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The ongoing child care crisis impacts more than parents and caregivers – it impacts the bottom line of Iowa’s businesses and industries, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars each year. That was just one of the many messages delivered by child care experts and panelists at a workforce and child care discussion hosted by the Catherine McAuley Center Dec. 7. Dozens of child care stakeholders attended the event, hearing presentations from state child care leaders and a group of local panelists. The meeting was led by Dawn Oliver Wiand, executive director of the Iowa Women’s Foundation, who outlined statistics demonstrating the gravity of the state’s child care crisis. Ms. Wiand noted that according to a February 2020 report from the National Chamber of Commerce Foundation:
- Iowa’s economy loses an estimated $935 million a year due to care issues;
- $153 million is lost annually in tax revenue due to the same issues; and
- Iowa businesses are losing $781 million a year because of child care-related absences and employee turnover.