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Vacant school building being remodeled for child care

January 16, 2020 GMT

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A vacant school building in Missoula is being remodeled into a child care facility, the Missoula Early Learning Center announced.

The center has signed an agreement to lease part of the vacant Cold Springs Elementary school, co-owner Mark Roberts said Wednesday. They plan to renovate 14 classrooms along with the cafeteria and library and be open this fall, the Missoulian reports.

The new facility will have a staff of 55 and will accept kids from 6 weeks old to preschool age, he said. It will create up to 120 new openings for child care, including between 48 and 60 infant slots. They also hope to have 40 kids enrolled in an after-school program, Roberts said.

The cost child care at the new facility will be $850 per month for full-day care.

A survey by the Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce found a lack of affordable child care prevented many women with young children from working. The average cost of child care in Missoula is $637 per month, with higher rates for infants, the survey found.