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More childcare is on the way in Idaho

Posted at 10:30 AM, Mar 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-29 12:30:07-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Workforce Development Council has partnered with Wonderschool to help start or expand small childcare businesses. The grant has already helped create additional seats for Idaho children with hopes of more applying for the grant, growing that number.

  • In 2024, 20 total projects have created 1,928 additional seats for children.
  • A childcare assessment gap found that over 74,670 children need potential childcare and only 55,850 childcare slots exist in the state.
  • For more information on the grant program and how to apply, click here.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

It's an important part of a child's development.

"Children only have one chance at a childhood they don't get redo's," said Laura Henning, local daycare owner.

That's why quality daycare service is vital to small childcare business owner Laura Henning, but she knows the challenges parents in the Treasure Valley face.

"There just aren't options for childcare right now," said Henning. "So, they are trying to creatively find out how to work from home and split hours or split jobs, it's just really stressful."

That along with inflation.

"Especially if you have more than one child you know the costs have gone up a lot. I mean an immeasurable amount," said Henning.

A new federal grant is hoping to fix those issues. The Idaho Workforce Development Council and Wonder School have partnered to make it easier to start or expand small childcare businesses in Idaho. Something that's a win-win for the Gem state.

"This is a win because we are creating more childcare seats in Idaho so that more people can go to work, but we are also creating businesses in the state," said Wendi Secrist, executive director of the Idaho Workforce Development Council.

The grant has allowed 20 daycare businesses in Idaho to open or expand existing classroom space to offer childcare to close to 2,000 additional children. Henning also has plans for expanding.

"Finding a way to financially afford to make that leap has been really hard for us, so this grant could not be more timely for us," said Henning.