North Idaho Early Learning Collaborative

Do you believe in high quality childcare and want to make a difference in your community?  

Join the North Idaho Early Learning Collaborative!  

The North Idaho Early Learning Collaborative is a group of stakeholders in our community who are stepping up to pool resources to build up child care quality and accessibility for families in Kootenai and Bonner counties. We work every day to expand our network to help every family in our community. 

Within our collaborative, our ultimate goal is to expand access to quality, affordable child care to working families in our community. This allows them to return to work and know their children are being cared for in a safe, enhanced environment centered in early learning. We are accomplishing this through: 

  • Child care scholarships- built from community development BLOC grants, private donations, Health & Welfare grants- totaling $100,000 
  • Giving grants for quality improvements for providers 
  • Building a business alliance of family friendly local companies


Interested in joining? Fill out this quick survey and we will connect with you! 

Current participants ELC Participant Survey.


Our Core Beliefs


Anyone! Our collaborative includes Early Head Start, Head Start, North Idaho College, University of Idaho, local businesses, local Chambers of Commerce, child care providers, parents, and more. Our goal is to create a diverse group of individuals with a common goal: to improve early learning in our community. 

Our collaborative meets the second Tuesday of each month from 4:30- 5:30 pm via Zoom. There may be additional meetings and email requests based on your level of involvement in the collaborative. In compensation for your time, stipends are provided. For your participation in 85% or more meetings, you can receive a stipend of $1,500 for the 2022 calendar year.

The Strategic Plan includes a detailed description of Idaho’s vision, mission, and guiding principles that inform four key goals, 13 objectives, and 53 strategies to improve early care and education. This plan provides a road map for ELC’s to follow in developing community strategic plans and provides the foundation to build a better- connected early childhood system to prepare all Idaho children for a successful start in school and in life. Read the plan here.

This strategic plan is adapted from the state strategic plan, but specialized to our needs here in North Idaho. This plan includes specific strategies and goals to address identified needs in North Idaho.

Interested in joining? Fill out this quick survey and we will connect with you! 

Current participants ELC Participant Survey.

Still have questions? Email or call Shelby Walsh (208) 667-8112 ext 103