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Study: Iowa residents struggling to find child care

August 4, 2018

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A recent survey has found Iowa residents are struggling to find child care in communities that lack options or have few providers.

Researchers with the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C., think tank, last year surveyed U.S. Census tracts in 22 states, the Telegraph Herald reported . They found that about half of the population that they studied lived in neighborhoods or communities that lacked child care services.

Researchers said 24 percent of Iowa residents live in child care deserts, places where child care is scant. That figure jumped to 37 percent in rural areas.

Cascade and portions of Dubuque are located inside a child care desert, according to the study. Large parts of Clayton, Delaware and Jackson counties are also considered to be child care deserts.

Mary Janssen is the regional director of Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral of Northeast Iowa. She said reasons for the shortfall are multifaceted.

“We’ve seen a big group of providers in our area retire,” she said. “We also see providers that need health care benefits. They need things to support their family. We see providers that don’t want to deal with the regulations.”

About 42 percent of children nationally were cared for by a relative, including a parent, according to a U.S. Census Bureau survey. Another 7 percent were care for by a nonrelative in their home or a caretaker’s home.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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