Childcare Concerns During COVID-19 Pandemic

DES MOINES, Iowa — As more Iowans stay home from work during the COVID-19 pandemic, their needs for childcare are changing.

In a press conference on Sunday, Governor Reynolds said childcare centers would not close so that parents who are employed in essential services such as health care, emergency services, food production, and supply and manufacturing can use them.

However, for the more than 4,300 childcare centers and registered homes across the state, many are struggling to figure out how to pay rent as the number of kids in their facilities gets smaller.

The Kids’ Room in West Des Moines usually averages around 40 to 50 kids. Right now, they have five children, including the owner’s child.

The Kids’ Room had to lay off four employees so they can stay open for essential workers.

“People need childcare, it’s important for the parents, those doctors, and nurses to go to work, what are they supposed to do with their children? They’re not recommending grandparents watch them for their health reasons or their safety and we are the backbone to that,” The Kids’ Room Owner & Director Bethany Powers said.

The Department of Human Services has created a map to show parents and guardians what childcare facilities have openings.

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