DUBUQUE — A recent survey has found Iowa residents are struggling to find child care in communities that lack options or have few providers.

Researchers with the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C., think tank, last year surveyed U.S. Census tracts in 22 states. They found that about half of the population that they studied lived in neighborhoods or communities that lacked child care services.

Researchers said 24 percent of Iowa residents live in child care deserts, places where child care is scant. That figure jumped to 37 percent in rural areas.

About 42 percent of children nationally were cared for by a relative, including a parent, according to a U.S. Census Bureau survey. Another 7 percent were care for by a nonrelative in their home or a caretaker's home.