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

We are seeking presenters for our June conference!

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The 2018 Idaho AEYC Professional Development Institute is coming up June 1 and 2 in Boise. It will be an engaging, educational conference for child care professionals, teachers, providers and advocates for Idaho’s young children.

This year, the focus will be on emergent curriculum and the use of projects in the early childhood environment. We are seeking presenters who can help guide professionals to a better understanding of what emergent curriculum means across a range of ages – from infants to 8-year-olds.

Topics we are interested in exploring include:

  • What is an emergent curriculum/project approach?
  • How to set up the physical environment for emergent curriculum/projects.
  • How emergent curriculum/projects can be used alongside of Idaho’s Early Learning Standards.
  • Assessment and emergent curriculum.
  • Using loose parts as the backbone of the materials in your classroom/center.
  • Emergent curriculum with infants and/or children with special needs.
  • Literacy, math and/or STEAM and emergent curriculum.
  • Classroom management.
  • Planning for an emergent curriculum.
  • Using an emergent curriculum outdoors.

We invite you to submit a 75-minute workshop proposal for sessions in the afternoon on June 1 and any session on June 2, or a two-hour workshop proposal for sessions the morning of June 1. Deadline for submission is January 20.

As a token of our appreciation, presenters will receive complimentary registration the day you present. Co-presenters will receive a 50% discounted registration fee for that day.

Don’t forget to treat yourself this holiday season!

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An Idaho AEYC and NAEYC membership is a gift that keeps on giving: You will have access to an array of resources and event discounts all year long to help advance your professional development. And it will ALL make a difference in the lives of the children you work with.  

Here are some of the many benefits you will enjoy as a member:

  • Local and state advocacy and leadership opportunities.
  • Access to member-only grants in Idaho.
  • Discounts at state and regional conferences.
  • Free resume and job posts on Idaho AEYC’s online Idaho ECE Job Connection page.
  • Access to NAEYC digital resources, including ideas for implementing developmentally appropriate practices and fostering strong family engagement.
  • Discounted insurance offerings, including professional liability insurance.
  • A 20% discount on all orders from NAEYC’s online store, as well as access to exclusive member-only resource sales during the year.
  • Exclusive access to member-only sessions at NAEYC events and registration opportunities for member-only events, such as the Public Policy Forum in Washington, DC.

Report details burden of high child care costs

Idaho families frequently find themselves paying more in annual child care costs than they would for a year’s tuition at a state college, according to a new report by Child Care Aware of America. And in all regions of the United States, average fees for an infant in a child care center are more than the average amount that families spend on food and transportation combined.

The 2017 “Parents and the High Cost of Child Care” report, released this week, found that the average annual cost of child care for one Idaho infant can range from $6,500 for home-based care to nearly $7,400 for center-based care. And for two children – an infant and a 4-year-old, as an example – those costs can exceed $13,900 annually. As a point of comparison, the average year’s tuition at a state college is $6,800. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services deems child care “affordable” at or below 7% of household income. In Idaho, married parents pay 10.7% of income for center-based infant care, and those costs jump to 33.1% of income for single parents. Married parents at the poverty line can see between 62% and 70% of their income going toward child care fees.

“A state preschool system could help alleviate some of the financial burden of child care for families, but Idaho does not offer state-funded preschool programs for 3- to 5-year-olds,” said Beth Oppenheimer, executive director for the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children. “We have a lot of work to do to ensure that every Idaho family has access to affordable, high-quality child care and early learning.”

Here are some additional findings from the 2017 report:

  • An estimated $28.9 billion in wages is lost annually by working families who do not have access to affordable child care and paid family and medical leave. 
  • Adjusted for inflation, U.S. businesses lose approximately $4.4 billion annually due to employee absenteeism as the result of child care breakdowns.
  • Families in the United States are overburdened by the high cost of child care. About 60 percent of funding for child care in the United States comes directly from parents. In comparison, families pay only about 23 percent of the cost of a public college education, with the remainder subsidized by state and federal funds.
  • Providers aren’t paid enough to cover the high costs of child care for their own kids. In every state plus the District of Columbia, the cost of center-based care for two children costs more than half of average child care provider income.
  • 65% of parents’ work schedules are affected by child care challenges an average of 7.5 times over a six-month period.

The nonprofit Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC) is dedicated to advancing Idaho’s early learning profession and advocating for children and families. The organization was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. Learn more at idahoaeyc.org.

Child Care Aware® of America is based in Arlington, Va. The organization’s mission is to advance a child care system that effectively serves all families; supports children’s growth, development and educational advancement; and creates positive economic impact for families and communities. Learn more at usa.childcareaware.org.

Should Idaho Accept the Gift of Technology for 4-year-olds?

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This past week, Superintendent Ybarra brought together education leaders to unveil a proposal that would bring a free technology program to Idaho for all 4-year-olds. The program, called SmartyAnts, was presented as a free product that would provide every 4-year-old in Idaho "early childhood education."

As the executive director of Idaho AEYC, I was invited to the presentation and was able to hear first-hand about the program. Following the presentation, I had the opportunity to speak to Idaho Ed News and share my thoughts. I encourage you to read the article here.

Idaho AEYC would like to remind our members that as your professional association, we are committed to advocating for high-quality, developmentally appropriate early childhood education. We are not interested in supporting a computer based, technology program as Idaho's only solution to early learning.

We would also like to share with you messaging, resources and NAEYC's position statement on Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth to Age 8.

We encourage you to share your thoughts on the use of screen time for our youngest children and the use of technology as the only solution to early childhood education. We are currently collecting comments that we will share on behalf of our members.

In addition, we will be hosting a conference call on Thursday, Dec. 7th at 12:00 noon (MST) with Idaho AEYC members who are interested to discuss an action plan to move forward. Please mark your calendars and will will send out call-in information Monday.

As Idaho AEYC can and will continue to be a voice for you and high quality early childhood education, we also recognize that many of you, as experts in the field need to speak out. We will do everything we can to create opportunities for you to do so.

As always, feel free to contact me at any time.

Thank you for all you do for our youngest children and their families!

Sincerely,

Beth Oppenheimer
Executive Director
boppenheimer@idahoaeyc.org
208.345.1090