GREAT FALLS — According to the Great Falls Development Authority, there are fewer childcare options now due to COVID-19 restrictions, and parents and employers need more childcare options to return to work and/or achieve previous productivity levels.
Nikki Davalos, owner of Adventure Awaits, says there has always been a problem with not enough childcare in Great Falls: "I feel like we have always had a really big need. I have never had a problem getting children, we have always had a lot of children in our community that needed care during the summer during different times. What I think has happened this time is that it's become more of a need because so many people have shifted plans."
Family Connections has been working with the GFDA to help find solutions. Heather McCartney-Duty, outreach consumer education specialist with Family Connections, said, "If presented with the opportunity to serve 8 to 10 hours of care for children, they thought that would work well for their business. We then discovered providing meals for that because they are not a traditional childcare faculty, but providing meals was a challenge. Great Falls Public School food service stepped up right away to offer meals service through their traditional meals summer programs."
They say that if you want to start a childcare business, now is the time to do it - especially for times available on the weekends or overnight.