Fifteen communities across the state are set to receive grant funding through the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children’s Preschool the Idaho Way project, the first step in expanding access to high-quality preschool opportunities for Idaho families.
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.
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.
Communities across the state will come together April 8 to 12 to recognize our youngest Idahoans and everyone who makes a difference in their lives. The local Week of the Young Child celebrations are part of a national effort to raise awareness about the unique needs of young learners.
Idaho Gives is just around the corner, and this year we want to share your stories! Do you still have fond memories of an adult who cared for you and educated you as a child? Is there an amazing early educator in your child’s life? We want to hear about it!
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.
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.