Childcare Access On Decline
Location and hours are important things to consider with parents looking for Childcare, but in Dubuque, the first step is finding a center.
According to the Iowa Child Care Resource and Referral Data Center. In Dubuque County, there are over seven thousand kids five and under, but with only around five thousand childcare spaces available there is a demand for more childcare centers in Dubuque County
Scrodt said, “It’s a huge challenge to find childcare in Dubuque right now.”
Like many parents, Angela Scrodt recalls her struggles of finding a childcare center for her year and a half-year-old daughter Prynne.
Scrodt said, “I started calling around to childcare to see if I started working where would my daughter be able to go and no one had an opening.”
Scrodt currently serves as the childcare director of the newly built Marita Theisen Childcare center in Steeple Square.
Scrodt, “We have parents call every day that say, I’ve called 12 different places or 15 different places and nobody has openings”
The high demand for centers goes beyond the capacity Scrodt center can provide.
According to Child Care Resource and Referral, The state of Iowa saw a 42% Decrease in centers from 2013 to 2018 and a 35% Decrease in Dubuque County alone. Childcare consultant Tara Roddick about this deposit in centers.
Roddick said, “It is a trend, it is a statewide trend that we’ve all decreased, it’s not specific to Dubuque.”
As of July 1st, this trend down has turned around.
Roddick said, “It is an increase so that’s the first time we’ve increased providers in probably about five years.”
Roddick credits this increase to the grants available to assist with general upfront costs. Roddick knows the increase is slight but foresees this percentage growing over time.
Roddick said, “We’ve seen the increase and we will continue to see the increase.”
Parents like Scrodt are optimism that the percentage of centers and homes will continue to grow.