Montana Public Radio

Mike Halligan

Illustration showing a woman holding an infant while working on a computer.

Child care isn’t easy to find or pay for in Montana. While research shows the lack of affordable child care options has major impacts on the state’s economy and workforce, Montana lawmakers came out of the 2021 legislative session with fundamental disagreements about how to address the problem.

A recent informal survey of Missoula parents highlights some of the biggest ongoing local childcare needs and challenges.

Affordable and easily accessible childcare is just as elusive in Montana as it is everywhere else in America. At a luncheon Tuesday, a Missoula County group called Healthy Start Missoula that’s supported by a federal grant laid out the challenges and offered one potential private-sector solution.

Healthy Start Coordinator, Anna Semple, says parents now have precious few infant childcare options:

The University of Montana campus, Missoula, MT.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Hot on the heels of a recent record-setting financial gift, the University of Montana has announced it’s received another multi-million-dollar award.