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Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce conducting childcare survey

Missoula Chamber of Commerce.jpg
Posted at 7:05 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 09:29:29-04

MISSOULA — The Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce says child care issues might be worsening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With some parents going back to work -- and an uncertain school future for studentsm -- the Chamber notes childcare options are growing limited.

According to a 2018 Chamber survey, more than 1,000 children in Missoula County were waiting to receive child care.

The Chamber is conducting a similar survey now, including questions about the impact of COVID-19. They want to get as much feedback as possible from parents in Missoula County.

Clint Burson said as some providers have closed their doors amid coronavirus, he expects to see setbacks in progress made since 2018.

"What we've heard is that some providers have stepped back from providing childcare. Whether it was just time for them to retire or the risks with COVID were too difficult or the shutdown and kids being pulled out of their schools made it financially unfeasible."

Burson said it will take a community-wide effort to come up with solutions, and the United Way of Missoula County and the Missoula Economic Partnership are looking at creative options.

The survey is available online here.