I2D2 & Iowa AEYC Co-Publish ECE Workforce Study

After many months of research, interviews, and data collection, the 2023 Iowa Child Care Workforce Study is complete! The purpose of this study was to generate a deeper understanding of who Iowa’s child care workforce is and the challenges they face. Iowa’s child care providers are committed to work they find meaningful, and the majority would like to remain in the field as long as possible. Unfortunately, we face critical challenges in recruiting and retaining providers due to low wages and lack of benefits. Findings from the recent 2023 Iowa Child Care Workforce Report offer a statewide perspective on provider needs and provide recommendations to advance the state of our workforce.

Over 4,500 voices came together to represent the early care and education field from across the state of Iowa. Here are a few highlights from these providers:

  • 89% would choose this career again
  • Pay is simply not enough, and is a huge challenge for staying in child care careers
  • Many use public benefits like SNAP and Medicaid to meet their family’s needs.
  • While 54% are getting by alright (financially), 22% are really struggling to make ends meet.

Based on data collected, the advisory committee has proposed the following recommendations:

  1. Higher wages for the long haul
  2. Increased access to benefits including health insurance, paid leave, and retirement
  3. Improved work environments
  4. Purposeful data collection
  5. Clear, consistent information about existing resources