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Documentary on Idaho Childcare Wins Three National Awards

September 2, 2008

Boise, ID – "Investing in Idaho," a documentary film about childcare in the Gem State, has won recognition with three national awards.

Co-writer and director Charlie Chapin, of California-based Moonshadow Productions, says the awards give credibility to the film's goal of helping parents, care providers, educators and legislators understand that quality early childcare is important for the next generation - and for the state economy.

Chapin says that, while he found some great children's programs around the state, it wasn't all positive.

"What shocked me was the lack of uniform regulations from one community to the next, and how that creates a gap through which children can be harmed."

For Chapin, the most shocking finding was that child molesters could potentially work in childcare centers, because there is no required background check for most providers. He believes there's support throughout the state for doing what's best for kids, however. As he drove around Idaho, he recalls seeing signs at city entrance points, saying how 'children are first' in those communities.

"But the regulations and laws that would be designed to protect those children are clearly not at the forefront of the minds of legislators."

The Idaho Legislature has been reluctant to take up standards and regulation for childcare – with some legislators saying the best place for children is at home with their mothers. The Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children co-wrote and produced the film and is hoping the director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare will soon hold a screening.

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - ID