2018 Report by City

Child Care Desert Flyer

All cities in Iowa were analyzed comparing number of children birth-11 with all known spaces in child care as of 2018.

  • 412 cities (41%) have children but no known child care
  • 489 (48%) have some child care but fewer slots than there are children
  • 56 (6%) have more slots than children
  • 57 (6%) have no children

The analysis on 2018 child care deserts shows:

  • 252 (25%) meet the definition of a desert meaning there are more than 50 children in the community and there are more than 3 children per slot
  • 767 (75%) do not meet the definition of a child care desert for various reasons detailed below
  • 384 (38%) do not have at least 50 children ages birth-11 in the city
  • 321 (32%) have less than 3 children per slot
  • 51 (5%) have no children
  • 6 locations have child care slots but are not considered a city by national definitions

Sources for data report:

  • American Community Survey Poverty by Age 2012-2016 5-year averages
  • NACCRRAware Provider Numbers, Licensed Capacity, and Total Vacancies by City on 10/15/18
  • Term “Child Care Desert” coined by Center for American Progress and Child Care Aware
  • Definition of Child Care Desert from Center for American Progress Specifically, this analysis defines child care deserts as neighborhoods or communities that are either lacking any child care options or have so few child care providers that there are more than three children for every licensed child care slot. Center for American Progress report on Mapping America's Child Care Deserts.