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Child care crisis gets attention

January 22, 2013
Estherville Daily News

If turnout was any indication, area business and community leaders showed their commitment to providing quality child care to Estherville Tuesday.

About 20 representatives from both Estherville as well as regionally attended the meeting at the Estherville Public Library Community Room to focus on a solution for a shortage of day-care providers when the Estherville Child Care Center, run by Estherville Lincoln Central, shutters its doors at the end of June. Citing losses, the district has decided to end infant care at the end of this month and the rest of its child-care services at the end of the fiscal year and possibly at the end of the school year.

While no magic wand was waved at Tuesday's meeting - and no one expected there would be one - the fact that so many people turned out gave voice to the importance of quality child care to not just parents but employers.

Iowa has more families with both parents working than any other state. That's because people here believe in paying their way. They want to help ensure quality of life for their families and that's why they're working.

A lack of good child care can often hit employers just as much as it does parents. If an employer can't count on people showing up, it can hamstring productivity throughout an entire business. Having good child care available is just plain, good business.

That was apparent by the number of business and industry representatives at Tuesday's meeting.

Perhaps some party or parties will step forward and start up more day-care facilities in our community - whether in a private home or as a larger commercial operation. It would be a needed service, and one that's needed now.



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