Child Care Taskforce Report Urges Action in Iowa
Governor Kim Reynolds released the Governor's Child Care Task Force Report on Wed., Nov. 3rd. The long awaited report splits the recommendations into four areas and provides recommendations and rationale for each. We appreciate the work of those who sat at the Task Force table working through issues.
With these recommendations, action must be taken on the part of by voters, local businesses, elected officials and state departments in order to make a difference on a decades long issue that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic.
The recommendations by category are:
Provide more flexibility in the Child Care Assistance Program to assist working families and child care providers.
Blend child care and preschool.
Create a central information hub for families to find information on child care, openings and enrollment.
Develop a child care planning program that identifies a single point of contact for employer and communities for child care.
Create a tax credit program to incentivize businesses to purchase slots at a child care center for employee benefit.
Create and Iowa Child Care Investment Tax Credit for businesses that invest in a non-profit child care.
Create a sub-category of commercial property tax for child care centers that taxes at the same rate as residential property.
Create a pilot project to transform vacant school buildings into child care centers.
Increase support and funding to the Child Care Challenge Fund that began earlier this year to increase the availability of child care spaces.
Create a tax exemption for the sale and use of building materials for the purpose of construction or expansion of child care.
For Child Care Providers:
Develop a web-based shared services platform to support various operations such as group purchasing and benefit management.
Create consistency in fire and safety code requirements across the state.
For the Child Care Workforce
Re-examine staffing requirements and staff-child ratios.
Read: Governor's Press Release