This page presents the views of the candidate Cindy Axne (D), running in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District in 2018 against incumbent candidate Rep. David Young (R). Both candidates were invited to respond to the coalition’s questions on six important federal child and family policy issues. All responses are printed without editing.
A thank you to the Axne campaign for responding to these important questions.
Working parents depend on accessible, affordable child care to participate in the workforce and provide income for their families. Because 80 percent of the brain develops by age 3, high-quality child care serves as a critical opportunity for early learning, setting young children up for success in school and beyond. Despite the FY18 omnibus Congress making a historic increase in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and nearly doubling its federal funding, challenges to finding and affording child care persist. Nearly 1 in 4 Iowans lives in a child care desert, where there are too few or absolutely no providers. Too many families cannot access Child Care Assistance in Iowa as the income eligibility remains one of the lowest in the nation, and strict cut-offs mean families can easily lose their benefits. Moreover, wages for child care providers are often too low to provide them economic security, much less attract and retain employees or provide opportunities for professional development that ensure quality care.
What actions will you take to support accessible, affordable, and high-quality child care and early learning opportunities and address child care workforce needs?
As a working mom of two boys, I understand the importance of accessible, high-quality, affordable child care and its impact on parents’s opportunity and children’s success. We certainly have a problem here in Iowa where we have a shortage of child-care providers, and a large part of that is because we aren’t paying the wages that these workers deserve. We know that children who hit the ground running with early high-quality care and education do better later in life, and we owe it to our kids to make sure that everyone is afforded this opportunity. In Congress, I will push for a tax plan that works for everyone, and that will actually put our working families first. I will also work with our child-care providers to make sure that we are taking care of the folks who go into this line of work and that we encourage people to choose this career path by providing the wages and benefits that these workers deserve.