The Iowa Legislature this week passed a bill that will allow child care providers to charge families who receive child care assistance the difference between the state reimbursement rate and the rate they would charge a private-pay family. That could only happen if the provider and parents agree in writing beforehand. It passed the Senate 29-16 on Monday and now goes to Gov. Kim Reynolds' desk for her signature. Supporters of House File 2127 said it will allow providers to accept more families who qualify for child care assistance, which reimburses centers only about 50% to 75% of the market rate. Opponents said it will only increase child care costs for low-income families. The United Way of Central Iowa has advocated against the bill, saying that while it could raise revenue for child care centers, it could make child care unaffordable for some families, forcing them to decide whether continuing to work makes sense if costs get too high. According to the United Way, federal guidance encourages states to work toward families paying no more than 7% of their income toward child care. “Proposals like this, without additional investment, do not move us toward this aspirational goal,” officials with the United Way of Central Iowa said earlier in the session. According to a report from the Child Care Task Force, established by Reynolds to look for solutions to the state’s child care needs, the average cost of child care in Iowa is more than $1,000 per month, making it the highest monthly expense for many families.