New bill could help with staffing issues at Iowa childcare centers

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 7:47 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - A new bill could help address staffing issues at child care centers in Iowa.

The House bill would change the ratio of staff to students and increase the number of kids allowed per employee.

It would allow one worker to be able to watch eight, two-year-olds instead of six, or 10 three-year-olds instead of eight.

Republicans say this bill would help more toddlers get spots in child care centers.

“I don’t think anyone’s going to say you have to take more because we may expand it,” House Speaker Pat Grassley said. “But there may be some that are ready and able to do that. And if we can help create more slots and expand it, then we need to be doing that.”

But Democrats say they still have questions about the impact on classroom workers.

“We need to talk with the people who are providing the childcare and hear from them what the impact of these changes would be on actual day-to-day work in the classroom, in these childcare centers,” House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst said.

Meanwhile, the Iowa Department of Human Services says more funding will go to child care providers.

A $30 million recruitment and retention bonus program will go towards helping Iowa’s child care providers attract and retain workers.

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