Report: Iowa Lost Half Its Daycare Providers During This Pandemic Year

Statewide Iowa —  A new report finds Iowa has lost about half its licensed child care centers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report by the non-profit Child Care Aware of America found the state’s licensed child care centers dropped from nearly 16-hundred in January to just over 800 in July.

Spokeswoman Kristina Haynie says some closures may be temporary, while larger centers may be struggling with additional costs associated with new cleaning and child-staff ratio requirements.

(As above) “So, like group sizes, that used to be maybe nine children per classroom has gone down to half that,” she says, “but they can’t let go staff and so they’re paying the same number of staff, but serving fewer children.” 

The report found in-home providers are faring much better during the pandemic. Their numbers stayed about the same from January to July, actually adding four programs during the time period. Haynie says larger licensed centers may be struggling because they have more children and staff to manage.

(As above) “So many parents might be working from home or they’re unemployed, they might not be sending their children to child care at this point,” she says. “And so, centers if they don’t have that many children, it’s really not feasible for them to stay in business.”

The report recommends investing more government support in child care and providing more resources and support for families and providers.



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