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Best Beginnings Advisory Council

Statewide Advisory Council

Established in 2011, the Best Beginnings Advisory Council serves as the comprehensive early childhood advisory council and will serve as the collaborating entity for the early childhood system. The Early Childhood Services Bureau within the Department of Public Health and Human Services serves as the home for the Advisory Council.

The council includes representation from interested constituency groups, governmental agencies, the public at large, child care providers, state and local government, and tribal communities.

The council's work will focus on creating a statewide plan for a comprehensive early childhood service system that will assist in the four principal objectives:

1. Children will have access to high quality early childhood programs.
2. Families with young children will have community support.
3. Children will have access to a medical home and health insurance.
4. Improving the social, emotional, and mental health needs of young children and families.

Statewide Advisory Council Resources

Best Beginnings Advisory Council Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan

Best Beginnings Local Coalitions

Complementing the work being done at the State level, are local Best Beginnings coalitions. There are 23 local coalitions statewide. The local coalitions are working to increase coordination across child serving systems at the grass roots level in towns, counties, and regions.

Best Beginnings Local Coalitions

Local Coalition Information

Big Horn County

Big Horn County Best Beginnings Community Coalition

Big Horn County

809 N Custer
Hardin, MT 59034

Serving: Big Horn County

Contact Phone and Email: 406 665-8720 / EWynne@co.bighorn.mt.us

Coordinator Information: 406 679-0424 / shelly.w.sutherland@gmail.com

Local Coalition Website: www.bhcbbcc.org

Community Partner Agencies:

  • Big Horn County Extension Service
  • Big Horn County Public Health
  • Big Horn County Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC)
  • Big Horn Hospital Association
  • Bighorn Valley Health Center
  • Child and Family Services Division, Department of Public Health and Human Services
  • Crow Northern Cheyenne Hospital
  • Hardin Mental Health Center – South Central Montana Regional Mental Health Center
  • Hardin Parent Center, Hardin School District 17H&I
  • Hardin Kindergarten Readiness Center (School District 17H&I)
  • District 7 Human Resources Development Council (HRDC)
  • Noah’s Ark Preschool
  • Smarty Pants Preschool
  • St. Vincent Physician Network – Hardin Clinic; Support and Techniques for Empowering People (STEP) Program
Butte and Silver Bow Counties

Butte Community Council

101 E. Broadway
Butte MT 59701

Serving: Butte/Silver Bow County

Contact Phone and Email: 406-723-4019 / lpetritz@butte4-cs.org

Community Partner Agencies:

  • Butte 4-C’s
  • Health Department
  • Community Health Center
  • Department of Family services
  • AWARE Early Head Start
  • Head Start
  • AWARE
  • Law enforcement
  • Public Library
  • Butte Cares
  • Chamber of commerce
  • Family Outreach
  • School District #1
  • Even Start
  • Superintendent of Schools
  • Butte Local Development Corporation
  • St. James Hospital
  • Youth Dynamics
  • Western Montana Mental Health
  • Ramsay School
  • Child Care
  • North American Indian Alliance
  • Legion Oasis Housing
  • Montana Standard
  • Fight Crime Invest in Kids
Custer County

Grounds for Change

Custer County

210 South Winchester, 2nd Floor of VA Building
Miles City, MT  59301

Serving: Custer County

Contact Phone and Email: (406)874-3377 / M.Wendland@groundsforchangemt.org

Coordinator Information: Molly Wendland

Local Coalition Website: www.groundsforchangemt.org

Community Partner Agencies:

  • Custer County Public Health Department
  • Custer County Community Health Center
  • EMMHC Prevention Program
  • Custer County Juvenile Probation
  • DEAP
  • Mental Health Services
Dawson County

Dawson County Best Beginnings Community Council

207 W. Bell
Glendive, MT 59330

Serving: Dawson County

Contact Phone and Email: 406-377-5213 / dempewolft@dawsoncountymail.com

Coordinator Information: Timber Dempewolf

Community Partner Agencies:

  • Head Start of Eastern Montana
  • DEAP Childcare Resources
  • Dawson County Health Department
  • The Nurturing Tree Parent Resource Center
  • Dawson County Healthy Communities
  • Glendive Public Schools
  • Eastern Montana Mental Health
  • Big Sky Child Care Association
Gallatin County

Greater Gallatin Early Childhood Community Coalition

945 Technology Blvd. #101F
Bozeman, MT  59715

Serving: Gallatin County

Contact Phone and Email: (406) 587-2194 / eccc@greatergallatinunitedway.org

Coordinator Information: Marie Lowe

Local Coalition Website: www.earlychildhoodgallatin.org

Community Partner Agencies:

