HELENA— Business owners, childcare experts and state leaders met in Helena to discuss the challenges working parents face in finding affordable childcare.
According to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Montana ranks 40th in the nation for dependable childcare.
Currently, there are only enough childcare resources to meet 40 percent of the state demand.
Childcare Solutions to Support your Workforce Summit looked at Montana’s early childcare systems and the importance of employers understanding that employees are sometimes forced to quit their careers in order to take care of things at home, leaving them to survive off of one or less income, dependent on said individuals circumstances.
The meeting analyzed how employees being forced to cut back on work in order to look after their children and the economic impact versus opportunity, as well as the successful efforts from Montana businesses and businesses in other states.
Siri Smillie, Education Policy Advisor for Governor Bullock said, “So we know that having access to high-quality childcare is really important to parents and families so that their kids can get a great start in life, but we also know that with work force participation rates higher than ever and unemployment as low as ever, we really need for employers to have access for those employees and when they have to leave the work force because of the cost of child care, or because they can’t afford child care, that’s a detriment to our economy.
If you are a working parent in need of childcare resources, please visiit here.