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.
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.
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.
In recent years, a number of Idaho’s policymakers have been wrapped up in the notion that preschool does not work. These claims have relied heavily on a much-cited 2015 study of Tennessee’s voluntary pre-K program by Vanderbilt University researchers.
Genii Reber is a junior at Boise State University pursuing a degree in multidisciplinary studies with an emphasis on early childhood intervention. She is the recipient of an IdahoSTARS academic scholarship.
A divided Congress should not influence lawmakers’ ability to pass meaningful legislation supporting high-quality early childhood education, according to a new bipartisan poll commissioned by the First Five Years Fund. The national results align with findings from an Idaho poll released last year.
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.
The Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children on Wednesday launched Preschool the Idaho Way, a new project that aims to develop high-quality, affordable preschool opportunities for families by equipping Idahoans with the tools and resources they need to create local solutions.
Child care programs are greeting new families, preschool and kindergarten classes are seeing first-time students, and elementary schools are welcoming back familiar faces. As our children and families enter a new year of growth, our early childhood teachers remain a steady force through it all.