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Gov. Otter Proclaims “Week of the Young Child” Today

April 14, 2008

Boise, ID – It's all about the kids this week in Idaho. Gov. Butch Otter signs a proclamation this morning designating April 14-20 the "Week of the Young Child." The focus is on childhood development, both physical and emotional, and on those who take care of the state's youngest citizens, whether they are parents or caregivers.

Brenda Breidinger with Idaho STARS, the state training and resource program for child care professionals and early childhood education programs, has visited child care providers throughout the state. She says, in almost every case, the business was started by parents. Whether or not they have had early childhood development training, she adds, training is available for them.

"I've seen some absolutely fabulous programs; and then I've seen some programs with providers who want to do a good job, but they just don't know where to go or what to do."

She says all children deserve high-quality early learning experiences from their child care provider, because it affects them for life.

"The concern is that a lot of people don't have the skills and knowledge, and the educational background, to do the things that would really help children reach their fullest potential."

She says Idaho has been reluctant to set child care standards, although legislation that businesses helped to create is expected next year. Some Idaho lawmakers have said they don't want to regulate child care because it encourages parents to use it, when they feel the best place for kids is at home with their mothers. However, Breidinger points out, most Idaho mothers of children under the age of five go to work each day outside the home.

Some "Week of the Young Child" events will recognize those who have "gone above and beyond" to ensure Idaho's next generation gets its best possible start. More information about Idaho STARS is available online, at

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - ID