U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a mom and leader on the issue of child care, participated in discussions with local leaders and providers in both Jefferson and Wapello Counties on ways she can continue to support Iowa’s child care community. Both visits were part of Ernst’s 99 County Tour for 2020.
“As a mom, I know firsthand the importance of having access to quality, affordable child care. Unfortunately, Iowa is facing a child care crisis—one that’s been intensified during COVID-19– and that’s why in the Senate I’ve worked across the aisle on a number of measures to support our providers and working families. Being face to face with child care providers and hearing their challenges and concerns firsthand will help me as I continue to fight for Iowa’s families,” said Senator Ernst.
In Jefferson County, Ernst joined members of the Fairfield Economic Development Association (FEDA) and Early Childhood Iowa to learn more about the work they’re doing to build a new child care center in Fairfield to help address the child care crisis in the area.
“Child care is a business issue, workforce issue, and an infrastructure issue,” said Joshua Laraby, Executive Director of FEDA. “Economic development, local child care specialists, and businesses must come together to address challenges with access to child care, quality, and affordability. It’s essential for retaining and growing our rural communities. The community of Fairfield, Iowa in partnership with Early Childhood Iowa has worked hard to bring measurable solutions.”
In Wapello County, Ernst met with members of the Ottumwa Chamber of Commerce, as well as local stakeholders, to hear about their efforts to expand access to child care in the area, and how she can continue to help at the federal level.