United Way Opinion on Full Day Kindergarten for Idaho

The Idaho Legislature is currently considering proposals that would help provide full-day kindergarten options for local communities across the state.  United Way has helped support full-day early learning programs in many communities in Idaho and the results are win-win-win.

Idaho’s children win by having access to high-quality learning designed specifically to give them the skills and tools to read, work with numbers and interact with others.  All things every child needs to go on to their most successful self in life and career.

Idaho’s working parents in large and small communities win by having additional options for young children during the day that matches schedules of older children in the household.

Idaho’s communities win when our children have a strong, rich start in life which sets them up to be capable employees, homeowners and community leaders when they grow up.

United Way’s ALICE data (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed  www.unitedforalice.org) tells us that 40% of Idahoans are struggling to make ends meet each month. The numbers in some Idaho Counties are even higher. Our neighbors are working hard, but the cost of housing, food, health services, transportation is rising faster than their income.  When households struggle, the young people in those households also struggle.  Expanding learning opportunities through the expansion to full-day kindergarten will provide direct and immediate benefit to many, many Idaho families.

We can improve the educational landscape in Idaho for our young learners.  Making full-day kindergarten accessible to all Idaho children, no matter where they live or their parents ability to pay is win-win-win. 

Raise your hand and share your voice.  Let your local Legislator know you support full-day kindergarten.

Nora Carpenter, President

United Way of Treasure Valley