Frequently Asked Questions
Provider Services FAQs
Who do I contact with licensing questions?
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Quality Assurance Division (QAD) handles licensing services for child care providers in Missoula, Mineral, and Ravalli County. Please contact Brandi Rourke at 406.329.1590, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When do I need to submit my registration renewal application?
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Quality Assurance Division (QAD) in Helena mails out registration renewals 120 days prior to when they expire. The QAD requests that you submit your renewal application 90 days before the end of your current registration. Questions should be directed to QAD at 406.444.2037 or online.
How do I apply for a mini grant or merit pay?
Mini grant applications are due to Child Care Resources on the first of each month. Please see our Grants and Incentives section for more details.
Are distance courses available? How do I register for online or correspondence courses?
Child Care Resources offers several types of distance learning that allow you to learn at your own pace, from the comfort of your home. We offer online courses, correspondence courses and activity kits. View our Course Catalog and register for online courses at ChildCareTraining.org. For a complete list of correspondence courses and activity kits, and to register, please visit our registration site.
I tried to create an account on the registration site, but it says my PS# or SS# is already being used. What does that mean and how do I proceed?
If your PS# or SS# is already being used, it means either you have already set up an account with us, or a Child Care Resources administrator has already created an account for you. Please contact Provider Services to get your login and password.
When a child has an accident and goes to the doctor, does it still have to be reported even if the doctor doesn’t find anything wrong?
Providers must report accidents to QAD Child Care Licensing within 24 hours if children are taken to a doctor. This includes ambulance trips, urgent care, trips to the dentist, and parents picking children up and taking them to the doctor. Also, if the parents take the child to the doctor later as a result of something that happened at child care, it must be reported, even when the doctor finds no injuries.
QAD recommends that all incidents resulting in facial bruising be reported to QAD, even if there is no doctor visit. Parents often call the state to report accidents, so it is best if QAD has already received notice from the provider.
When does my responsibility for children in my care end? Am I still responsible for children if I drop them off at another program like a day camp? Can I let the children walk to and from school by themselves if the parents approve?
Providers are responsible for the children in their care until the children are handed over to another adult, such as a bus driver, teacher, or parent. Make sure your contract with the parents specifies that you are no longer responsible for the children after you drop them off at another program. Clearly written policies within your contract will clarify who is responsible and when that responsibility ends.
Since providers are responsible for children until they are handed over to another adult, the provider must accompany children who walk to school or other programs. Staff/child ratios must be maintained. For example, a family home provider must take all the children in care along when walking a child to school. A group home caregiver would need to send half of the children with one adult.
Do providers have to pay for their employees’ time when they are participating in required training?
The Montana Department of Labor advises that employees must be paid for the time they spend in training if it is required for their jobs.
How do I get a PS# card?
If you are working in a licensed/registered child care facility, you will receive a person (PS) number card. PS# cards are mailed out by the Early Childhood Project (ECP) in Bozeman. Their system is set up to mail PS# cards to home mailing addresses because the PS# is linked to individuals, not programs. ECP has had a large number of PS# cards returned because people often forget to notify licensing of address changes.
If you or your employer have submitted your information to the licensors and you still have not received a PS# card, follow up with your licensor to be sure that all the paperwork was received and your home address is correct. Center directors should notify licensing of staff changes immediately so ECP can get PS# cards to the correct people.
For additional information, contact ECP at 800.213.6310 or at email@example.com.
Where can I get a copy of the Montana Early Learning Guidelines (ELG)?
The Montana Early Learning Guidelines reflect what children ages three to five need to know, understand, and be able to do by the time they reach kindergarten. Copies of the Montana ELGs are free at Child Care Resources. Look for the Montana Early Learning Guidelines for ages zero to three coming soon.
Child and Adult Care Food Program FAQs
How does the food program define infant? Is the food program definition different than the licensing definition?
