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Need For Child Care Options Continues to Grow In Iowa

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A child looks out the window at a babysitter's house.

Parents are finding it increasingly difficult to secure care for their kids following what the Iowa Women's Foundation identifies as a 42 percent decline in child care services across Iowa in the last five years.

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Chairty Nebbe is joined by Abby Larson, a mom living in Osage and Stacy Hart, a mom living in Stanton, Iowa. Child care centers in Stanton have wait lists for enrollment lasting a year or longer, and the town is not  alone in this concern. The Iowa Women's Foundation recognizes the lack of affordable child care in Iowa as a "crisis," and has labeled parts of the state as "child care deserts."

Dawn Oliver Wiland, executive director of the Iowa Women's Foundation; Mary Janssen, regional director for Child Care Resource and Referral for Northeast Iowa; and Lisa Gates, chief executive officer of Friendship Village in Waterloo also join the conversation. 

Friendship Village in Waterloo is opening a 24-hour daycare for second and third shift workers. They are reserving spots in that program for the kids of their own staff. Gates says they are very excited about the new child care center and hope it will help with recruitment and retention. 

"The older adults are so excited to get to read to the kids and hold the babies," says Gates. 

Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa