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Going backward: Study says decade of child care progress could be erased due to COVID

In 2019, 92,000 children in Iowa lived in poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing economic inequities.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Editor's Note: The video above is from April 9, 2021. 

Iowa families continue to struggle with food insecurity, managing their mental health and having proper child care during the pandemic.

New data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows nearly a decade of progress could be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it’s going to be a long haul for families to recover," explained Anne Discher, executive director of Common Good Iowa.

Discher went on to say state and federal leaders expanded the Child Tax Credit, along with the American Rescue Plan to boost the number of money families get per child. 

“It’s $250 a month between July and December for children school age and above. It’s $300 a month for young children," said Discher.

To get the money you have to file a tax return, even if you aren't required to file one. Click here to file.

However, the issues don't stop there. 

“Families of color in Iowa were disproportionately hurt by the pandemic," Discher said.

The study shows that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing economic iniquities. 

In 2020, 30% of Black households with children, 18% of Latino households with children and 21% of households identifying as multiracial said they didn’t have enough food to last them two weeks. 

All these races were three times more likely to not pay their rent or mortgages payment compared to white households.

Discher explained, “People of color are more like to work in those industries: retail, hospitality, that were hardest hit by the pandemic.”