April 24, 2024

The Fry Times - Legislature Advances Child Care Bills

March 14, 2024 - This week, the House Appropriations Committee passed House Study Bill 729. This bill increases childcare rates for the Child Care Assistance Program by $14.1 million. Last year, the legislature increased these rates by $10.8 million, and this bill continues the work of providing significant resources to Iowa’s childcare centers and homes.

This bill also extends the childcare workforce pilot program for an additional year to collect data on recruiting and retaining child care employees. This pilot program provides the children of childcare workers with Child Care Assistance.

The House Ways and Means Committee also recently passed House File 2655. This bill provides childcare center a residential rollback (instead of commercial) for property tax purposes, which is estimated to provide $8.8 million in reduced property taxes for child care facilities statewide.

The legislature and governor have prioritized access to childcare since COVID, and all of these policy changes signed into law have contributed to the expansion of over 25,000 child care slots in the state since September 2021.

Current child care slot capacity graphic

A timeline of many of the changes starting from 2020 can be found here.

One such program, Cliff Effect CCA Exit Program, the state has created helps working parents raise their income and work towards financial independence. This program increases the cost families pay towards child care, but maintain subsidies to lessen the cost as their income rises, with the average family paying for 43% of the cost of child care.

The legislature also enabled child care providers to increase with one child in the 2 year old classroom and two children in the 3 year old classroom. 42% of child care providers surveyed indicated that they increased their ratios, being able to serve more children and increase staff pay.

Forum Schedule

Senator Sinclair and Representative Fry will be hosting Legislative Forums in the District during the 2024 Legislative Session. March 22, 2024

8:00 am - Corydon, IA at the Wayne County Farm Bureau

10:00 am - Chariton, IA at the Lucas County Farm Bureau

12:00 pm - Osceola at Revelton Distilling Company

2:00 pm - Leon, IA at the Leon Community Center

We look forward to meeting with everyone.

Rep. Joel Fry

House District 27

joel.fry@legis.iowa.gov

515.281.3221