For parents of young children
CCR is available to help as best we can during this current time of challenge. Our office is open to the public by appointment. Our Scholarship Eligibility team, Referral Specialist, and Administrative Support team will be in the office. If you want to meet with a member of our team, please call us at 406-728-6446 to set up an appointment. For your safety, we encourage you to do business remotely to the extent possible – by phone, email, fax, and mail. If you are in the area and haven’t made an appointment, give us a call. If you would like to drop off paperwork, we can meet you at the door or you can use the drop box in the alley behind our building.
When entering CCR’s office, adults must wear a mask; we have disposable masks for your use. CCR staff will wear masks to protect you as well.
We know these changes are uncomfortable, inconvenient, and less friendly than we prefer. We are doing our best to keep you and our staff as safe as possible. Thanks for your patience over while the CCR crew has done our best to meet your needs while working from home.
We realize this is a stressful time for you and your kids. To help you get through it, we recommend that you engage in fun activities together – games, books, cooking, playing outside.
- CCR has some tips for parents sheltering at home with their young children.
- The National Head Start Association has compiled some great supports for parents here.
- Healthy Start has resource guides for Pregnancy and New Parenthood during COVID-19 and Parenting during COVID-19.
CARES Act Grants
Emergency Housing Assistance Program will provide rent, security deposit, mortgage payment, and/or hazard insurance assistance as-needed for Montanans who have lost a job or substantial income loss as a result of COVID-19. Initial payments may include up to three months assistance where the eligible household can demonstrate arrears for April and May, with continuable inability to make their June payment. Montana Housing will pay the difference between 30 percent of the household’s current gross monthly income and their eligible housing assistance costs, up to $2,000 a month. Household income limits range from $75,000-$125,000 based on family size. Montanans receiving other forms of housing assistance are not eligible. Total funding available is $50 million. A comprehensive information resource and application portal is available at COVIDRelief.mt.gov.
Child Care Options During COVID-19
If you need to go to work and your child’s school or child care facility is closed, there are options available for your family. If you need help finding child care, please contact us for assistance.
We also realize that deciding when to bring your child back to their child care program or choosing a new program can be a challenging decision. Click here for a checklist on considerations for choosing or returning to child care during the pandemic, and here is a great social story to share with your child about staying healthy at school.
Do not take your children to child care for 14 days if:
- Anyone in your household is sick.
- You have been in contact with someone who has been tested and diagnosed as positive for coronavirus and/or COVID-19.
The Missoula City County Health Department issued guidance for child care settings. Make sure the facility your child is attending adheres to these guidelines.
Some families may be able to use family, friends or neighbors as caregivers. CCR advises you to use an informal caregiver who is under age 60, in good health and has no underlying health problems. Having someone care for only your children, rather than using a group setting, reduces the risk of infection to your child and the risk your child might transmit the disease to others. Young children cannot understand or remember to maintain 6 feet of distance and child care providers must touch children to care for them. Here are some tips for informal caregivers which are also useful for parents.
The Missoula City-County Health Department along with the CDC are encouraging people to wear cloth face coverings when 6 feet of physical distancing is not allowed in a public setting. Please note that in a child care setting, they are not recommending children wear these face coverings unless they can wear them appropriately and in accordance with the CDC. Here is a resource from the CDC with DIY instructions for making your own cloth face covering.
Resources for talking to children about face masks:
- Masks Aren’t Scary! A COVID-19 story about face masks for children ages 0-3
- Wear Face Masks, Stop Germs! A COVID-19 story about face masks for children ages 4-6
Best Beginnings Scholarships
Governor Bullock issued an emergency child care directive which gives DPHHS Early Childhood Services Bureau flexibility to modify scholarship rules and procedures under the directive’s broad guidelines.
- Absence Days – the limit on the number of paid absence days does not apply during the emergency. If the facility you use is open, but you are not bringing your children to care, the scholarship will pay for the hours your scholarship was authorized.
- If your usual facility is closed, the scholarship travels with you to any other licensed child care program. Let us know if you need help finding one with openings.
- Changes: Remember to report changes timely regarding your phone number, email and mailing address, child care provider, activities, and income. Income and activity changes reported may decrease your co-payment. If you are unemployed as a result of the current emergency policy you will not lose your scholarship.
CCR expects more scholarship policy flexibility to be issued soon. Check back and watch for our e-news.
Please make sure we have your email address so we can contact you promptly if we receive new information. You can email your caseworker directly to be sure we have your address or you can send an email to our general inbox.