Policy Strategies & Innovations Link copied!

Innovation Name Innovation Type Innovation Subtype Features at a Glance Strategy Summary
Child Care Expansion Grants Expansion Physical Space and Facilities

One-time funding

In 2022, the Idaho Legislature approved $15 million in one-time American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for grants to create more seats in high-quality child care facilities and offset start-up costs for child care businesses and providers that want to expand. An additional $15M is requested in the FY24 budget for the WDC to continue funding the expansion of child care. The Workforce Development Council (WDC) administers the grants to the organizations administering child care. The program permits grant recipients to use the funds for needs such as facility updates, staffing, and/or renovation of buildings; any project that exceeds $1 million in capital expenditures requires additional written justification under the ARPA program. The return on investment is measured by the total number of child care seats available two years after the contract’s end date.

Learn More: Idaho's Child Care Expansion Grants

Idaho Workforce Development Council. (n.d.). Child Care Expansion Grants.
Idaho Workforce Development Council. (2021). Child Care Expansion Grant Policy.

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Demographic Link copied!

State population

1,939,033 Source U.S. Census, 2022

Rural %

30.8% Source U.S. Census, 2020

Urban %

69.2% Source U.S. Census, 2020

Number of children age 0-4

114,324 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Poverty levels – children 0-8 below 200% poverty

41% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Median family income among households with children

$80,600.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Unemployment rate

2.9% Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2022

Unemployment rate of parents

3% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force

56% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Children living in households with a high housing cost burden

22% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

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Child population by race and ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Race and Ethnicity

  • American Indian and Alaska Native (1%)
  • Asian (1%)
  • Black or African American (1%)
  • Hispanic or Latino (19%)
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (0.49%)
  • Two or More Races (4%)
  • White, not Hispanic or Latino (74%)
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Political Landscape Link copied!

Source: Ballotpedia 2023

Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!

Public pre-K program name

N/A Source: NIEER 2023

Universal or targeted pre-K policy

N/A Source: NIEER 2023

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Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023


  • 3-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (0%)
  • 3-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (5%)
  • Other/none (95%)
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Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023


  • 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (0%)
  • 4-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (7%)
  • Other/none (93%)
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Workforce Link copied!

2017 – 2019 Wages (hourly) Source CSCCE 2018, 2020


  • Child care workers
  • Preschool teachers
  • Preschool or child care center directors
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Funding Sources Link copied!

Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in millions) Source First Five Years Fund, 2022

Funding source

  • Head Start and Early Head Start Funding ($46.9)
  • CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($45.4)
  • CCDBG State Match ($3.1)
  • CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations – CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($303.5)
  • MIECHV ($3.0)
  • IDEA Part C ($3.8)
  • IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($3.4)
  • TANF Early Learning and Care Expenditures ($12.5)
  • Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five ($7.8)
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Funding acronyms: CCDBG: Child Care and Development Block Grant; CARES Act: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act; CRRSE Act: Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations; ARPA: American Rescue Plan Act; CCDF: Child Care and Development Fund; MIECHV: Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program; IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

The COVID Funding Cliff

All federal COVID relief allocations, including funding authorized by the CARES, CRRSE, and ARPA bills, must be fully spent by September 2024. An analysis from the Century Foundation shows this loss of funds could cause more than 3 million children to lose access to child care nationwide – including nearly 16,000 children in Idaho.