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Idaho facing child care crises

Idaho facing child care crises

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Ensuring our children receive an education is becoming an uphill struggle for parents in Idaho.

According to the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC), the Idaho Child Care System is on the Verge of Collapse.

"Idaho's child care system, which is a network of small privately owned and operated businesses, has really been hit hard by COVID. The core of their difficulty is a roller coaster that they're facing when it comes to enrollment and their revenue," said Martin Balben, AEYC Children Project Director.

We spoke with the Brittney Burr office manager/director of Happy Orchard Daycare, in Idaho Falls who tells us, while their operation is still meeting the community's demand, they still feel the massive impact of the child care crises.

"During the start of the whole COVID thing we lost a lot of students. We had to cut back on teachers because a lot of parents had to quarantine. So, the funds made available to pay teachers was hard when our tuition was cut," said Burr.

As more parents are heading back to work some kids are still unable to return to school.

The sudden lack in need for child care services is now in high demand.

"For children who can't go to school, we had to pick up the slack for those teachers and that was a big struggle. This upcoming school year makes me nervous because we didn't receive any additional funding from the state, or school districts or anything like that, but we were doing more than half the work," said Burr.

Tuesday afternoon a meeting was held by the Idaho AEYC, along with the Idaho Association of Commerce Industry, and partners to offer recommendations to resolve the issue.

Burr and the those who took part in the meeting tells us they hope this meeting will bring more attention to the issue.

We are told the Idaho state government has just released a second wave of grants to help stabilize the child care revenue. 

The Idaho AEYC is currently looking into the federal government's response in the next COVID-19 relief funding to help support the child care effort.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Ariel Schroeder

Ariel is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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