Financial Incentives

Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Program

The Best Beginnings STARS to Quality program is Montana’s voluntary Quality Rating Improvement System, or QRIS. Learn about the STARS to Quality Program, or apply to participate.

View participating programs in our area

Provider Financial Assistance Program

The Provider Financial Assistance Program is administered by Child Care Resources for providers in Missoula, Mineral and Ravalli Counties. Providers may apply for a single assistance award to fund the following purposes:

  • Start Up Funds
  • Infant & Toddler Expansion Funds
  • Emergency/Natural Disaster Funds (Covid-19 related expenses are not eligible for emergency provider grants)

Facilities that received CARES Act grants are not eligible this year.

Applications for the Financial Assistance Program may range from $500 – $3,000. All applications will be reviewed by a committee. Upcoming application deadlines are:

  • April 5, 2021
  • May 3, 2021
  • June 7, 2021
  • July 5, 2021
  • August 9, 2021
  • September 7, 2021

To find out more information and to apply, please see the Provider Financial Assistance Program Application.

You may also contact Claudette Barber with any questions or for more information at

Child and Adult Care Food Program

CACFP provides partial meal reimbursements to help you serve nutritious meals to the children in your care. Child Care Resources sponsors the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program for home providers. Centers participate though Montana CACFP via the Early Childhood Services Bureau.

If you are a family or group home child care provider contact us to sign up. We will visit your facility and help you complete the application. We’ll also share resources about the program and about serving nutritious meals. The best part is that you can begin claiming meals for reimbursements the day we visit to sign you up!

If you have a child care center and are interested in enrolling in CACFP, please visit Montana CACFP.

As a provider participating in CACFP you receive four hours of free professional development, which count toward your annual licensing training requirement.

Professional Development Incentive Award-Higher Education (PDIA-HE)

The Early Childhood Services Bureau (ECSB) offers a monetary incentive for providers furthering their education. Click here for more information.

Professional Development Incentive Award for Completion of the Certified Infant/Toddler Course

The Early Childhood Services Bureau (ECSB) offers a one-time incentive award for successful completion of the 60-hour Certified Infant/Toddler Course.

Visit the Montana Early Childhood Project for more information.


The Montana Early Childhood Project has several scholarship programs available to help you achieve your professional development goals as an early childhood professional. For a description of the scholarships and the application process, please visit the Montana Early Childhood Project.