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Here's how Iowa lawmakers are addressing the state's child care crisis

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Iowa has a child care crisis. On this edition of River to River, what’s behind the problems of child care access and affordability.

State representatives Ann Meyer of Fort Dodge and Tracy Ehlert of Cedar Rapids join Ben Kieffer and Katarina Sostaric to discuss the bills that are on the move in the statehouse to address child care needs in Iowa.

Before that, a conversation with Des Moines resident Amanda Martens to spotlight the difficulties she and her husband have had finding affordable child care. Then, Joe Murphy of the Iowa Business Council discusses how the lack of child care in the state is impacting business and how it’s contributing to the workforce shortage.


  • Amanda Martens, Des Moines resident, assistant professor of psychology at Simpson College
  • Joe Murphy, executive director of the Iowa Business Council
  • State Representative Ann Meyer, Republican from Fort Dodge
  • State Representative Tracy Ehlert, Democrat from Cedar Rapids
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Katarina Sostaric is IPR's State Government Reporter
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River