Program Helps Workers Afford Their Own Child Care in Montana
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Moms and dads all over Montana are deeply concerned about the increasing costs of child care, but the people who provide that care often need help in paying their own child care costs.
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, along with Montana Governor Greg Gianforte just announced a new program to help ensure that child care providers have funding to pay for their own child care.
Child Care Workers need help with Their Own Child Care Costs
KGVO News spoke with Tracy Moseman, Early Childhood and Family Support Division Administrator with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
“As part of our preschool development birth-to-five grant, we have a real opportunity to try some innovative strategies to support the workforce in the area of childcare,” began Moseman. We know that in order to increase slots for childcare capacity across the state, part of what needs to happen is we need to increase the number of people that are actually working in the industry.”
Moseman stated the obvious dilemma facing those who provide child care.
Child Care Workers Face a Child Care Dilemma of their Own
“We know that there are people out there that potentially would be fabulous employees in the industry, but due to their own childcare needs may be precluded from joining the workforce,” she said. “That’s why this is an opportunity for us as a state to try a pilot to incentivize for employees the opportunity for them to have a childcare slot paid for, in part through the preschool development grant, to allow their own child to be in the childcare facility where they're working.”
Moseman said this pilot program will hopefully pave the way for permanent assistance to keep child care workers on the job without worrying about how to afford their own child care costs.
Officials Hope to Make the Pilot Program Permanent
“Once we run this pilot and have some data to determine the effectiveness, then that really will help us determine future program planning and our ability to work with potentially the federal government on our state childcare plan to see if there's an opportunity for us to be able to maintain this beyond the grant funding,” she said. “So that's really our intention is to figure out a way to sustain this beyond the grant funding and make this a permanent workforce support in Montana.”
The pilot program is made available through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Care Worker Child Care Scholarship Program, specifically for parents who are also a staff member working at a licensed, registered child care facility.
The governor and the director of Montana’s DPHHS announced the funding as part of the Montana Bright Futures project.
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