Letters to the Editor

Early education is workforce development

As a voter and Save the Children Action Network volunteer, I’ve participated in multiple Iowa presidential candidate events to learn about their positions on numerous issues. I’ve heard positions about environment, health, housing, education, economy, and labor issues.. I want to hear more about their plans to invest in early education, especially for birth to 3-year-olds, and how these plans will support the early childhood workforce.

Iowa leads the nation with 75 percent of children under age 6 having all parents in the workforce. Iowa families need high-quality, early education programs for their children while they work.

Yet 23 percent of Iowa families, including some in Linn County, live in child care deserts, which means an area with so few child care options that there are more than three times as many children as licensed child care slots. Further, Iowa has lost 40 percent of its registered child care providers in the last 5 years!

My questions to candidates include:

What will you do as President to address child care deserts?

What will you do to support a highly qualified, well-educated, and well-compensated early childhood workforce?

Investing in early education is workforce development. Early education supports the workforce of today while preparing the workforce of tomorrow.

Mary Airy

Cedar Rapids

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