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Child care is a critical component to healthy communities. Adequate, affordable child care allows parents to feel confident their child is being nurtured in a safe environment and enables them to be more productive at work and absent less. Child care is an economic driver. When a community has child care available it is able to recruit and retain businesses, employees, and families. 

A child care crisis is occurring in Iowa, including Black Hawk County. The waiting lists are in the thousands and it is impacting families and our economy.

  • Approximately 9,000 children in Black Hawk County are not having their child care needs met.
  • 26% of employers identify child care as a barrier to employee retention.
  • In Black Hawk County, 21,324 children are under the age of 12, and there are only 7,686 child care space available countywide.

Actions for Impact

The Black Hawk County Child Care Coalition was formed in 2017, with CFNEIA President & CEO, Kaye Englin, acting as a lead member. The Community Foundation hosted meetings in May 2018, gathering input from child care providers and community members. The Coalition is a collaboration of nearly 40 individuals from the child care, nonprofit, education, and business sectors. The group is meeting monthly with sub-committees focused on and researching how to address five key areas to help alleviate child care needs in Black Hawk County.

  1. Business and Child Care: Building and Expanding Solutions
  2. Child Care and Entrepreneurs
  3. Community College and Child Care
  4. Child Care Mentors
  5. Non-English Speaking Community (EMBARC Child Care and Workforce Needs Assessment of the Refugee Community in Waterloo)

What You Can Do

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Black Hawk Child Care Coalition Case Study

Black Hawk County Child Care Coalition Resources
Black Hawk County Child Care Coalition Information Sheet and Success Stories

Other Resources
Governor's Child Care Task Force Report
Child Care Resource & Referral 2021 County Data
EMBARC Child Care & Workforce Needs Assessment of the Refugee Community in Waterloo
Iowa Child Care Economies 2019 Fact Sheet
Iowa Child Care Economies Talking Points
Iowa Women's Foundation Child Care for Business Infographic
Iowa Women's Foundation Building Child Care Solutions
Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber 2018 Employer Child Care Survey Results
Child Care Industry Economic & Job Impact
Untapped Potential: How Childcare Impacts Iowa's State Economy

In the News
Fearless, Two-part series that looks at issues with child care in Iowa
    Part 1: Child care and the workforce shortage
    Part 2: Governor Reynolds’ Child Care Task Force recommendations
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, Gov. Kim Reynolds talks child care in Waterloo
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, New nonprofit child care center proposed in Cedar Falls
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, Refugees in Waterloo face unique child care barriers, survey finds
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, Multi-generational: Friendship Village moving into child-care business
KWWL, Friendship Village prepares to open new child care facility
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, Day care shortage hampers economy