Child Care

Family Services

I need help paying for Child Care.

Montana families are paying just over $9,000 a year to have an infant attend a full time care center. For low-income, working single parents this could mean nearly 44% of their income is spent on child care.

I need child care, but can’t afford it. What do I do?

HRDC offers the State of Montana’s Best Beginnings scholarship for Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Treasure and Yellowstone Counties. You can fill out the application online here.

You can also download the application or pick it up at the HRDC office in Billings or Hardin, or call either location and request an application be mailed to you.

Who is eligible?

Recipients of the scholarship are working low-income families, working care takers, TANF recipients, disabled parents, foster or guardianship families, and parents in high school, college or pursuing a GED may apply for the Best Beginnings Scholarship. Please click here for non-TANF family income eligibility.

How many hours must I work in order to qualify as working low-income?

Parents or guardians must be participating in the following eligible activities:

  • Two parent families must work at least 120 hours per month;
  • Single parent families must work at least 60 hours per month;
  • Single parent families do not have to work while they attend school/training full time;
  • Single parent families who are attending school/training part-time must work 40 hours; or
  • Teen parents must be attending high school or a high school equivalency program.

Does the work requirement pertain to foster or guardianship families?

Yes. We recommend contacting your Child Protection Specialist at the state offices of Children and Family Services to qualify your need and request child care services.
For additional information about eligibility, click here.

What portion will I pay?

Families are solely responsible for making co-payments to their child care provider plus any fees or charges that may exceed the district child care provider rates. Click here for the sliding scale.

I need help finding a child care provider. Who can I contact?

HRDC helps you find the quality child care that best fits your needs.

Are there restrictions on where I take my child for care?

Children on the Best Beginnings Scholarship must attend a licensed child care center, registered group or family child care home, or legally certified child care provider.

I’m not sure if the child care provider I’ve selected qualifies for the program. Who can I ask?

HRDC’s Child Care Resource & Referral is the local expert in connecting needs and resources. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F, you can call us at (406) 247-4700 to get information.

For more information

Call (406) 247-4700 (Billings) / (406) 665-2523 (Hardin) or Email:


Name/Title Position
Barb Perzinski Promgram Director
Aaron Cofer Program Manager
Sam Nava Lead Case Manager
Gina Berg Case Manager
Rochelle Charette Case Manager
Taylor Cook Case Manager
Jayme Hernandez Case Manager
Espri Lance Case Manager
Pam Scharen Case Manager
Sharon Sitton Case Manager
Sheri Hanson Outreach Liaison

Helpful Forms and Documents


This project is funded in whole or in part under a Contract with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The statements herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Department.


Provider Services

I want to provide Child Care.

Parents, children, and Montana’s economy rely heavily on quality child care, which both protects children and promotes healthy development.

Who is eligible to receive services?

Licensed child care centers, family & group homes, and legally certified providers in Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, and Yellowstone Counties.

What kind of support is available to child care providers?

HRDC provides oversight and resources to ensure providers are given the tools they need to remain compliant with state regulations and deliver a safe, affordable and quality service. In addition to trainings we offer:

  • Tips and resources to improve your program; and recruitment, retention and motivation of staff
  • Ideas for low cost marketing, daily schedules and transitions, and how to operate a safe and healthy program
  • How to implement emergency policies and procedures including medication administration and managing infectious disease
  • Resources to provide developmentally appropriate care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers
  • Scholarship programs and Mini Grant Opportunities
  • State and National accreditation, standards, and quality rating and improvement systems

Best Beginnings Legally Certified Provider

What is a Legally Certified Provider (LCP)?

A Legally Certified Provider (LCP) is a special certification for a friend or family member that cares for up to two children from different families or all the children in one sibling group. The family that is receiving care must be eligible for the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship.

How do I apply to become a Legally Certified Provider (LCP)?

First, you will only be eligible to become an LCP if the family you are providing child care for is eligible for the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship. The family’s application paperwork (which is submitted to the local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency) is separate from your application paperwork. You must submit the LCP application packet to Child Care Licensing: PO Box 202953, Helena MT 59620, pass a criminal background and child and adult protective service checks (which have fees that vary by state), and attend an Online Orientation class within 60 days of your approval. Online Orientation is available for a $15.00 fee from Child Care Resources’ Child Care Contact Child Care Licensing: Alex Coe at 444-0479 if you have any questions about the LCP Program.

Anyone 18 years of age or older that lives in the provider’s home regardless of location of the child care must also complete a Statement of Health, Release of Information, Fingerprint Disclosure Statement, and In and Out of State background checks. Fees and forms may vary.

How do I attend Online Legally Certified Provider (LCP) Orientation?

Please click here to attend the online Legally Certified Provider (LCP) Orientation course hosted by Child Care Resources online training program. Please note that if you are experiencing any difficulties with the website, training or have any questions regarding the online course (computer requirements, fees, course work, etc.), please call Child Care Resources at 406-728-6446, email cct@childcareresources or you may use their contact information on their online training web site. The attached LCP Online Orientation Guide PDF will provide you with additional information about accessing this course.

What services are available to new providers?

  • Pre-orientation and Orientation
  • Assistance with selecting classes
  • Technical assistance for policies, procedures, contracts and record maintenance
  • Bringing Early Success Training (BEST)
  • Child Care Newsletter – Spring 2017

What types of services are offered?

