Montana's Economy Loses $232 Million annually


Montana ranks 40th in the nation in child care availability.


Science shows the early years of a child’s brain development are the most important. Economics indicate that Investments in early care can yield high returns on investment. Families know that the availability of early care can make or break the financial future of working parents.

Partnerships with the private sector offer the most promising opportunity for innovation and progress.

It matters for businesses.

Insufficient access to affordable high quality child care means fewer parents in the workforce, missed work and lower productivity.

57 % of businesses reported a shortage of affordable childcare options in their community

60 % of businesses feel that childcare should be a priority

30% of businesses said inadequate childcare has impacted their ability to grow


“For American business, high-quality childcare is a smart investment. It supports the workforce of today (parents), while helping lay the strong foundation necessary for success in the future workforce (children). High-quality, affordable childcare is critical to a healthy, prosperous economy.”

– US Chamber Foundation

It matters for families.

Child care costs can be crippling to families forcing them to leave the workforce and their capacity to build their careers and earning capacity for the future of their family.

22% of Montana parents turned down a job, 15% scaled back from full-time to part-time, 12% quit a job due to childcare challenges.

The annual cost for center-based infant care at $12750 is almost double the cost for Montana in-state university tuition.

“My personal experience with affordable childcare was having to choose between maintaining my career at the detriment of our family’s net income or accepting a 5 year resume gap”  


It matters for children.

High quality care provides developmental supports, social- emotional skill- building for school readiness and future success


Cool Timeline


In the first 3 years of life, a child’s brain is the most impressionable, forming more than 1 million new neural connections every second.


Quality early childhood experiences improve life outcomes.


75% of children under five live in homes where both parents work.


Montana businesses lose nearly $55 million dollars annually due to inadequate childcare from reduced revenue due to lower employee productivity and increased employee recruitment costs


When companies provide childcare to their workers, employee absences decrease by up to 30% and job turnover declines by as much as 60%.


When businesses invest in childcare, they see results. Parents who have access to high-quality care are more productive, and businesses that offer childcare and family-friendly policies are better able to attract and retain talent.

Montana Families Lose*

dollars annually - In lost wages.

*families with children ages 0-5

Montana Businesses Lose

dollars annually in employee productivity and turnover.

Montana Taxpayers Lose

dollars annually in reduced tax revenues.

Bureau of Business and Economic Research University of Montana Lost Possibilities: The Impacts of Inadequate Child Care on Montana’s Families, Employers and Econom Sponsored by Federal Reserve Bank Minneapolis


“The Impacts of Inadequate Child Care on Montana’s Families, Employers and Economy”

— Bureau of Business and Economic Research University of Montana, Missoula

Sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis September 2020

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