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Iowa Women’s Foundation Hosts Childcare Summit

A representative in the Iowa legislature says she’ll continue to push for an idea to boost state payments to Iowa childcare centers. Representative Megan Jones of Sioux Rapids says the state could continue to make childcare assistance payments for days when kids are out sick. She got the idea from the director of her own kids’ daycare who was filling out the required paperwork.

Jones introduced a bill in the 2023 legislative session that’s still eligible for debate in 2024. It would have the state pay for each day a child is enrolled in a daycare, even if they’re out for part of a day or a full day. Jones made her comments during a childcare summit hosted by the Iowa Women’s Foundation. Lawmakers recently expanded eligibility for childcare assistance for low-income families and boosted payments to providers. Representative Heather Matson, from Ankeny, say those are positive changes, but Iowa still has a childcare crisis to solve.

Matson says the state needs to focus on stabilizing the childcare workforce with higher wages and benefits. Republican Senator Jeff Edler of State Center says gradual approach GOP lawmakers are taking on childcare issues gives Iowa taxpayers the best bang for their buck.

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