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Hundreds gather across Idaho to support federal funding of childcare

Posted at 5:20 PM, Mar 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-09 14:08:20-05

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Local advocates for childcare funding are raising their voices after state lawmakers chose to stop $36 million in funding to help daycare services in Idaho.

The federal grant money provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) helped childcare services across Idaho during the pandemic. The relief was pulled from the Department of Health and Welfare's fiscal plan for 2024.

Idaho legislature could vote on a supplemental appropriation for the fiscal year 2023 and end the funding as soon as this month. This has many in the daycare industry worried as challenges are expected with a lack of funding.

“All of these other daycares are going to have to raise their prices which is going to be hard for families,” said Carly Lux, Twin Falls local. “At least for my household and all of my friends and family, you need two parents working and childcare is vital.”

One of the main reasons people from all over Idaho are highlighting this issue is because of need for childcare. Many in Idaho are being affected by inflation making families become two-income households. This makes it hard when school is not yet an option for younger children.

“Parents have to work. They can't be home with their kids because they need to pay the bills and so they don’t have to stress because their children are in good hands,” said Ida Miller, local daycare owner.

State lawmakers could forgo the vote and let federal grant money end later this year but speeding up the process could have major impacts on many Idahoan daycares.