Worker shortage magnifies Iowa's childcare crisis – Axios

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Des Moines
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An ongoing lack of workers is hampering attempts to mitigate Iowa's childcare crisis, multiple family advocates tell Axios.
Why it matters: Affordable, quality care is essential for a child's development.
State of play: Childcare centers across the state are operating below capacity because of staff shortages, Dawn Oliver Wiand, director of the Iowa Women's Foundation, told Axios.
Driving the news: The childcare sector is recovering slower than others from the pandemic, according to an analysis of U.S. labor statistics published last week by the Center for American Progress.
Flashback: Iowa was struggling before the pandemic with a shortage of childcare spaces, prompting Gov. Kim Reynolds to form a task force to identify solutions.
What's happening: The foundation is advocating for more businesses to partner with daycares and community initiatives to improve programs and boost childcare worker wages.
Zoom in: Since the pandemic, Oakridge Academy Early Learning and Preschool program in DSM increased its minimum wage from $12.50 to $15 an hour.
Yes, but: Increasing employee pay has helped, said Caldwell-Johnson, who is also a DSM school board member and was on the governor's task force.
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