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Child care owner addresses shortage in Iowa

The Center for American Progress reports than half of Americans live in child care deserts. With high costs and tight finances, it's difficult to operate child care businesses. One child care owner in Council Bluffs opens up about the struggles the industry is facing and the toll the pandemic has taken.
Posted at 6:37 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 19:38:50-05

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA. (KMTV) - Brooke Hubbard owns Jumping Monkeys Childcare in Council Bluffs. She's honest about why there's a lack of child care options for families.

"COVID hit back in March, has really hurt the industry, in fact, there's been a really large jump of facilities that closed during COVID and they never reopened," Hubbard said.

Hubbard says the child care crisis is worsening. When the pandemic started, her facility was the only for-profit privately owned childcare that stayed open throughout Southwest Iowa.

"Essential workers still needed child care for their kids, we received probably at least 15-20 calls a day," Hubbard said.

Lara Miller has worked in child care for more than 20 years and says the industry needs some revamping.

"Childcare providers are one of the least paid professionals in the United States, there just needs to be more education, maybe more grants to offer early childhood professionals," Miller said.

Hubbard hopes legislators take action sooner rather than later.

"It falls into the category of really aiding and assisting the childcare, and the centers actually and giving them more incentives to be open," Hubbard said. "If there's incentives, your child care businesses will grow."