The Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship – Child Care Assistance Program
What is the Best Beginnings Scholarship Program?
Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarships are child care payment awards to help Montana working families pay for child care.
The Best Beginnings Scholarship Program helps families pay for child care while they
- Attend high school
- Participate in Montana’s Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) program. Some additional restrictions apply.
Families must meet a minimum work requirement: A two parent household needs to work 120 hours each month. A single parent household needs to work 60 hours each month, unless attending school full-time. A single parent must work 40 hours a month if attending school part-time. When there are two parents, the work hours may be divided between the two. One parent may meet the work requirement while the other goes to school.
- Maximum income guidelines: Household size generally includes the parent(s) & their children. A household of two may receive up to $2003 per month (effective 7/1/2016), gross income, and be eligible. When a family applies at The Nurturing Center, income is evaluated by an eligibility specialist.
- Click here to see the complete sliding fee scale.
- Co-payment is required: Everyone pays a co-payment based on a sliding fee scale. The minimum monthly co-payment is $10. The co-payment goes directly to the child care provider as it is automatically deducted from their reimbursement when payment is made. Failure to pay a co-payment can jeopardize the family’s eligibility. Some child care providers charge more than the State rate of reimbursement or have additional fees. Families are responsible for any fees over and above the current State reimbursement rates.
- Click here to download the Best Beginnings Scholarship Application.
- Click here for provider reimbursement rates.
- Links to forms are listed to the right on this page.
For more information about the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship, or to apply for the program, contact Elizabeth Langley at 406-756-1414, 800-204-0644 or email.
Click here to access the Best Beginnings Scholarship Online Application.
Click here for a list of all the Child Care Resource & Referral agencies across the state.
Children who have been identified with special needs and are in child care and whose family is eligible for Montana’s Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship Program could be eligible for higher reimbursement rate. For more information about this program, send email to DPHHSor or visit
Scholarships are available to working families whose income is below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and families who get cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
For more information about child care assistance, or to get an application mailed to you, contact us 406-756-1414, 800-204-0644 or email.