DES MOINES, Iowa — On Monday lawmakers on the Iowa Senate floor sent another bill relating to child care to the Governor’s desk for her signature.
House File 2127 would allow child care providers to collect from families on the state’s child care assistance program (CCA), the difference between the family reimbursement rate and their child care costs.
In the past, families would need to ask around to different facilities if they were able to take them on at the reimbursement rate. But now all centers are able to take in families that are willing to pay that difference.
Senate Democrats argued on the floor that this bill doesn’t do anything, as families on CCA will not be able to afford these child care centers. Also arguing that the lack of good child care and funding available for the profession is the reason the state is stuck in a workforce issue.
“The best way to help child care providers and the family is to raise the reimbursement rate and the number of families who get into the program,” said State Senator Claire Celsi (D) from West Des Moines. “That is the way to fix this problem, not to put it on the families.”
Senator Celsi and Senate Democrats also said that the lack of good child care and funding available for the profession is the reason the state is stuck in a workforce issue; and that this bill won’t expand people’s ability to get on the program.
“This isn’t going to get more people into the program, this isn’t going to get more people to use the subsidies,” said State Senator Celsi.
Senate Republicans agreed that there is more that needs to be done for child care overall, but increasing the amount families are able to get from CCA is not the way to go about it.
“When I had my children it was my responsibility to provide them with the quality of life and it was my decision on what child care I brought them too,” said State Senator Carrie Koelker (R) from Dyersville. “It was my job to, if I wanted to bring them to child care centers, that I needed to provide a living and go out and work for that. I didn’t expect that on the backs of taxpayers.”
Both the House and Senate are adjourned until Thursday, with no set timetable for when the session could adjourn for the year.