CORALVILLE — The Iowa Women’s Foundation (IWF) is launching a new campaign to increase the recognition of child care providers as essential, professional workers.

The campaign, the CAREforce for our WORKforce, will also give the public information on how they can support child care providers during and after the pandemic.

IWF will be distributing window clings, stickers, posters, and yard signs emblazed with the CAREforce for our WORKforce logo and is also launching a web page with information for those interested in helping their local providers. The local Early Childhood Iowa board for Jasper, Marion and Poweshiek Counties (JMP ECI) is partnering with Sue Gienger, a Childcare Resource and Referral consultant to distribute materials.

“Child care workers are not babysitters—they are highly-trained professionals who provide the critical early childhood support kids need for success later in life,” said Dawn Oliver Wiand, Executive Director for IWF. “They’re essential for parents. They’re essential for businesses. And essential for society as we know it.”

IWF, who has found success with previous initiatives to bolster Iowa’s child care industry, said community-wide support will play an important role in the campaign’s effectiveness.

“Without the resources and support needed to survive, providers are closing their doors at alarming rates and many will not be able to reopen. We need a coordinated effort to stem this tide,” said Ms. Wiand.

Individuals looking to support their local child care professionals can visit https://iawf.org/careforce for a list of supplies and services that can be donated. Those interested in participating in the CAREforce for our WORKforce campaign as

a volunteer may contact dawn@iawf.org for more information.

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