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$25 Million in Federal Economic Recovery Cash Available for ID Kids

March 27, 2009

Boise, ID – Two recent federal funding plans will soon send new money to boost organizations that serve Idaho families. The money opportunities come through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Omnibus Appropriations Act, which will allocate about $25 million to Idaho for child care and early education, including Head Start. How that money could help improve and build the state's early education system is the focus today at an Idaho KIDS COUNT workshop.

Economist Judy Brown, with the Idaho Center on Budget and Tax Policy, is presenting the budget scenarios. The cash, she says, would play an important role in helping families in the deteriorating economy.

"It would be stimulus money, not only to create jobs, but at the same time, to improve child care and early childhood education."

The money could be effective in raising the quality of early child care and education, adds Brown, for which Idaho has never earned high marks.

"I just saw a report ranking us worst in the nation, again. We have really been slow out of the gate in improving our early childhood opportunities. So, this is a great opportunity for Idaho."

The money will be available to be used over three years. The cash will come to Idaho through funding formulas and grants. The Idaho KIDS COUNT workshop begins today at 11:30 a.m., at Le Café De Paris basement banquet room in Boise.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID