Montana ranks 40th in the nation in child care availability.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
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.
Montana is one of only 5 states that does not meet even half the potential need for childcare. A lack of quality, affordable childcare often prevents parents of young children from entering and/or returning to the workplace. As labor markets tighten, the availability of early care programs will impact whether Montana businesses can grow and thrive.
“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.
Cost of childcare in Montana is, on average, higher than the cost of in-state college tuition. This puts high-quality care out of reach for many families.
“…childcare is early education, regardless of the building it occurs in or what we call it. The question is only whether it’s advancing or impeding children’s learning.”
– US Chamber of Commerce
It matters for children.
Studies show that 90% of a child’s brain development happens between the ages of 0 and 5. Research has demonstrated that nurturing relationships and rich experiences in the earliest years help children develop initiative, problem-solving, creative thinking, and team building skills. These competencies are critical to success in school, and later in the workplace and the broader community.
DID YOU KNOW?
of Montana children have all their available parents in the workforce
– Early Childhood Workforce Index 2018, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California, Berkeley