Central Montana Works! – 12/16/22

Report Released by TOOTRiS

In a report released by TOOTRiS, comparative data was presented to share with the world what we already know: no state in our nation meets the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ criteria for having “affordable” childcare.

Not one.

For our state, the statistics are as follows:

The average cost of infant early education annually is $9,518.00, which pencils out to $793 per month. The cost for Child Care for a 4-year-old costs $8,365 per year, or $697 a month.

How Affordable is Child Care in Montana?

For a family with two children– a 4-year-old and an infant– would cost the family $17,883 annually for safe and vetted care. That figure comes out to be roughly 48% more than the median cost of rent in our state. So, in this scenario, a Montana family must spend more than 30% of its income on early childhood education.

What is the Income Eligibility Limit for Child Care Assistance?

As of June 2021, the income limit to qualify for assistance was $40,632 (185% of poverty).

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce asserts, “The backbone of a strong U.S. economy is early childhood education.” It is an essential service, on which the social and economic well-being of parents, children, providers, and our community rests. It provides the opportunity for parents to work, to upskill or reskill. It also gives children a nurturing foundation on which to grow, and it ultimately creates a vibrant workforce that helps bolster our economy.

If you want in on the discussion, please reach out.