Early Childhood Professional Development
The foundation of child care and education is professional development. The amount of training an early care educator has directly impacts the quality of child care they can provide.
The Nurturing Center offers a variety of opportunities for professional development to child care providers in our region. Click on the Professional Development Calendar link below to see current offerings. All classes that we offer meet the Montana Early Childhood Project guidelines as approved training. Montana requires a minimum of 8 training hours per year in order to maintain a child care provider registration or license. Child care providers on the Montana Practitioner Registry must complete a minimum of 23 hours per year.
Professional Development Classes Calendars
Apply for STARS
We are excited to announce that STARS is accepting applications! Applications will be reviewed as received. Programs will either be accepted if eligible or placed on a waiting list. Click on the STARS picture below to read the news from the Early Childhood Services Bureau and access the online application.
New Provider Services
The Nurturing Center’s Child Care Provider Services is here to help interested people in becoming registered or licensed early care educators and help them achieve the highest level of quality care for the children they care for. Contact Lisa at 756-1414 or for more information about the process and benefits of becoming an in-home child care provider. They are available to answer questions and guide you through the first steps of becoming a new provider.
To get information on becoming a Child Care Provider visit the Quality Assurance Division website for State forms and Regulations.
We have resources for child care providers to borrow. We also have a collection of themed activity boxes available for providers to borrow to enhance specific units they may be doing with children. Click here to see available boxes.
Montana Early Childhood Project (ECP)
To learn more about training requirements for Montana early care educators and upcoming approved trainings for all regions, visit the Montana Early Childhood Project (ECP) website here. Montana Early Childhood Project is housed at the Montana State University and partners with Montana’s Early Childhood Services Bureau and all others who are committed to bringing the highest quality, consistent early care and education to all of Montana’s children.
For the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s code of conduct as well as other resources click NAEYC Code of Conduct
For the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) resources please click here.
For the Council for Professional Recognition and the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credentialing process please click here.
The first round of mini-grants has been awarded. The committee granted 10 providers mini-grants, with a total of $10,500 awarded.Round 2 of the mini-grants for this fiscal year, will be this summer. Please watch for the application and due dates that will be released.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact .
Priorities for Mini-Grant funding this year are as follows:
- Licensing compliance such as balance of funds needed for full year of insurance, egress windows, play equipment, etc.
- New providers to become fully registered/licensed
- Professional Development, particularly courses taken in preparation to meet STAR One requirements and to assist with year one professional development plans, etc.
- Practitioner registry fees for caregiver not in STARS formally
- Business equipment such as a computer to manage CACFP claims and customer billing
- To assist in continual quality improvement or to meet additional requirements
*Requests for items not on the priority list will be accepted and considered based on funding.*
Emergency preparedness continues to be in the news related to flooding across Montana…coordinating child care in times of natural disasters is one of the responsibilities of the Nurturing Center and all R&R’s across the State. Make the Nurturing Center one of your first calls if ever your program is impacted by an emergency event! Click HERE to download a Planning Guide to help you develop an emergency preparedness plan.