Volunteer and Advocacy We can use your help!

For the Kids Luncheon

Each spring and fall, CCR hosts a luncheon designed to help community members to better understand CCR’s mission and its efforts to improve early childhood education. We also ask guests for a donation, though a donation is not required. The event in the spring is held in Missoula and the fall event is held in Hamilton, MT.

How to help:

  • Be a table captain and invite colleagues and friends to learn more about CCR.
  • Help prepare packet materials for this event.
  • Run errands to pick up event supplies.
  • Help set up the event.
  • Help with registration.

For more information, contact Julie Emnett, Development Director.

Advocate for Kids and Child Care

2017 Legislative Session

Due to the decline in oil drilling in eastern Montana, state revenues are lower going into this budget session than in 2015. Therefore, Governor Bullock has proposed a budget that includes both new revenue generation and spending cuts. The legislature has proposed even greater cuts to avoid new taxes. The Montana Budget and Policy Center overview and analysis of the impacts of budget cuts.

STARS to Quality – The Governor’s Budget includes $2.4 million of ongoing general funding for STARS to Quality. This funding is vulnerable to cuts because it is not needed to draw down the federal funds. However, a Quality Rating Improvement System like STARS is required by the feds. If the request for $2.4 million in STARS funding is not successful, Montana will likely reduce STARS incentives, eliminate free STARS and NPO training, and cut funding to other quality programs that are not federally mandated like mini-grants and professional development incentive awards (PDIA). It’s also possible Montana would end up with a scholarship waiting list. A waiting list pushes desperate parents away from licensed care to informal and illegal care. It would be a disaster for both low income families and child care facilities.

Provider Rate Increase – A rate increase is not presently included in the state budget. Advocate would have to fight to get it added.

Pre-K – Governor Bullock has proposed $12 million to support public Pre-K for lower income families. Eligibility is substantially higher than the scholarship program, however it is not a universal program. Montana is one of now only 6 states that does not have a broad based public Pre-K program. Schools could deliver Pre-K themselves or contract with child care facilities at STAR 3 or above and head start facilities to deliver Pre-K.

To contact your legislator to weigh in on these bills, call 406-444-4800 to leave a message. Or, visit the legislative website to find their individual contact information and send them an email message.

Adoption of Proposed Licensing Rule on Hold

The DPHHS Quality Assurance Division has pulled the new training rule back to strengthen the language. The proposed language was vague, thus difficult to implement. The training rule did not specifically allow caregivers who completed the 3-hour Health and Safety Overview last year to count it toward what is now a 16-hour series of health and safety courses required for all new caregivers.

State employees are busy during the legislative session. It is likely that the revised rule will not be published until after the session. It’s possible there will be enough changes that a new public hearing and comment period will be necessary.

National Issues

The Child Care Development Block Grant is the largest federal child care investment. The statutory changes in 2014 require states to implement annual inspections of all child care facilities, to increase new provider orientation hours, to increase annual professional development, offer 12-month scholarships and implement forms of scholarship payment in addition to hourly/daily attendance reimbursements. However, no additional funding was authorized.

Let Montana’s Congressional Delegation know that you would like them to increase funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant which supports child care scholarships, mini-grants, STARS to Quality, child care licensing, Professional Development Incentive Awards and training delivered by CCR&Rs.

Senator John Tester
202.224.8594
406.728.3003 in Missoula
Send Senator Tester an electronic message.
Senator Steve Daines
202.224.2651
406.549.8198 in Missoula
202.224.9412 (fax)
Send Senator Daines an electronic message.
Representative Ryan Zinke
202.225.3211
406.540.4371 in Missoula
Send Congressman Zinke an electronic message.