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From Democrat Statehouse News:

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With more than 700,000 Iowans living in a child care desert, a new report out this week found working families continue to struggle with finding dependable childcare.

According to Early Childhood Iowa (ECI), 63% of parents report that child care costs influence the direction of their careers and working parents miss work nearly two weeks per year because of child care issues.  Iowa also has one of the highest rates of two parent working families in the nation.

Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) is a collaborative system of Iowa partners that work to develop strong early childhood services.  ECI supports a variety of literacy programs and services for children such as providing books, literacy based activities, preschool, and services to families enrolled through Women Infant and Children (WIC) Clinics.  There are 38 ECI boards in Iowa that provided services to 1,555 children last year.  In 2017, ECI funding was cut by lawmakers and in 2018 ECI provided financial assistance to 2,000 children to attend preschool.  This, however, is 361 less preschool scholarships than two years ago due to the funding cuts.

Lawmakers are working on several bills this year to help families with childcare, including increasing the child care provider reimbursement rate and raising the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

For more information about the report visit: https://earlychildhood.iowa.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2019/01/2018_early_childhood_iowa_annual_report_2.pdf

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