If childcare can cost more than tuition at the University of Montana, and a family has two or more children that require care, they have a crisis that could last many years.

That's was the essence of 'The State of the Young Child' seminar at the Hilton Garden Inn on Tuesday, with speakers from Missoula and across the state discussing the challenges of finding and paying for quality child care, according to Kelly Rosenleaf, Director of Childcare Resources.

"Many moms use family, friends and neighbors and many use facilities they don't prefer because the better quality facilities often have long waiting lists," Rosenleaf said. "Some families decide to stay home or piece together this grandma and that family member on different days, while others who are really well organized will make a plan, get on the waiting list, and then have a child. Plus, if there is an opening, in order to obtain it, you have to pay for it whether you've had that baby or not."

One of the featured presenters was Susie Lalich, from Livingston, Montana, Human Resources Director at Printing For Less.

"We grew from five employees to over 200 employees in about five years," Lalich said. "Our human resources director at the time had a predicament when she had a baby back in 2003, and she couldn't find any care where she was living, so, she put a proposal together for our CEO on starting up our own on-site childcare center,"

Lalich said the center now has five full-time childcare employees, but the parents stay in close contact with their children throughout the work day.

"Parents drop their children off like they would normally, however they then go to work downstairs," she said. "They're within a few yards of their child, they can come up throughout the day, have lunch with them, put them down for a nap, play and interact with them on the playground, and they're confident that the care their child is receiving is top-notch."

Get more details by visiting the Child Care Resources website. 

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