What trainings are available to me and how often?

Please see our online Professional Development Calendar or call (406) 247-4720 and request a printed training calendar. You can also download a copy of our Professional Development calendar at the links below:

If you are a provider and are looking for information about how to apply to the Practitioner Registry, please click here.

Montana Early Childhood Project: The Montana Career Path

What will I pay for training?

Training is provided at a modest cost ranging from $10 to $40. Please see the course calendar for details.

Are there other trainings, outside of what is offered at HRDC?

There are a number of statewide training opportunities for Early Childhood Providers. Click here to view a current list of approved trainings available. A resource library is also available for your use. For more information on the Early Childhood Career Development Practitioner Registry, click here.

More training opportunities can be found at the Child Care Resources website.

For more information

Call (406) 247-4720or Email


Name/Title Position
Barb Perzinski Program Director
Stephanie Fossum Program Manager
Monica Ayers Professional Development Specialist
Anita Bauer Professional Development Specialist
Jeri Fowler Professional Development Specialist
Wendy Krenelka Professional Development Specialist
Janet Mann Professional Development Specialist
Evelyn Roundstone Professional Development Specialist
Claire Yenish Professional Development Specialist
Crystal Hill Program Support Specialist


This project is funded in whole or in part under a Contract with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The statements herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Department.



Child and Adult Care Food Program

In an effort to reduce the costs of child care while ensuring children receive healthy and nutritious meals, eligible child care providers are given cash reimbursement for serving meals to enrolled participants that meet Federal nutritional guidelines, outlined in the CACFP meal pattern.

Do I apply for CACFP through HRDC?

Yes. HRDC administers the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for the Montana Department of Health and Human Services

What counties do you serve?

Big Horn, Carbon, Custer, Fergus, Prairie, Rosebud, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Treasure and Yellowstone.

How many meals are eligible for reimbursement?

Participating providers may be approved to claim up to two meals and one snack, or two snacks and one meal, per day, per child.

What trainings are required as a CACFP participant?

Participants are required to participate in two mandatory trainings annually. Please see the course calendar for additional information.

  • The first 2-hourtraining includes a review of CACFP requirements, recordkeeping, payments and civil rights.
  • The second 2-hourtraining includes nutrition, CACFP meal patterns, menus, recipes, and food safety.

Do you conduct site visits?

Yes. We will visit each CACFP participant’s site a minimum of three times a year.

How do I enroll in the CACFP?

Family and Group Home providers should call (406) 247-4700 to apply. Child Care Centers must apply through the state department or call 888-307-9333. Be prepared to provide the name of the provider (which must be the owner or director of the program) as well as your state provider license number.

For more information

Call (406) 247-4700 or Email


Name/Title Position
Barb Perzinski Program Director
Danielle Bogunovich Program Coordinator
Aaron Cofer Program Specialist


CACFP is provided by the USDA and administered through the Montana Department of Health and Human Services CACFP program. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. USDA is an equal opportunity employer.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

For all other FNS nutrition assistance programs, State or local agencies, and their subrecipients, must post the following Nondiscrimination Statement:

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  • Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  • Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
  • Email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

This project is funded in whole or in part under a Contract with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The statements herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Department.


Child Care Referrals

I need help finding Child Care.

Are you looking for child care? HRDC helps you find the quality child care that best fits your needs.

Region 1

The Nurturing Center
146 Third Ave W
Kalispell MT, 59901

(406) 756-1414, 800-204-0644
Fax: (406) 756-1410

Region 2

Child Care Resources
105 East Pine Street Lower Level
PO Box 7038
Missoula MT, 59807

(406) 728-6446, 800-728-6446
Fax: (406) 549-1189

Region 3

Butte 4 C’s
101 East Broadway
Butte MT, 59701

(406) 723-4019, 800-794-4061
Fax: (406) 723-6982

Region 4

Child Care Connections
1600 Ellis Street
Bozeman MT, 59715

(406) 587-7786, 800-962-0418
Fax: (406) 587-682

Region 5

Family Connections
202 2nd Ave S, Suite 201
Great Falls MT, 59405

(406) 761-6010, 800-696-4503
Fax: (406) 453-8976

Region 6

Family Connections
2229 5th Ave
Havre MT, 59501

(406) 265-6743, 800-640-6743
Fax: (406) 265-1312

Region 7

HRDC District 7
7 North 31st Street
PO Box 2016
Billings MT, 59103

(406) 247-4732, 800-443-1411,
Fax: (406) 248-2943

  • Click here to get a list of child care providers.
  • Click here to update your provider information.


Name/Title Position
Barb Perzinski Program Director
Stephanie Fossum Program Manager
Heather McGinnis Referral Specialist

Stars to Quality

Quality Care

We are excited to announce that Montana STARS to Quality is accepting applications!

Programs may apply for Best Beginnings STARS to Quality at any time via If your application is accepted, you will be notified and sent a STARS to Quality agreement and W-9 which must be returned in order to be accepted into STARS to Quality.If you need assistance, click for a video tutorial.

For more information about Montana STARS to quality, visit the website:


Name/Title Position
Barb Perzinski Program Director
Stephanie Fossum Program Manager
Janet Mann Stars Coach
Claire Yenish Stars Coach
Monica Ayers Stars Consultant
Anita Bauer Stars Consultant