Week of the Young Child is here!

The Week of the Young Child is a time to recognize the importance of quality early learning experiences and acknowledge the educators and caregivers working on behalf of our youngest Idahoans. When young children learn through play and have stable, interactive relationships with adults, they build the social and emotional skills needed to succeed throughout life.

Q&A with Ben Kincheloe, Nampa Early Childhood Learning Center

While at a brainstorming session about early learning resources in the Nampa School District this afternoon, Idaho AEYC’s Preschool the Idaho Way Collaborative Director Erika Lewis sat down with Ben Kincheloe, principal of the Nampa Early Childhood Center. The developmental preschool currently serves about 180 students in six classrooms at a single location, but it has plans to expand its pre-K options to even more students. Here’s what Kincheloe had to say during a quick Q&A.

Gov. Brad Little records Week of the Young Child PSA

Governor Brad Little visited Hawthorne Elementary School’s preschool students on March 1 for Dr. Suess story time to celebrate Read Across America. While he was there, he recorded a PSA for the Week of the Young Child, a nationwide celebration coming up April 8 to 12 that focuses on the importance of early learning and the needs of our youngest children and their families.

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.