Jan. 30, 2023 – (Helena, MT) – Zero to Five Montana, Zero to Five Butte-Silver Bow, parents and other early childhood partner organizations will celebrate our state’s youngest children on Feb. 3 during an event at the capitol urging legislators to take action on early childhood issues and Have a Heart for Kids.
Beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, legislators are invited to attend a luncheon in the rotunda where they can meet with Montana parents and organizations and hear first-hand the challenges they are facing when it comes to early childhood access in the state.
A recent poll of Montana voters found:
- 93% agree that childcare costs are burdensome for families
- 89% of respondents agree that when working parents don’t have access to child care it impacts the economy
- 82% of respondents also agree that a lack of child care impacts Montana’s small businesses
- 75% believe the Montana state government should play a role in reducing the cost of child care for families
From the lack of child care to expensive or non-existent early learning options, hardworking Montana families face numerous barriers when it comes to the care and education of their young children and their ability to participate in the workforce.
Montana is one of six states without a public early education option. Currently, 60% of Montana’s 3 & 4-year olds are not enrolled in any school readiness program and many families are spending more than $9,000 per year to access private early education. Early learning opportunities in the year before entering kindergarten help children enter school ready to learn – when children come to school ready to learn, they have increased skills in math, reading, and fewer behavioral problems.
Our goal with Have a Heart for Kids Day is to raise awareness and encourage state lawmakers to invest in our children, and in our future.
ABOUT ZERO TO FIVE MONTANA – Zero to Five Montana is a nonpartisan organization focused on solutions that work toward a Montana dedicated to every child. Our promise is to stabilize, innovate, and build the early childhood system in Montana so all families and communities can thrive.