Child care heros

Child Care Workers Stay Strong on Front Lines

May 27, 2020

By Black Hawk County Child Care Coalition Chairs: Kaye Englin, President and CEO, Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa; Mary Janssen, Children and Family Services Director, Child Care Resource and Referral of Northeast Iowa; Dan Levi, Levi Architecture; and Kyle Roed, SHRM-CP, at CPM.

Child care heroes are part of the essential workforce in our community. They care for our most precious little ones — infants, toddlers, and growing mini-curious littles.

Child care providers spend their days serving as safety and security officers, recreational and wellness coaches, personal nutritionists and assistants, interpreters, social coaches, and so much more. How could we ever begin to show our appreciation and gratitude for the love and care they provide our children? Welcoming children into their homes or a center, day in and day out, even during a global pandemic that can put their own family and household at risk. Their dedication and commitment is awesome.

Now, more than ever, the value of quality child care is better understood during this COVID-19 crisis. Many families who have depended on this critical benefit to enable their ability to work outside of the home, have been forced to either work at home and provide care, or have been forced to quit their jobs.

Two years ago, the Black Hawk County Child Care Coalition formed to address the concerns in the growing gap between available child care options, and the demand for availability to allow our workforce to increase based on hiring. Over the past two years, our coalition has worked with child-care providers, employers, and other community leadership to work on various strategies to increase availability in our county.

We were making progress, and many child care centers and home providers have increased their capacity to serve. The COVID pandemic certainly caused a step back in this momentum, however, we are confident that we can build on our progress and provide options for families as we move forward.

Our message to you is one of gratitude and thanks to all of the child care heroes in our communities” Please take time to stop and say thank you, send a note or a delivery of goodies to express your gratitude for the very important service they provide our community.

Our coalition will continue to elevate the conversation to keep their work at the forefront, and to work on solutions to support families through their services. In the coming weeks, you will hear about various strategies and plans we are working on to expand and grow our child care availability in the Cedar Valley.

There are opportunities for community members to step up and serve on a committee or provide financial support to expand services. We look forward to sharing more about our expansion ideas and how you can help our community support and uplift the child care heroes among us.

On behalf of our steering committee, we thank you for your support. For additional resources visit the CFNEIA’s child care webpage or the Child Care Resource and Referral’s website at