Iowa AEYC works to build public awareness about early childhood and early childhood issues through advocacy and outreach. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.

We are committed to the creation and implementation of an early care and education system in Iowa that will ensure every child, beginning at birth, is healthy and successful. The first 2,000 days are critical to a child’s future well-being, ability to learn, and overall life success.

In response to the latest research on brain development and how children learn, and what we know about return on early childhood investments, we fully support the need for access to high-quality programming and an educated workforce for each and every child in our state, prenatal to age eight.

Iowa Child Care Coalition (ICCC)

Iowa AEYC is part of the Iowa Child Care Coalition. The Iowa Child Care Coalition (ICCC) was formed to more strategically address Iowa’s child care crisis. The Coalition, through nonpartisan legislative recommendations, seeks to increase access, affordability, and quality of child care while increasing the stability of the child care workforce across Iowa.

The coalition members, along with our statewide partners, look forward to supporting these recommendations to create a more accessible, affordable, high quality child care system sustained by a professional, competitive, and compensated workforce.

See our 2023 Policy Priorities here.

Moving the Needle on Compensation Recommendations

Our vision for a stable ECE workforce in Iowa: Iowa’s ECE workforce is recognized as professional and compensated competitively.

Increase funding to adequately support and sustain statewide Child Care WAGE$® Iowa and T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Iowa
Consider ‘Early Care and Education’ a 
high demand occupation
Implement a salary scale for ECE tied to professional levels identified in NAEYC’s Unifying Framework for the ECE workforce

Child Care WAGE$® Iowa provides salary supplements to ECE providers to incentivize retention and continued education. State funding supported expansion to all 99 counties for FY22. T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Iowa provides comprehensive scholarships to support individuals towards increased education. Sustained funding for both programs will be critical to continue to grow and maintain quality educators.

Across Iowa, staffing shortages and child care deserts continue to threaten employers in a range of industries. A strong ECE workforce directly supports parents in their ability to secure and maintain employment, improving economic conditions for all Iowans. Adding ECE to the high-demand occupation list will open funding opportunities to assist the high cost of professionalizing the field as well as create market competition to drive salary increases.

The recommended salary scale will introduce competitive salaries that are linked to specific educator levels as identified by NAEYC’s Unifying Framework (ECE I, ECE II and ECE III). The levels are tied to increasing skill in the field through formal education and competencies. As the workforce is recognized with competitive wages on par with similar occupations, more workers will be drawn into the sector and turnover will decrease as these earners move toward economic self-sufficiency.

Read the full document here.

Additional Advocacy Resources

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Make a difference by participating in advocacy events or recognizing an educator through our award nominations.

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