Black Hawk County businessman testifies on Capitol Hill about "child care crisis"

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- According to economic experts, Iowa has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. But, in terms of child care, that might not all be good news.

Dan Levi with the Black Hawk County Child Care Coalition testifies on the "child care crisis" during a House small business sub-committee hearing, Thursday. (Source: Gray DC)

“The unemployment rate is based on those looking for work," said Dan Levi with the Black Hawk County Child Care Coalition. "We have a lot of individuals actively not seeking employment."

Levi was in Washington, testifying in front of a Small Business House subcommittee. He's calling the state of the industry a "child care crisis."

"It may be cost effective for parents to stay home,” he said.

According to the U.S Department of Labor and Statistics, the yearly average cost of daycare is typically more than the cost of housing, transportation or healthcare in the Midwest.

While some parents choose to stay home, Levi says, others have no choice in the matter, especially those who live in rural areas where licensed care is scarce.

Currently, there is federal policy supporting child care, like tax credits and subsidies. Iowa Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) announced she’s putting a new bill in the books that would would make funds available for those wanting to start a child care center.

“We need to make sure that we are doing everything, not to just continue the discussion, but to take action,” she said.

Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MI) is also signing on.

“For the providers out there that want to get in business and would need capitol. Let’s see what we can do at the federal government level," he said.

Finkenauer says she introduced the legislation before the hearing, Thursday.

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