Missoula Parks and Recreation has received grants from the Montana Coronavirus Relief Fund for reduced cost child care through the end of the year.

Director Donna Gauckler has details.

“The program is part of the Montana COVID relief fund Cares Grants through the state of Montana focused on child care,” said Gauckler. “We know that one of the greatest challenges for people returning to work or staying at work has been finding reliable childcare, especially with the irregular school schedule during the COVID 19 pandemic.”

Gauckler said the child care infrastructure is ready to start right away.

“So what the state has done is they've made available grants to quickly set up childcare programs that meet the needs of our working families and essential workers,” she said. “Parks and Recreation is a recipient of two grants both in the amount of $480,000 based in two different sites, one is the Lowell Elementary School, Westside Park site, and the other is what we'll be calling the Missoula Parks and Recreation Base Camp.”

Gauckler provided details of the grant and the child care.

“ It’s for 120 children per day per site, we certainly hope families will take advantage,
“ she said. “The daily fee is based on our direct costs and the reductions are substantial. It immediately goes to a 50% reduction, recognizing that most of these families are incurring costs that they don't normally incur, and then we do have programs on a sliding scale so that no family will be turned away. We want to help those that are most in need.”

Gauckler provides details on how to register for the low-cost child care.

“They can go online to Missoula parks.org,” she said. “We do have a qualifying form, so that you can be acknowledged for that 50% off all the way down to almost nothing, literally, and or nothing if that's all you have, and you can go to Missoula Parks dot org or call 721 PARK.”

The Missoula City Council will hold a vote on the issue at its ZOOM meeting on Monday night.

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