Missoula rallies for equitable child care in national 'Day Without Child Care'

Skylar Rispens

Local child care providers and advocates joined a nationwide protest on Monday with a gathering in front of the Missoula County Courthouse to call for improved wages and affordable, equitable access to care.

Across the country, many child care workers participated in A Day Without Child Care by going on strike. Most Missoula providers opted against closing their doors.

“I care about these families and I feel for them,” said River Yang, who runs Montessori Plus International. “I couldn’t imagine us closing even for two hours. What would they do?”

Instead, some child care experts like Yang opted to take the day as an opportunity to speak candidly about the challenges their field faces. Wild Wonders Early Learning Program provider BriAnne Morline organized Monday’s rally. 

About 25 people and children attended Missoula’s rally to hear about the impact of child care access from parents, providers and local leaders, who discussed challenges around the high cost of tuition, limited spots for children and staffing woes.

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“We know that the child care system doesn’t work for providers and it doesn’t work for families and it certainly doesn’t work for our economy,”

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