When Iowa was made aware of the regulations to which it was required to adhere as a result of the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant of 2014, there was wide spread fear that it would have a negative effect on the number of child care providers. Most of the state had been in a child care deficit for some time and though the increased regulations were put in place to increase the quality, safety and regulation of child care, there was little doubt that we would see providers leave the industry due to the changes.
In the summer of 2015, Linking Families and Communities and the City of Fort Dodge partnered together to work on the availability of quality child care, as employers were starting to indicate that child care was becoming problematic. Round table discussions were held to gather information and partners. Interested partners continued to meet on the issue and decided that a feasibility study was needed.
Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica, Cargill, C & S Products, City of Fort Dodge, Fort Dodge Community School District, Friendship Haven, Iowa Central Community College, Linking Families and Communities, and UnityPoint – Trinity Regional Medical Center continued to meet and decided to support a child care feasibility study.
In March 2016, First Children’s Finance was commissioned to complete a feasibility study for the Fort Dodge community. The study was completed and a report issued in November 2016. A public meeting sharing the study’s results, as well as, a panel discussion was held on January 26, 2017.