For CACFP purposes, an infant is a child who is less than one year of age. However, licensing defines an infant as a child who is less than two years of age. This means a child who is one and a half would not be an infant for the food program, but would be considered an infant by the licensors.
What are the reimbursement rates for meals?
As of July 1, 2010, the meal imbursement rates are as follows:
Breakfast = $1.19
Lunch/Dinner = $2.22
Snack = $0.66
Breakfast = $0.44
Lunch/Dinner = $1.34
Snack = $0.18
What is re-enrollment?
Each year, parents are required to sign a form stating that their children are in your care. Parents also need to update their current address and phone number.
Rather than completing new enrollment forms for all the children in your care, CCR will mail you a form listing each child’s name, date of birth, date of enrollment, and days and hours attending your facility. Please have parents update addresses and phone numbers, verify dates of birth, days children attend your facility, and drop off and pick up times. Parents must sign for each of their children.
If we do not have current parent signatures or complete information, we will have to discontinue reimbursement until complete paperwork is submitted; you will need to complete a full enrollment form to re-enroll the child(ren) on the food program. CCR mails re-enrollment forms, along with your food program checks in September. The completed forms are due back with your menus on October 2nd.
Where can I find information on meal patterns for infants and children over one year of age?
Meal patterns vary with the age of the child. You can get meal pattern charts from Child Care Resources’ food program staff. You can also get information from the USDA Child Care Food Program (CACFP) website.
Some of my children eat more than the required amounts, and some eat less. How do I deal with this situation?
The food charts show you the minimum amount of food that must be available for each child at the meal. You are required to provide the minimum amount of a food for each child, but the child is not required to eat the minimum amount. We encourage family-style dining, in which the food is set on the table and children serve themselves. Children with smaller appetites may serve themselves smaller portions, while some children with larger appetites may serve themselves larger portions. If a child takes more than they can eat, you can model to the children what a “serving” looks like and encourage them to finish a serving before taking seconds.
What is the newest policy on infant formula?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recognized the non-food related cost of serving infants, and now allows reimbursement for meals containing only infant formula, whether supplied by the caregiver or the parent. You must, however, offer at least one iron-fortified infant formula to formula-fed infants in your care. The parents may choose to decline your offer and provide their own formula. You may now claim meals for infants of breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula, or both, whether the formula is supplied by you or the parent. You must, however, always offer the infant a complete, developmentally appropriate meal. For infants eight months to one-year-old, you must supply appropriate foods. The meal must also be served and fed to the infant by the caregiver. A mother breast-feeding at your site does not qualify.
How can I be reimbursed for meals served to children in my care on holidays?
Reimbursement for meals provided to children in child care on legal holidays will be made only when the provider submits parent-signed verification of holiday care. This verification should state they were working on the holiday and needed child care. Written notification should be attached to the appropriate monthly menus.
The following are legal holidays that require parent signatures: New Year’s Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, Fourth of July, and Christmas Day.
What should I turn in to the food program by the 2nd of each month?
- Online menus submitted on Minute Menu.
- Menus – signed and totaled at the bottom.
- Enrollment forms for new children.
- Claim information sheets with changes listed.
- Mealtime change forms, if needed.
- Parent-signed documentation for holiday care, if needed.
What paperwork should I turn in annually to the food program?
You are required to turn in certain paperwork each year to remain on the Food Program. Before turning in your menus, decide if it is time to turn in any of the following:
- The newest copy of your license;
- The tiering form; or
- Re-enrollment forms.
What is the new IRS tax rule for meal deductions?
The IRS announced that family child care providers may now choose standard meal allowance rates. You can get more information at the website for the Redleaf National Institute.
When are the CACFP checks mailed?
Checks will be mailed on the 9th business day of the month and direct deposit will be transmitted on the 10th business day. Menus will continue to be due on the 2nd of every month.
