Executive director of Iowa City nonprofit said child care service needs complete overhaul

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 11:53 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The head of an Iowa City nonprofit said Iowa’s childcare services needed a complete overhaul to ensure families weren’t falling through the cracks.

Micaela Selk of Iowa City, a single mother of one, was one of 32 families who utilized Home Ties times. That’s a childcare service provided through 4Cs of Johnson County. 4C’s looks at ways to make childcare services more affordable.

“When I was looking for childcare, I was seeing $1,200 a month,” she said.

Missie Forbes, the Executive Director of the nonprofit, said some businesses don’t want to accept DHS assistance funding that families like Micaela receive to afford childcare.

“There’s a lot of places that won’t take childcare assistance because it just doesn’t work for their business model,” she said.

She also pointed to Governor Reynolds not accepting $30 million in federal grants because of the $3- million match but increasing how much the state pays in Child Care Assistance would address what Forbes said is a sustainability issue.

“A lot of funding was really for building infrastructure,” she said. “It seems silly to throw money at structure and not have some sort of plan to pay people to work there.”

Forbes said childcare services need to be completely re-looked at to keep families like Micaela’s from falling through the cracks.

“I know some parents that work at Hy-Vee, and just the dollar between what I’m making and what they’re making, or even my last job, it’s not due able,” said Selk.