Parents, children, and Montana’s economy rely heavily on quality child care, which both protects children and promotes healthy development. A highly-qualified early childhood educator–one who knows how to create a dynamic, accountable learning environment– is at the center of a high-quality early learning experience. Research has shown that children who attend high-quality preschool are better prepared to be successful in school and in their future careers. The economic and community benefits of high-quality early learning and development experiences for all young children cannot be understated and include, increased graduation rates, increased economic wellbeing for all communities, and the long-term development of a high-quality professional workforce. (Source: naeyc.org)
Individuals providing child care in the State of Montana must be registered or licensed if they are caring for more than two children. There are different types of registered/licensed childcare programs in Montana:
• Family Home: is a private residence in which care is provided for 3-8 children on a regular basis and is considered Registered
• Group Home: is a private residence or other structure in which care is provided for 9 to 15 children on a regular basis and is considered Registered
• Center: is an out-of-home place in which care is provided to 16 or more children on a regular or irregular basis and is considered Licensed
• Family, Friend, Neighbor Provider: is a Registered provider which may provide care in a child’s home or in the provider’s residence for a sibling group of any size or no more than 4 unrelated children
• Relative Care Exempt Provider: is a provider that may care for either a sibling group of any size or no more than 2 children from separate households. “Relative care” means the child is the brother, sister, first cousin, nephew, niece, grandchild, or great grandchild of the person providing childcare and includes a child in a step, foster, or adoptive relationship. This provider type is considered ‘License Exempt’ and is for Best Beginnings Childcare Scholarship payment purposes only.