We know that many of you rely on the food program reimbursement checks to purchase food and other child care supplies each month, and we pride ourselves in the ability to process menus and pay you quickly. We will continue to do the best job possible. However, if you do not submit your menus on time, your reimbursement may be delayed until the next month.
Which foods are not creditable?
Certain foods may not be creditable on the food program because they are high fat, high sodium, high sugar, or they have no industry standard to define a particular food.
Meat & Meat Alternates:
- Hot dogs
- Corn dogs
- Fish sticks
- Chicken nuggets (unless home-made)
- Imitation cheese
- Cheese spread
- Powdered cheese (i.e. boxed macaroni)
- Processed cheese foods
- Cream cheese
- Frozen yogurt
- Wild game/fowl
- Home-slaughtered meat
- Home-caught fish
- Bacon (all types of bacon such as imitation bacon products and turkey bacon)
- Imitation seafood
- Soy burgers or other soy products
- Veggie burger
Milk & Milk Products:
- Flavored milk (chocolate/strawberry/vanilla)
- Certified raw milk (non-pasteurized)
- Yogurt (creditable as meat alternative)
- Ice cream
- Rice milk (medical exception required)
- Soy milk (medical exception required)
- Coconut milk
- Milk shake
- Evaporated milk
- Imitation milk
- Non-fat dry milk
- Cheese (creditable as meat alternative)
- Frozen yogurt
- Half and half
- Goat’s milk (medical exception required)
Bread & Bread Alternates:
- Sweet bars (brownies, Rice Krispie treats, etc.)
- Highly sweetened cereals (i.e. Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Cocoa Puffs)
- Toaster pastries
- Sweet rolls and doughnuts
- Dough and crust of sweet pies
- Packaged cookies
- Potato (creditable as a vegetable)
- Tapioca pudding
- Breading or batter on chicken strips or fish sticks
- Breadcrumbs in meatloaf
- Cheese puffs
- Potato chips
- Corn (creditable as a vegetable)
- Ice cream cones
- Ice cream sandwich wafers
- Nut or seed meal flour
Fruits & Vegetables:
- Tater tots
- Packaged french fries
- Instant potatoes
- Fig cookies (creditable as bread/grain)
- Fruit bread/muffin (creditable as bread/grain)
- Sweet pies
- Gummy style fruit snacks/roll ups
- Home canned products (food safety concern)
- Apple butter
- Fruit beverages that aren’t 100% juice
- Corn chips (creditable as bread/grain)
- Fruit flavored cereal
- Fruit flavored ice cream and sorbet
- Pie filling
- Toaster pastries
- Rice (creditable as breads/grains)
- Veggie puffs
- Yogurt-covered fruit
- Yogurt with fruit (creditable as meat alternate)
- Potato chips
- Popsicles may be creditable if homemade and 100% juice and fruit.
- V8 juice may be creditable if it’s 100% fruit and/or vegetable juice.
Which foods can be served to children, refrigerated, and served again? Can milk served in a pitcher be refrigerated and served again?
Once food has been brought to the table, it must be discarded because bacteria can lead to food contamination and food-borne illness. Most foods that were previously frozen can’t be refrozen and served again. The exception to this is frozen raw meat; it must be thawed, thoroughly cooked, not added to other items that have been previously frozen and not served to the table in order to be refrozen. Any food that has been left in the cooking container, was not previously frozen, was not served family style or on a child’s plate, can be frozen and served again.
If milk is served family-style at the table, the unused portion cannot be saved and served later. If milk is served to the table, it cannot be served again. One option is for providers to pour the proper serving sizes into glasses and put the milk away. New milk cannot be added to old milk. CACFP prefers family style meals that allow children to take what they want, but enough must be made available so each child has the option to take a full serving size. Only the minimum serving size has to be made available.
It is acceptable to freeze milk, thaw and serve under the following conditions:
- When freezing, the milk must be labeled with the date it is being frozen.
- Milk may be frozen for no more than one month.
- Milk that has been frozen must be used within five days of being thawed.