New daycare in Cedar Rapids aims to address shortage

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) — Iowa has lost 33 percent of its child care options over the past five years, according to the governor’s office. A new daycare center has now opened in Cedar Rapids to help solve the problem.

Fields of Fun daycare opened Monday morning at the location that once housed Kids Inc. on the southwest side. The center’s president was one of many parents stunned by the sudden closure of Kids Inc. last summer. That’s what inspired her to do something to try to help.

“My son was here when it was Kids Inc. and so when they closed it was a big hit in that part of the community,” Taryn Krahmer said.

Krahmer’s background is in business, but she wanted to help fill the childcare gap she saw firsthand as a mother of two. Overall, the state is short of 350,000 child care spaces for children under 12. Fields of Fun can help fill up to 275 of those spots.

“I was so happy to be able to help. To be able to do more spots for the kids and not just spots, but super spots. We really feel like we’ve invested a lot in this facility,” Krahmer explained.

And some who lost custody of children due to the closure of Kids Inc. are already enrolled in Fields of Fun.

A total of 16 places are filled with two more babies on the way, and they are flooded with requests. Krahmer hopes the community will help support his efforts to provide childcare for families, which comes with a balance of fair wages for employees and a fair price for parents.

“If there is anyone in the community who is willing to help and possibly give sponsors, we would really appreciate it because whatever we can get to help, we can help anyone in need of childcare,” she said.

According to the state, the shortage of child care is causing more than half of Iowa parents to miss work. Governor Reynolds has awarded millions of dollars in child care grants because of this problem. Fields of Fun received more than $749,000 from the state to prepare to open its doors.

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