February 2023

It is a new year and with it comes so much hope and excitement for the coming months. While we have so much hope, thanks to many of you, we are also worried about the future of childcare in Idaho. There have been multiple reports that have come out lately talking about the unstable footing and the workforce issues of our industry.

The ARPA dollars that were dedicated to childcare by the Federal Government are still available to help provide stable childcare settings all across our state by providing two things: grants for sustainability and wage enhancement grants for teachers. These grants have been invaluable in stabilizing our workforce at Giraffe Laugh, and we know that the same goes for many other providers that are participating all around the state. Here is an overview of the issues.

Unfortunately those dollars are set to expire by the end of June, if not before. At that time, our workforce will potentially be decimated due to decreased wages for each teacher. It is our hope that the funding continues as it is currently written into the Health and Welfare Budget for the coming year.

Please contact your representatives, both from the house and the senate, to let them know that the dollars are critical to the childcare industry staying afloat and our workforce remaining strong. If and when the dollars stop coming in, it is expected that up to 70% of teachers currently working in childcare will seek other positions.

The average annual cost of housing in Idaho is $15,744. The average cost of childcare is $16,567. Can parents pay more? Likely not. Can teachers earn less? Absolutely not.

To learn more about Giraffe Laugh, visit https://www.giraffelaugh.org/about/.

Learn More About Giraffe Laugh!

We can see the future from here!

Giraffe Laugh is a local nonprofit that provides early childhood education and nurturing to 170 Treasure Valley children annually by ensuring school readiness, empowering families, and building strong futures.

Giraffe Laugh has two full-time programs that serve children 0-5 years old, a full-time preschool program that serves children 3.5-5 years old, and a summer program that serves children that are of school-age.