New partnership expands ISU access to affordable child care

Chamber surverying child care needs

Addressing the availability and affordability of high-quality child care is a key priority at ISU, but it will require multiple strategies and solutions, as well as collaboration with local government and businesses.

The Ames Chamber of Commerce is conducting a survey on the community's post-pandemic needs and challenges for providing care to children ages infant through 12 years old. The online survey should take less than 5 minutes and is available online through June 11. Email WorkLife and family services with any questions about the survey.

Students, faculty and staff have more options for affordable quality child care thanks to a new partnership to offer income-based fees at Eagle's Loft Early Learning Center.

Eagle's Loft, at 2715 Dayton Ave. in northeast Ames, is a 117-child center operated by Bright Horizons -- the same company that runs the ISU Child Care Center at Veterinary Medicine. Starting June 1, ISU employees, post-docs and students who enroll their children at Eagle's Loft have access to university-subsidized sliding-scale tuition rates comparable to the fees at University Community Childcare and the Vet Med center.

Eagle's Loft is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and has immediate openings for all ages, six weeks through 12 years. A full-day summer camp option is available for school-age children. Spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis. Families interested in summer or fall enrollment should inquire now to secure a space. 

Iowa State's arrangement with Eagle's Loft is an extension of its contract with Bright Horizons for the Vet Med center and includes the same requirements for service quality, staffing, security and safety.

The expanded partnership comes at a good time, as many families are seeking child care with ISU employees who have been working remotely required to return to in-person workplaces by July 1, said Cris Broshar, WorkLife and family services coordinator.

"My hope is that for some of those families, ISU’s partnership with Eagle's Loft will cross child care off their to-do list," Broshar said.

To inquire about enrollment or schedule a tour, complete the online inquiry form. For questions about the center, call (515) 232-8299 or email