Over the past several months the Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce has been looking at the issue of Child Care as it relates to the Missoula workforce. We have heard from many businesses throughout the community that when they ask their workers about the biggest challenges, child care is regularly listed at or near the top.
Access to quality and affordable child care is an important issue for many parents. The cost for full-time child care can take up a significant portion of a parent's paycheck. That leads to many parents exiting the workforce to stay home and look after their children. With low levels of unemployment, businesses are looking for ways to better support their employees and encourage them to return to work.
Recently, the Chamber hosted several representatives from some of Missoula's top employers to share the work that has been taking place. They heard about the costs of expanding an existing facility and what the cost would be for a business to reserve spots for their employees. That private-sector subsidy would help offset the construction costs and allow the child care center to keep tuition costs stable for parents.
The meeting gave business leaders a chance to offer their feedback and ask questions about the plan. The Chamber is so thankful for all those who were able to attend for giving their time and thoughts on this important community issue. As an organization, we're always looking to address important workforce issues. If you have any questions or would like to be a part of future child care and workforce discussions, please contact us at the Chamber.
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