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Blaine County School District

Students serve themselves at a salad bar in Blaine County School District.

Blaine schools seek food company

HAILEY — The Blaine County School District is requesting proposals for a fixed-price contract with a food service management company.

Trustees are looking for a company “to provide nutritious, high-quality meals to all students including those who participate in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program and Summer Food Service Program,” the school district said in a statement Monday.

About 279,000 meals are served each school year in the Blaine County School District.

The Blaine County school board approved a Request for Proposal earlier this month that was previously approved by the Idaho State Department of Education, according to the statement.

“We’ve heard from the public over the past four years regarding their desire for increased quality while maintaining high nutritional standards required by the federal government,” Blaine County School District Superintendent GwenCarol Holmes said in a statement.

The Request for Proposal for food service management can be viewed on the school district’s website: blaineschools.org.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 2 p.m. Jan. 16. The school board will consider proposals during a meeting Feb. 12 and the anticipated contract award date will be Feb. 15.

Report outlines Idaho child care costs

TWIN FALLS — A new nationwide report shows Idaho’s childcare expenses are high but less than most surrounding western U.S. states.

The report, “The U.S. and the High Cost of Child Care,” was released Oct. 22 by Child Care Aware of America.

“Working families across Idaho understand that high-quality child care is currently neither accessible nor affordable,” Beth Oppenheimer, executive director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, said in a statement Monday. “Too many are forced to choose between putting food on the table and having a safe, nurturing place for their child to learn and grow. That needs to change.”

The average annual cost of infant care in Idaho ranges from $6,264 for home-based care to nearly $7,300 for center-based care. For two children, costs can reach about $13,600 each year.

That compares with an average yearly public university tuition of $7,250 and an average annual mortgage payment of $14,148, according to Idaho AEYC.

An average single parent in Idaho must spend about a third of their income to pay for center-based infant care. Married parents who have two children and are living at the poverty line pay 55 percent of their household income for center-based care.

An Idaho childcare worker has an average annual income of 19,550, and 69.5 percent of that would be needed to cover child care for their own two children.

To read the full report, visit usa.childcareaware.org/costofcare.

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