Child Care Issues and Solutions

Mar 12, 2021

The Women’s Recession; sometimes referred to as the “Shecession” is real. According to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), 2.3 million women have left the labor force since the start of the pandemic, bringing the women’s labor force down to a 33 year low. Female employment has suffered larger losses than their male counterparts, recording more than 5.3 million net job losses. In some sectors like child care, over-representation by women has ironically caused a greater percentage of job loss by women, as well as compounded the pre-COVID child care availability crisis. Many mothers have had no choice but to leave their jobs due to school and child care-related closures.

At the state level in public policy, the Economic Alliance has been advocating for policies that address these workforce child care challenges, including the “cliff effect” to allow more employees to enter the workforce, incentives for local businesses, communities and nonprofits to develop solutions that increase accessibility to quality and affordable child care.

Partnering together on these important issues, the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Marion Chamber of Commerce, Marion Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) and the Hiawatha Economic Development Corporation (HEDCO) hosted a Business Leader Public Policy Discussion in late February. During the session, business leaders participated in a panel discussion with area legislators covering the most pressing workforce issues facing our metro area, including child care concerns.

In addition, the childcare coalition formed in August 2019 through the Iowa Women’s Foundation, Linn County Early Childhood Iowa and the Economic Alliance continues to meet and pursue three main areas of focus around the issue: Business & Child Care, Child Care Provider Solutions and Before and After School Programming Solutions. To learn more about these initiatives, visit or contact Jamie Toledo, Regional Programs Strategist, at

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