Child Care Gaps in Rural America Threaten to Undercut Small Communities

Candy Murnion opened a day care in Jordan, Montana, when the local public health nurse quit due to lack of child care. The program expanded during the pandemic with federal aid but faces uncertainty as funding ends. Research shows rural areas have fewer child care options than urban areas, which affects workforce participation and economic stability. The Biden administration requested $16 billion for child care programs, but it’s uncertain if Congress will approve it. In the meantime, state and local governments are taking steps to address the issue with legislation and funding. Candy Murnion charges $30 a day for one child and receives no paycheck from her business.

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