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Trend: More Idaho kids live in ‘unreliable income’ households

New statistics from an Idaho non-profit show a troubling trend for Idaho kids.

The number of Gem State kids living in households where income is unstable or unreliable is on the rise.

“We worry about falling into that category,” said Idaho Falls mom Reanna Schmall on Wednesday.

She folded laundry Wednesday evening while her son William plays hide-and-seek behind the couch in their living room.

“I think everybody should worry about falling into it, it’s just not an option for me and my family,” she said.

The category that’s not an option for Schmall is becoming more common across Idaho.

According to Idaho Kids Count, an increasing percentage of Idaho children live in households where neither parent can report having reliable income.

In 2008, 26-percent said they were in that boat.

In 2010, 31 percent said income uncertainty is a daily battle.

“Children who experience poverty are less likely to read at grade level, or graduate from high school, so it affects their chances of having a productive future,” said Idaho Kids Count director Lauren Necochea.

Idaho Kids Count compiles data to paint a picture of issues facing Idaho kids. Necochea said the trend means trouble for tomorrow.

That’s why said said she does whatever it takes to make sure she keeps her kids heads above water.

“There’s just something instilled in us that we’re trying to instill in our children that you don’t just stop, you don’t just stop trying,” said Schmall.

Necochea said there are ways any parent, no matter what their economic strain, can do to keep their kids learning:

Simple steps include:
Taking your kids to the library often and reading to your kids every single night.

Families who feel they need assistance can dial 211 to be connected with resources to determine what, if any, kind of assistance their family may qualify for.

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