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This week in the Iowa House we voted to advance multiple pieces of legislation that aim to address Iowa’s current child care crisis. The recent pandemic has exposed the importance of accessible affordable quality child care here in Iowa. Access to affordable child care is an issue many of us heard about repeatedly on the campaign trail and now we are taking action.

Aside from a general lack of child care providers in Iowa, another childcare hurdle that the legislature has aimed to address is something called the cliff effect. This occurs when families are receiving financial assistance for child care and their income increases beyond the income threshold for assistance causing them lose all child care assistance. House File 302 aims to provide an “off-ramp” from Child Care Assistance, which will allow state assistance to taper off rather than dropping off at a specific income level. The goal of this legislation is to allow parents to grow in their career without losing their childcare assistance all at once.

The following are child care bills that passed out of the Iowa House this week:
HF 230 – Increases the income threshold for a Child Care Tax Credit from $45,000 to $90,000.
HF 370 – Creates an incentive for employers to provide child care for their employees by providing a tax credit up to $150,000.
HF 260 – Allows individuals providing child care in their homes to take care of 6 or fewer children, an increase from 5 or fewer.
HF 292 – Raises Iowa’s child care rates to the 50th percentile according to the Market Rate Survey.
HF 302– Creates an “off-ramp” from Child Care Assistance program so parents can continue to grow in their career without losing their child care assistance entirely, all at once.
HF 301 – Creates a fund to provide child care workforce grants on a dollar for dollar matching basis from communities. These programs will help move child care providers up the pay scale and the education pathway.

As we all know every Iowan has unique needs when it comes to child care. This package of bills aims to address as many of those needs as possible.

Author: Norlin Mommsen