Missoula mom testing 3-year-old for meth exposure after YMCA arr - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Missoula mom testing 3-year-old for meth exposure after YMCA arrest

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MISSOULA - After an unthinkable week for more than 60 families, parents are scrambling to get their children tested for meth exposure and find alternative childcare.

On Tuesday, a YMCA Learning Center worker was arrested after another employee caught her allegedly using meth on site. A cleanup company says the entire facility was contaminated with meth fumes and cleanup costs could exceed $80,000.

Amy Schott has been sending her 3-year-old son Jackson to the Learning Center for more than three years. She got her son tested for meth on Thursday and is now waiting for results, which could take up to four weeks.

"You don't ever think that you have to take your toddler in to be tested for meth," Schott says. "I don't know - you run out of words."

She says they're anxiously awaiting the test results from First Step, an agency that helps kids dealing with tough situations.

"It just has taken over my whole thought process," she says. "Every minute of every day it's all I can think about."

Scott says she constantly looks for email updates from the YMCA and checks Facebook and news outlets because she's so anxious about the situation.

If the Learning Center opens again, she says she won't take Jackson back because she's frustrated with what she calls a lack of communication.

"We went and looked at another one this week that has openings and seems like a great facility, but all I can think about is what's happened here."

The Learning Center remains closed after the discovery that Autumn Heinz, 30, was allegedly using meth on the premises for an extended period of time. Heinz allegedly smoked meth in a bathroom and exhaled into the vent fan, which directed smoke throughout the entire facility.

Scott says she's lost trust for childcare facilities, and it's hard for her to think about dropping Jackson off at a new facility. 

Scott is pregnant and had already put the baby, who is due in July, on the YMCA's waiting list for a spot at the daycare.

But she says she'll find a different place for Jackson and her soon-to-be baby girl.

"I left and on any other day I would probably think, 'they are fantastic, sign us up, let's get started,'" she says. "And I think my point of view is just a little tainted right now."

She is worried abut finding a new childcare facility because there's already a shortage in MIssoula, and in Schott's experience, many daycares are more expensive than the YMCA.

It's a reality more than 60 families are facing right now.

The YMCA says going forward, it will look at drug-testing employees. The organizers also said they tried hard to keep parents updated on the situation, and sent out emails to parents as soon as they knew that the employee was arrested.

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