard about changes to federal law that will help to improve Iowa’s Child Care Assistance Program. Some of those changes include improvements in training for childcare providers and changes in program eligibility requirements that no longer penalize families when they receive modest pay increases.
The Senate will be proposing additional changes that will reward childcare providers for reaching certain quality benchmarks and changing income eligibility limits so more working families are eligible for assistance.
These changes will ensure more families with modest means can get high-quality care for their children. It also means that parents can focus on their jobs when they are at work, with the assurance their children are in a safe, nurturing environment.
Learn more about childcare assistance in Iowa at http://dhs.iowa.gov/child-care.
• Friday, March 20, 12 noon: Fort Madison at the Palm’s Supper Club
• Saturday, March 21, 8:30 a.m.: Fairfield at the Best Western Hotel
• Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m.: Washington Economic Development Legislative Forum at the Washington County Courthouse
This is a legislative update from Senator Rich Taylor, representing Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties. For newsletters, photos and further information, go to www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/taylor.
To contact Senator Taylor during session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at home at 319-931-1568. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Taylor is chair of the Local Government Committee. He also serves on the Economic Growth, Human Resources, Judiciary, and Justice Systems Budget committees.