I hope all political candidates and debate moderators read Lynda Waddington’s column, “Prosperity hinges on child care.” I absolutely agree there must be more done to link child care availability, cost, etc., to the economic health of our state.
I’m the director of a large child care center in Cedar Rapids. Our center is at capacity, yet the need for quality, affordable child care in our city only seems to grow. In fact about a quarter of Iowans live in an area under-supplied with licensed or registered child care options.
As Waddington mentioned, why don’t candidates discuss their plans to address Iowa’s overwhelming child care and early learning program shortage?
If candidates are looking for an economic argument, investing in early childhood yields, on average, a 13 percent return per child.
If candidates are looking for political support, 74 percent of Iowa voters on both sides of the aisle say they’d be more likely to vote for a candidate with a plan to address child care access.
We’ve got a few debates coming up. I urge all candidates, debate moderators and the media to discuss child care and early childhood.