Morningstar Learning Center’s mission is to fill a critical void in Big Sky’s basic community infrastructure by providing accessible, affordable early education childcare services. Currently, Morningstar Learning Center is the only full time daycare or preschool in the community. Big Sky is a resort community, with 5 winter/summer resorts and a large number of second homes, and the high property values that accompany such an area. Accordingly, the cost to live and work in Big Sky is much higher than in other rural Montana communities. The young families who live and work here often work several hourly jobs to make ends meet. There are very few salaried jobs available. Historically, the lack of childcare has forced some young families to move out of the community, threatening the growth and prosperity of our area.
The critical importance of our project to the community cannot be overstated. If you ask any local employer the largest obstacle to their growth, they inevitably reply that hiring good people is the biggest challenge due to the high cost of housing and limited availability of childcare.
Morningstar Learning Center opened in September 2007 and was fully enrolled in approximately three weeks. It has remained full to capacity with a waiting list ever since, dramatically underscoring the desperate need in the community for our services. Morningstar’s 501(c)(3) status allows us to offer our services at the lowest possible cost, by supplementing operating costs with private donations.