Missoula child care center closed for cleaning after meth found on premises

The Learning Center, a child care center run by the Missoula YMCA, will be closed for the rest of the week after meth was found on school grounds.

Heather Foster, the interim executive director at the YMCA said a third-party cleaning crew will be on scene for the rest of the week. She said families at The Learning Center will be able to bring their children to the main YMCA child care center on Russell for the rest of the week. 

A press release from the YMCA said an employee reported another employee for allegedly using and having meth on site. The police made an arrest Tuesday. A K-9 did a search Tuesday night and determined no drugs were left on campus. The Y is working with the police department, childcare licensing and the health department to investigate and correct any issues. In a statement they said in part: 

We want to assure the community that the safety of our children, staff, and guests is our top priority and we are doing everything in our power to remedy this situation immediately.

We are committed to being transparent and forthcoming on this issue, and promise every decision we make will be in the best interest of safety for everyone involved. We are devastated that this could happen at the Y, where our mission is to provide safe and accessible resources to all Missoula families.

YMCA staff say they conduct extensive background checks but have not required drug tests in the past; they're now talking about ways to implement drug testing for employees. The site is also being tested for traces of drug contamination, with hopes to have results back so daycare can resume as soon as Monday.

Staffers also say that the suspected drug user was a long-term employee and the discovery has been "devastating."

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