Great Falls police are investigating after an infant died at a daycare facility over the weekend; as of Wednesday afternoon, no details have been released about the death.
In light of the death, Family Connections in Great Falls is trying to educate people, especially parents, about available childcare resources.
When Family Connections marketing director Lori Cereck learned about the tragic death of the infant, she contacted KRTV.
"Really what we want to do is be a resource for families, to let them know that we are here for them. We have free referrals to licensed childcare facilities at no charge to the families,” said Cereck. "We also have scholarships to help families pay for childcare and then we help childcare providers become licensed with the training and professional development that they need. Things like CPR and first aid."
Cereck said the daycare in question operates on a drop-in, or as-needed, basis, but she didn't know enough about it to know if it was operating without a license.
Family Connections has a program that can help people who want to provide childcare but who do not have a license. "Say someone does work those non-traditional hours or they live in a rural area where there isn't a licensed childcare provider and yet, they have a friend or family member who's willing to watch their child,” Cereck said. "We can do the background check. on not only that person but everyone in the household, get them some CPR and first aid and some basic child development."
Family Connections director Kim Stull said there's no telling how many unlicensed childcare facilities there are in Montana. While she recommends always sending your child to a licensed provider, that may be easier said than done. "There's a need for childcare in the state of Montana, but there's especially a need in Great Falls and the surrounding areas. Parents are just desperate, especially for infant care but also odd-hour care,” Still explained.
Click here to read a guide for choosing a daycare facility/provider (PDF).
For more information, call Family Connections at 406.761.6010, or click here to visit their website.
We will update you if we get more information about the child's death.