It’s critical, especially during this pandemic, that we focus on ensuring that children receive a quality education. Early childhood education is especially important and can be of huge benefit to both parents and students. Idaho has the opportunity to improve upon the ability of their schools to offer early childhood education to families. They will do so using the $6 million pre-school federal grant they were awarded.
The Idaho Association for Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC) and the State Board of Education was awarded this grant. The grant will go towards pursuing Governor Brad Little goal of pre-kindergarten literacy.
There are several benefits to quality early childhood education, including:
- Improved social skills
- Better performance in grade school
- Improved overall attention spans
- Enthusiasm for learning later on
This points to a unique opportunity for states to invest in their early childhood or preschool infrastructure. But not all states do this well, or at all. Idaho actually ranks close to the bottom of the pack when it comes to investment into early childhood education. 68 percent of Idaho’s 3- and 4-year-olds are not attending preschool.
Here’s what this grant will go towards:
The grants will expand efforts to engage the groups of people needed to make this initiative a success. This includes parents, early childhood educators, and schools themselves to bring together a “mixed-delivery system” for parents with children from birth-five years to improve pre-kindergarten literacy rates.
Here’s what governor Little had to say about this grant award:
Literacy continues to be my top priority in education, and this resource ensures our youngest children have improved opportunities to stay on track with their reading, so they are ready for school.”
This initiative would better prepare students when they start school officially.
Can Idaho Help Improve Pre-Kindergarten Literacy?
This literacy initiative is a major focus of Governor Little. A $3 million grant last year went towards assessing the needs of Idaho’s families. The grant provided a need-assessment and looked at the education gaps.
And now Idaho will work to fill those gaps with actual workable solutions.
Every community throughout Idaho is unique, and the approach to investing in early learning must meet the needs of all Idahoans,” said Beth Oppenheimer, the executive director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, in a news release. “By understanding the different choices and options that work for our families, we are better positioned to improve early learning outcomes and options that best fit each community’s needs.”
Focusing on the unique needs of Idaho’s residents and families is good. It means that more will benefit from this initiative overall. We love seeing unique programs like the one in Idaho here at GrantWatch. Childhood education is essential to ensuring that literacy rates improve everywhere. That’s why we are proud to list Early Childhood Education grants.