Iowa's Child Care Debate Has Big Lessons For The Rest Of The Country

7 months ago

Kelly Donnelly was thrilled to hear her state’s Republican lawmakers were going to act on child care — but grew alarmed when she learned what exactly they had in mind.

Donnelly is director of the Grace Preschool, a Des Moines, Iowa, early childhood center that has won international recognition for its high quality. It has struggled during the pandemic, first with plummeting enrollment and, now, with a tight labor market that makes it difficult to hire and retain staff.

The same thing is happening all over America, with far-reaching consequences. Working parents can’t find places to put their kids, businesses can’t get their employees back on the job. In Iowa, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has responded by identifying child care as a top priority and promising legislation on the matter.

“No one should be forced to choose between earning a living and caring for their child,” Re...

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