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Idaho Businesses Look at the Business of Early Childhood Education

March 10, 2008

Boise, ID – Idaho businesses are taking a hard look at a topic that's been hard for the Idaho Legislature to tackle: establishing state-sponsored, quality early childhood education programs. Company leaders are putting together a position paper on what they see as the importance of helping kids get an early start on learning.

Diana Duskett with the Idaho Association for the Education for Young Children says a voluntary rating system to help parents make childcare choices would be a good place to start.

"It's something the state could really get behind, because they're helping with quality childcare without having to put down that rule of licensing."

Duskett believes a rating system also would provide an incentive for those who operate childcare centers to improve their service, which is something her group is already trying to accomplish.

"We offer scholarships for training, and education, to go back to school, or mentoring. We try our best to help them."

Several state lawmakers have said they don't want to set childcare regulations because it would encourage parents to use childcare, when they believe children should stay home with their mothers. A bill to require basic health and safety requirements for childcare centers died in the Legislature this year. Another bill, that would use tobacco money to pay for some public pre-Kindergarten classes, will be considered next session.



Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - ID