Bridge to Benefits
Early Childhood Development
Early Childhood Services Bureau

Montana’s Early Childhood Services Bureau is dedicated to helping children and families succeed by increasing the affordability, accessibility and quality of early care and education. 

Zero to Three
ZERO TO THREE is a national, nonprofit organization that informs, trains, and supports professionals, policymakers, and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. 202-638-1144. Our mission is to promote the health and development of infants and toddlers.

MT Early Childhood Project
Montana Early Childhood Project (ECP) has been dedicated to improving the quality of programs and services for Montana's young children and their families. For more information click on the above link or call 1-800-213-6310 or 406-994-4646.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Great Falls has a mission of providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. For more information click the link above, to find an office near you, click here and type in your zip code.

Family Connections Montana

  • 406-761-6010
  • or
  • 800-696-4503

Family Connections MT (FCMT) promotes early care and education for all children by helping families find and pay for child care and helping child care providers meet their professional development goals. FCMT provides statewide services as well as regional services. For information on services provided visit www.FamilyConnectionsMT.org or email fcinfo@familyconnectionsmt.org

Regional Services FCMT provides Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship services to Cascade, Chouteau, Glacier, Pondera, Teton, and Toole counties. FCMT provides child care training, coaching, mini grants, information on starting a child care business and other services to child care providers to help improve the quality of care.

Statewide Services - FCMT provides statewide Best Beginnings Child Care Referrals to all families free of charge. FCMT provides information on choosing quality child care and profiles on child care providers based on family needs. The referral can be completed via web site, email, phone or in person. FCMT also provides statewide processing of Legally Certified Provider (LCP) applications. LCP are providers approved for Best Beginning Child Care Scholarship program payment purposes and usually are a friend, family member, or neighbor of a family who receives the child care scholarship. The LCP must be 18 years old and pass the application and pass a household background check process.

Click here to view the Family Resource Guide for the Great Falls area and beyond.

Child Care Resources

For more information on becoming a child care provider, visit this link. Online training is available statewide. For more information on Child Care Licensing call 406-444-2037 or visit their website.

Existing child care facilities will find useful information on the promotion of quality child care by visiting the National Association for Family Child Care, click the link or call 1-801-886-2322. For more information on the Montana Child and Adult Food Program visit their link or call 1-888-307-9333. 

Montana Association for the Education of Young Children

Montana Association for the Education of Young Children improves professional practice and working conditions for all teachers and caregivers of children, birth to eight years, and to build understanding and support for high quality early childhood programs through: the accreditation process and guiding policy, grassroots advocacy efforts, informing communities about current research and the importance of early childhood years, promoting best practices, recognizing quality and accredited programs in Montana.

Child Help USA

  • 1-800-4-2-24453(1-800-4-A-CHILD)

Child help exists to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. We focus our efforts on advocacy, prevention, treatment, and community outreach.

Child Abuse Hotline
  • 1-866-820-5437 (kids)

Montana's Statewide Toll-Free Child Abuse Hotline for reporting child abuse and neglect to the Child & Family Services Division. The purpose of the division is to protect children who have been or are at substantial risk of abuse, neglect or abandonment. We strive to assure that all children have a family who will protect them from harm. We recognize the protective capacities of families and incorporate them in assessments, decision making and actions with the goal of improving safety, permanency and well being for children. We encourage our communities to strengthen their prevention efforts and to share responsibility for the safety of its children and families. The website for general child molestation prevention can be found here.

Montana Head Start/ State Collaboration Office

  • (406) 444-0589

The Head Start/State Collaboration Office is commissioned to work with Head Start, State Government and all other key partners in building effective Early Childhood Systems that are integrated and comprehensive and that effectively meet the needs of all low income children. If you have ideas, dilemmas, success stories or questions, you may contact the project director, Mary Jane Standaert at the following address:mjstandaert@mt.gov.

Parents, Let’s Unite for Kids (PLUK)

  • (406) 255-0540 or
  • 1-800-222-7585

PLUK is a private, nonprofit organization formed by parents of children with disabilities and chronic illnesses in the state of Montana for the purpose of information, support, training and assistance to aid their children at home, school and as adults. PLUK is an organization of parents and other caring individuals who serve families and individuals with disabilities of any age and at no cost. PLUK was founded by parents who felt strongly that parents of children with disabilities need to band together to give each other information and support. It seemed foolish for each new parent to try to learn all over again what other parents already know and would willingly share. It also seemed important for parents to lend each other support because of the healing that takes place when people who share a common problem can work together to find solutions.

Directory of Indian Education Programs in Montana

Click here  to access a pdf file containing a directory of Indian education programs in Montana. Click here to access another one.

Woman Infant Child (WIC)

  • (406) 444-4747 or
  • 1-800-433-4298

Woman Infant Child, also known as Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, helps lower-income women (pregnant, breastfeeding and those who recently had a baby) and infants and children (up to age 5) who are at nutritional health risk.

Young Parents Education Center

  • (406) 268-6665

A school-based resource center that assists pregnant and parenting teens and young adults in overcoming barriers to complete their high school education or GED. Child care, parenting education, vocational planning and pregnancy prevention counseling are program components offered to students in Cascade County. for more information.

Child Support Enforcement

The mission of the Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is to diligently pursue and ultimately achieve financial and medical support of children by establishing, enforcing, and increasing public awareness of parental obligations. To find an office in your area click here. You can make a payment or look up a recent payment by going to this site.