State funding for pre-Kindergarten is an opportunity to strengthen our state’s economy and help Montana’s hard working families.
The cost of high-quality child care is a significant obstacle for many working families. Many parents face frustrating choices: pay an excessive portion of their income in child care costs, choose lower-quality care, or quit their jobs. For families working hard to build an economically secure future, none of these choices are good options. Due to the steep cost of child care and incomes lower than the national average, Montana is ranked the 11th least affordable state for child care in the nation.
Quality, state-funded pre-K programs can help offset some of the child care costs that Montana families struggle to afford. Today, Montana is one of only eight states that does not provide any state funding to help pay for pre-K classroom programs. With child care for one four year old costing 13% of the average Montana family’s income, child care costs are a significant struggle for many families. State funding for quality pre-K programs could help offset some of these costs, improving the lives of our families and children.