Idaho AEYC offers grants to support development of community preschools

With the launch of its Preschool the Idaho Way project last fall, Idaho AEYC released an in-depth toolkit that guides communities and individuals through the process of creating local early learning collaboratives and developing high-quality preschool opportunities. Now, it is offering grants to support the planning phase outlined in the toolkit. The grants will range from $5,000 to $10,000 and support the development of an actionable plan to create, expand or enhance a community’s preschool programs for children ages 4 to 5. A second grant opportunity, for implementation of those plans, will open later this year.

Early Learning Day on February 6!

Children from local programs will participate in BLOCK Fest®, a research-based, interactive exhibit developed in Idaho that teaches parents and educators about the impact of early learning through play. Idaho AEYC and other organizations will also oversee activities – including playdough and puzzles – and be on hand to discuss the many skills children develop through hands-on experiences.

New statewide poll confirms widespread support for early childhood education

A solid majority of Idahoans support state investment in early childhood education – even if it means paying more in taxes, according to Boise State’s University’s latest public policy survey. The results align with findings from a 2017 poll, which showed that Idaho voters and parents of young children believe the early years of life are important in a child’s brain development and that the state should be doing more to support early learning opportunities.

New report details high cost of child care for Idaho families

The 12th annual “The U.S. and the High Cost of Child Care” report found that the average annual cost of child care for an Idaho infant can range from $6,264 for home-based care to nearly $7,300 for center-based care. And for two children – an infant and a 4-year-old, as an example – those costs can reach about $13,600 annually. As a point of comparison, the average year’s tuition at a public university is $7,250 and an average annual mortgage payment is $14,148.

A Global View of Idaho's Pre-K Debate

When states debate pre-K, they shouldn’t just look locally. Or even at other states.

They should look globally, says W. Steven Barnett, a national expert in pre-K.

They should consider why Shanghai, China, is creating universal pre-K for 4-year-olds, staffed by college-educated teachers. China is a poorer country that aspires to be a wealthy country, and its leaders see pre-K as part of the answer.

You're invited! Idaho AEYC and Moore Information to report on Idahoan opinions of state investment in preschool

What: The Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, the public opinion research firm Moore Information and select early education advocates will present the results of a statewide poll and discuss interviews with Idaho voters, child care and preschool providers and parents of young children. The research provides insight into Idahoans’ views on state investment in preschool and the challenges many families face in their efforts to locate affordable, high-quality early learning programs.

Who: Beth Oppenheimer, Executive Director of Idaho AEYC
Erik Iverson, CEO of Moore Information

When: Wednesday, Jan. 10th, at 11 a.m.

Where: Idaho State Capitol, Room W-433
700 W. Jefferson St., Boise, ID 83702

Why: Idaho is one of six states that does not invest in preschool options for families with children 3 to 5 years old. Idaho AEYC, Idaho Business for Education, Idaho Voices for Children, Head Start and other partners have joined in an effort to increase access to high-quality pre-K for all Idahoans.

"Experts know that the early years of a child's life are the most critical time for the developing brain,” says Idaho AEYC Executive Director Beth Oppenheimer. “Access to high-quality, affordable preschool options mean that our children are entering kindergarten more prepared to learn and excel. We wanted to find out what Idahoans’ feelings were on pre-K, and the results were astoundingly positive.”

Note: A detailed press kit outlining the research will be available 5 minutes prior to the event. An open Q&A will occur after the presentation.

Contact: Martin Balben, Idaho AEYC Project Director
208-709-1921, mbalben@idahoaeyc.org