SCCD looks for childcare solutions

The lack of affordable child care is one of many reasons some residents remain unemployed and disengaged from the workforce. If you can find a childcare provider in Sanders County, the cost of care, plus mileage, hardly makes finding employment worth the effort. Combined with the regulation, insurance, and general operations cost of running a childcare facility, it’s no wonder many rural communities struggle with affordable childcare availability. However, it would appear that crisis has once again been the mother of invention and some communities are looking outside the box to find solutions. SCCD is all about “outside the box” solutions so we recently reached out to Zero to Five to learn more about what other communities around Montana are doing in order to address their childcare concerns.

According to their website, Zero to Five Montana is a statewide early childhood organization focused on increasing access to early care and education, supporting and strengthening families, uplifting voices, and empowering small businesses and communities. SCCD spoke with Zero to Five at length about local demographics and labor force participation. Come to learn that Sanders County is not an island and nearly every rural community in Montana is suffering from a lack of affordable childcare. Through workshops and cohort-creating initiatives, Zero to Five is empowering these communities to create custom-designed locally driven solutions that are achievable and sustainable.

The first step in this process is to better understand the need and current state of childcare accessibility in Sanders County. To that end, Zero to Five has produced a Sanders County report highlighting the current demand for childcare and what gaps need to be addressed to satisfy the demand.

You can find a copy of the report here. Feel free to reach out to SCCD if you have any questions on the report or would like to be a part of creating childcare solutions in Sanders County.

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Thompson Falls, MT 59873