In 2022, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte announced $18 million for the Child Care Innovation and Infrastructure Grants program, funded by the American Rescue Plan. The 31 Recipients, with grants ranging from $142,000 to $1 million, included child care providers, health care organizations, community groups and local governments working to improve child care affordability, increase access, and provide high-quality, sustainable services. The funding was intended to target areas with significant observed shortages of child care capacity (“child care deserts”), defined as any geographic area where child care supply meets less than a third of the potential demand; care during nontraditional hours; or increasing access for infants, toddlers and vulnerable populations.
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Child care innovation and infrastructure grants.
Silvers, M. (2022). Montana Free Press. Montana child care providers to receive $18 million in federal grants.
Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:
Learn More About ELS@H Findings
High-quality, affordable early education and care supports children’s healthy development and allows families to work, engage in their own educational pursuits, and/or participate in other aspects of community life. To support children and families in these instrumental ways, research suggests there is a need to expand the availability of early education opportunities across the mixed-delivery system.
Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:
- Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
- But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.