Policy Strategies & Innovations Link copied!
|Innovation Name||Innovation Type||Innovation Subtype||Features at a Glance||Strategy Summary|
|Child Care Innovation and Infrastructure Grants||Expansion||Physical Space and Facilities||
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.Learn More: child care innovation and infrastructure grants
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Child care innovation and infrastructure grants.
|Montana’s Early Childhood and Family Support Division||Infrastructure Systems||Administrative + Governance Models||
New support division within the Department of Public Health and Human Services
Launched in 2020, Montana’s Early Childhood and Family Support Division in the Department of Public Health and Human Services brings together the states' Child Care and Development Fund, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part C, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Head Start Collaboration Office, and Early Learning Advisory Council. The Early Childhood Services Bureau’s mission is to improve the quality, affordability, and accessibility of early care and education in Montana, with a focus on creating coordinated systemsthat meet the needs of young children, their families, and the professionals who serve them.Learn More: Montana Early Childhood and Family Support Division
Sources: Montana Early Childhood and Family Support Division (2023)
|Montana Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program||Workforce||Apprenticeships||
Part of Federal Registered Apprenticeship Program
Established in 2004, the Montana Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program (MECAP) provides on-the-job training, mentorship, and college coursework to support early childhood education providers. After completing the program, apprentices receive a Child Care Development Specialist Certificate and reach Level 4 of Montana's Practitioner Registry. MECAP is a Registered Apprenticeship Program, an on-the-job, paid training model that is validated through the U.S. Department of Labor or a state agency. MECAP started with temporary funds from Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS). After the temporary funds were depleted, funding came from the federal Child Care Development Fund, administered by DPHHS. MECAP is a cross-organization partnership coordinated and organized by multiple state agencies, including Montana's Department of Labor and Industry (DLI), the Early Childhood Services Bureau, and Montana State University's Early Childhood Program.Learn More: Montana Early Childhood Project
Child Trends. (2019). Spotlight on the Montana Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program.
Montana Early Childhood Project. (n.d.). Montana Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program Childcare Development Specialist.
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. (2020). Apprenticeship Programs, by State/Territory, 2020.
Demographics Link copied!
1,122,867 Source U.S. Census, 2022
46.6% Source U.S. Census, 2020
53.4% Source U.S. Census, 2020
Number of children age 0-4
58,251 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Poverty levels – children 0-8 below 200% poverty
38% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Median family income among households with children
$81,900.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
2.8 Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2022
Unemployment rate of parents
2% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force
Children living in households with a high housing cost burden
22% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Child population by race and ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Race and Ethnicity
- American Indian and Alaska Native (9%)
- Asian (1%)
- Black or African American (1%)
- Hispanic or Latino (7%)
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (.5%)
- Two or More Races (5%)
- White, not Hispanic or Latino (77%)
Political Landscape Link copied!
Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!
Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER, 2023
- 3-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (0%)
- 3-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (13%)
- Other/none (87%)
Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER, 2023
- 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (0%)
- 4-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (15%)
- Other/none (83%)
Workforce Link copied!
2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Source CSCCE 2018, 2020
- Child care workers
- Preschool teachers
- Preschool or child care center directors
Funding Sources Link copied!
Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in millions) Source 2022 First Five Years Fund, 2022
- Head Start and Early Head Start Funding ($57.6)
- CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($24.3)
- CCDBG State Match ($2.0)
- CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations – CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($149.0)
- MIECHV ($4.4)
- IDEA Part C ($3.6)
- IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($1.9)
- TANF Early Learning and Care Expenditures ($10.6)
The COVID Funding Cliff
All federal COVID relief allocations, including funding authorized by the CARES, CRRSE, and ARPA bills, must be fully spent by September 2024. An analysis from the Century Foundation shows this loss of funds could cause more than 3 million children to lose access to child care nationwide – including more than 12,000 children in Montana.