Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission
Call Us!

(563) 382-6171

Visit Us!

325 Washington St, Decorah, IA 52101

Allamakee County Child Care Solutions Fund

The Allamakee County Child Care Solutions Fund supports long-term child care solutions,  such as more livable wages for child care providers through wage enhancement programs, financial support for building resilience in local child care businesses, and implementation of future child care efforts as they are prioritized by  local communities.

One of the current priorities of the Solutions Fund is the sustainability of the child care workforce, without which child care services would not remain available. Data shows an immediate need for child care providers, but they are one of the lowest-paid professions in our state. A survey of Allamakee childcare centers in 2023 showed that the average wage of providers was $12/hr, 40% less than median employment earnings in the county (U.S. Census, UERPC).  The only way to pay providers a livable wage is to increase what parents pay for childcare, but in Iowa parents are already paying an average of 14% of their annual income for center-based care – which is double the national rate considered affordable. In the fall of 2023 stakeholders worked together to create the Child Care Wage Enhancement Program (WEP) to help address this issue.  The funds for the WEP were gathered from a combination of local and state funds, and the program was initiated in early 2024 through a Retention Bonus Program for registered in-home providers, and an Hourly Wage Enhancement program for licensed centers.  Click the links to learn more about these great programs!  

We thank you for your generous support of the Child Care Solutions Fund!  And please consider giving through recurring donations, so we can take strides in building the long-term sustainability of the fund.  We can all make a difference in ensuring the resilience of our local child care system, for workers, families, and communities alike!