A $ 2 million dollar gift from the Dennis & Phylis Washington Foundation will enable the Missoula Family YMCA to build a brand new Early Child Care Center, providing a significant boost to child-care options in the community. 

News of the gift was released Friday, announcing the Washingtons' gift to help the YMCA's Here for Good Campaign.

The gift will enable the Y to begin building the new center on the agency's campus on Russell Street this coming year. 

The new facility, which will be named after Phylis Washington, will serve families with children from 6 weeks to 5 years old and will replace the YMCA's current modular infant and toddler care building and preschool classrooms. Not only will it replace the aging facilities, but it will double the agency's capacity to care for young children. 

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"My kids grew up playing at the Missoula Y and we want to make sure younger generations of Missoula kids have a safe space to grow, learn and thrive,” said Phyllis Washington in a prepared statement.

Y leaders were thrilled with the Washington Foundation's generosity. Missoula Family YMCA CEO Heather Foster said the improvements will serve the community for generations to come. 

“Both the YMCA and Phyllis Washington have spent decades advocating for youth education. We are incredibly grateful to have Mrs. Washington’s support of this important community project,” said Foster. 

The Missoula Family YMCA is Montana's largest licensed childcare provider.

The YMCA has raised $ 11 million for its Here for Good capital campaign so far and hopes to finish off the $ 15 million dollar total for the planned campus upgrades this coming April. 

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