Dubuque exploring child care app - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque exploring child care app

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

The city of Dubuque is working to find a solution to the lack of affordable and quality child care by developing an app. 

It's an issue seen across eastern Iowa. 

"We have probably over 100 names on the waiting list right now, and that's anywhere from birth to school age," said Barb Weber, director of Young-Uns Preschool and Childcare Center. 

The city of Dubuque hoping to change this by developing the app called, Dubuque Cares About Kids (DCAK). They're partnering with the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.

"The app is going to help connect them real-time to childcare providers, who have opening slots, for their children," said Nancy Van Milligen, president of the organization. 

It will also provide information on payment options and subsidies.

Developing the app is in the early stages. The city's proposal was sent to the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge, an effort to encourage innovation by mayors and cities across the country. It's an initiative by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

 Dubuque will find out in January if it's chosen as a champion city. If so, they'll win $100,000 from Bloomberg Philanthropies to test and refine the app. Cities will then submit a final application, to possibly win even more grant money. 

Area child care providers say there's already reliable resources to help.

"For me as a parent, I think, I would want to personally contact the center that I'm looking for. I know when parents call us -- we refer them to Child Care Resource & Referral," added Weber. 

The organization, Child Care Resource & Referral of Northeast Iowa provides free referral services to families looking for care.

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