Meeting Public Comments

Subcommittee meeting and times are as follows:
A bill for an act relating to the minimum age requirements for employees, substitutes, and volunteers working at a child care facility.(See HF 2198.)
Subcommittee members: Meyer, A.-CH, Ehlert, Fry
Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Time: 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: RM 304.1
Names and comments are public records. Remaining information is considered a confidential record.
Comments Submitted:

Miranda Niemi [Quality Beginnings]
I have a couple of comments regarding the lowering of the minimum age requirements.1. I am concerned about liability insurance and whether or not someone under the age of 16 will be covered by the business liability insurance since they will be allowed to be left alone with children? I am also concerned that a 16 year old would have lifelong implications if they hart a child in their care.2. The early childhood profession is trying to raise up the workforce and have others in the community see them as professionals. By lowering the age to 16 you are undermining the work that we are doing. I support mentoring program that helps support someone under 18 in the early childhood field, however, they should not be in a classroom with our youngest children without supervision.Lowering the age so that 16yearolds can work independently in a classroom is creating an environment that is unsafe and will lower the quality of care that our youngest children need and deserve.
Donna Kennebeck []
Sixteen year olds do not have the capacity, education, and skills to be in a classroom without supervision. These are children's lives and it takes experienced, educated adults to provide a safe high quality learning environment for young children. I question whether our liability insurance will cover this aged child. Our profession "Early Childhood" has been moving forward with support and education to raise the quality of childcare in Iowa. This is another large step backwards.
Anna Taylor []
We need professional adults in classrooms! We are responsible for very young lives and have the education and background to implement quality care. We care for a minimum of 4 children for every 1 caregiver. That can be overwhelming for someone who has no experience with children. We are trying to improve the way people view Early Childhood. We are teachers and educators not baby sitters who do this for fun! We are passionate about working with children and need others who are too. My biggest concern is that we are putting a young person who in a classroom who is still a child themselves.
Lanette Reyes []
Sixteen year olds do not have the capacity or the education to be left with multiple children unsupervised. These are kids lives. It takes experienced and educated adults to give the children a safe quality learning environment. Early childhood has been moving forward with education and support to raise the quality of early childcare. This is another step backwards. A 16 year old needs supervision while caring for children!
Cassie Beaver []
I seriously think this is the craziest thing Ive ever heard. If people want to 16 on watch their Child they can babysit I am in a child care provider and I educate these kids. Ive had multiple years education to get a degree in and many years of trainings. Early Childhood Educators need to be looked at as important as any other professional job out there.
Sheila Hansen [Common Good Iowa]
First, I want to point this out This bill would allow a child development home to have one unsupervised 16 year old caring for 12 children (with four being infants). This is scary.Now I would like to concentrate my comments on the portion of the bill that allows ANYONE 16 years of age or older to be employed, volunteer or substitute in a child care facility. As far as I understand this wasn't a final recommendation of the Governor's Task Force. This would open the door to ANYONE off the street, correct? I hope I am wrong. What about background checks? What about first aid training? Are those important items going to be required? Not to mention experience and education working with young children. The scenarios are endless. Who may end up alone with our kids? I know this is voluntary and a majority of programs will do it right but what about those that won't? Why are we putting our children in danger? As our state tries to solve the child care crisis, we can't do this on the backs of babies, toddlers and preschoolers. We all want to help families access child care so they can work but we need to have quality child care. This is our future workforce.Thank you!
Sherryl Pearson [unitypoint health]
Please do not allow the 16 yearolds to be in the classrooms unsupervised. This could pose a danger to children due to inexperience of the 16 year olds
Mary Lukas [Success from the Start]
16yearolds would benefit from working UNDER SUPERVISION toward post high school early childhood employment. Great way to threshold a quality workforce! But brain development of 05 year olds requires mature adults in ratios that keep. children safe and nurtured. Young children in full or part time care need educators not babysitters.