Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

How Childcare Shortages Undermine Rural Communities

Candy Murnion remembers vividly the event that pushed her to open her first daycare business in Jordan, a town of fewer than 400 residents in a sea of grassland in eastern Montana.

Garfield County’s public health nurse, one of few public health officials serving the town and nearly 5,000 square miles that surround it, had quit because she had given birth to her second child and couldn’t find daycare.

“My primary goal was to give families a safe place to take their children so they could work if they needed to,” said Murnion, 63. She started in 2015 with eight slots, the maximum she could cover...


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