Child Care

St. Luke’s Health System

With record breaking numbers of new COVID-19 cases and fatalities, Idaho is in the worst phase of the pandemic so far. The coronavirus is having an effect on all aspects of life. Even if you or your loved ones never get sick with COVID, there's no way to avoid the economic, political and public health effects in Idaho. 

Researchers recently investigated three outbreaks of COVID-19 at child care centers in Salt Lake City. Their findings are helping to fill a knowledge gap on how younger children might spread the virus.

Two of the outbreaks started after staff came to work while their sick relatives were experiencing COVID-19 symptoms at home. In the third outbreak, it’s unclear who brought it in, but in the end children in that particular outbreak seemed to have passed the virus to at least five people at home, including a parent who had to be hospitalized.


The group’s childcare program was originally created to ease the burden on healthcare professionals. Now, the free service for kids enrolled in kindergarten through 6th grade is available for all frontline workers thanks to a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting every aspect of our nation, state and economy. It’s also exposing shortcomings and inequalities in job security, health care access, and now, childcare. 

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman


Idaho loses close to $500 million annually because of child care issues, according to a new U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation report.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho may soon be out of compliance with federal daycare standards after state lawmakers rejected a bill that would’ve required more training for childcare workers.

The Giraffe Laugh daycare facilities in Boise provide "early care and education to young children by ensuring school readiness, empowering families and building strong futures" and refuse to see economic status as an obstacle to quality child care. Giraffe Laugh joins us to discuss the importance of early childhood education and how to make it available to everyone.

  • Giraffe Laugh provides affordable child care for low-income Boiseans.
  • Canopy Watch lets you climb through the trees like a squirrel.
  • Boise Weekly film critic George Prentice reviews the Toronto International Film Festival.


The average cost of childcare in Idaho in 2017 was just above $7,000 a year and the price of care will increase with the population of the Treasure Valley. Idaho Matters discusses the burden childcare costs place on Idaho's working families and efforts to bring down those costs.

On The Thursday, June 7, 2018 Edition Of Idaho Matters:

Jun 6, 2018

  • The state of the state's educational funding.
  • Efforts to draw down the cost of childcare.
  • Idaho surpasses Oregon to become #2 producer of hops.
  • Folk music legends The Kingston Trio visit the Treasure Valley.

On The Wednesday, May 9, 2018 Edition Of Idaho Matters:

May 8, 2018

Idaho worst in country for working mothers . . . two more gubernatorial candidates sound off . . . and bicycling in Boise . . . 

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Numbers from the Economic Policy Institute show that the average Idaho family spends about $7,200 a year for infant child care and $6,900 a year for preschool-aged children. The Idaho Statesman reports that's more than a year's tuition at a public college.

Katy Lightfield told the Boise newspaper that she and her husband expected the $30,000 pay cut they took when they moved from Texas to Idaho. But they were surprised to find that child care costs are the same between the two states.