  • ASMSU Child Care Center
  • Aware
  • Belgrade Public School District
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Bozeman Deaconess Hospital
  • Bozeman Public Library
  • Bozeman Public School District
  • Child Care Connections
  • Children’s Museum of Bozeman
  • Child Development Center
  • City of Bozeman Recreation Department
  • Community Health Partners (Gallatin and Park)
  • Family Outreach
  • Family Promise
  • Gallatin City-County Health Department
  • Gallatin Valley YMCA
  • Gallatin Valley Food Bank
  • Greater Gallatin United Way
  • HRDC Head start
  • Livingston Public Schools
  • Montana State University
  • Montana Team Nutrition
  • MSU Early Childhood Project
  • Museum of the Rockies
  • Park County Community Foundation
  • Thrive
  • Youth Dynamics
Hill County

Early Childhood Investment Team

Hill County

302 4th Ave.
Havre, MT 59501

Serving: Hill County

Contact Email: kallenbergerb@co.hill.mt.us

Coordinator Information: Bridget Kallenberger

Community Partner Agencies:

  • MSU-Hill Extension Office
  • Northern Montana Early Childhood Development Center
  • Child Care Link, Northern Montana Healthcare
  • City Council of Havre
  • Community Members
  • United Way
  • Hill County Health Department
  • Havre Public Schools
  • Bullhook Community Health Center
  • Havre Police Department
  • Quality Life Concepts
  • Montana School for the Deaf & Blind
  • MSU-Northern
  • Boys-N-Girls Club
  • Family Services

Hill County Strategic Plan

Lake County and Flathead Reservation

Best Beginnings Children's Partnership

Flathead County

Best Beginnings Children’s Partnership
C/O Lake County Health Dept.
802 Main St., Suite A
Polson, MT 59860

Best Beginnings Children’s Partnership
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
P.O. Box 278
Pablo, MT 59855

Serving: Flathead Reservation & Lake County

Contact Phone and Email: Lake County: cmc-consulting@bresnan.net, (406) 883-8042; Flathead Reservation: melindac@cskt.org, (406)675-2700 Ext. 1377

Coordinator Information: Caroline McDonald, Lake County; Melinda Caye, CSKT

Community Partner Agencies:

  • Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
  • Lake County Public Health Department
  • Public School Districts of the Flathead Reservation
  • Providence Health
  • St. Luke’s Hospital
  • Salish & Kootenai College
  • CSKT Early Childhood Services/Head Start
  • and many others

Purpose Statement: The Purpose of the Best Beginnings Children’s Partnership is to improve long term school readiness outcomes for all children and families within Lake County and the Flathead Reservation.

Please contact our coordinator(s) for updated information on Strategic Planning and ongoing projects.

Lewis and Clark County

Early Childhood Coalition of the Greater Helena Area

Lewis and Clark County

Family Matters Resource Center
1600 8th Avenue
Helena, MT 59601

Serving: Lewis and Clark County

Contact Phone and Email: (406) 324-2930 / helena.mt.ecc@gmail.com

Coordinator Information: Katy King-Bugni, katyb@florencecrittenton.org / (406) 442-6950 x253

Community Partner Agencies:

  • A.W.A.R.E. Inc
  • Child and Family Services
  • Child Care Partnerships
  • Childwise Institute
  • Community Members/Grandparents
  • Creative Horizons  - Preschool Childcare Center
  • Department of Public Health and Human Services - Medicaid
  • East Helena School District
  • Exploration Works - Montana’s Science Center in Helena
  • Family Concepts - Sunburst
  • Family Outreach
  • Family Promise
  • Florence Crittenton Home and Services
  • Head Start – Rocky Mountain Development Council
  • Healthy Mothers-Healthy Babies
  • Helena School District #1, Ray Bjork Learning Center
  • Lewis and Clark City-County Health Department
  • Lewis and Clark County
  • Montana Association for the Education of Young Children-Helena Chapter
  • Other Early Childhood Professionals
  • Parents
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Pumpkin Patch Early Learning Center
  • St. Peter’s Hospital
  • The ARC Montana
  • United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area 
  • Youth Connections

ECC Needs Assessment

ECC Strategic Plan

Missoula County

Missoula Best Beginnings Council

200 W Broadway
Missoula, MT  59802

Serving: Missoula County

Contact Phone and Email: (406) 721-3000 x1023 / anna@missoulaforum.org         

Coordinator Information: Anna Semple

Local Coalition Website: www.missoulaforum.org/best-beginnings

Community Partner Agencies:

  • Missoula Forum for Children and Youth
  • Missoula County Public Schools
  • Missoula County
  • Early Head Start
  • YMCA
  • Missoula City-County Health Department
  • The Parenting Place
  • Child Care Resources
  • CTA Group
  • Missoula County Grants and Community Projects
  • Child Start Inc, Head Start
  • WORD
  • Child Development Center
Park County

Park County Pathway Early Childhood Coalition

PO Box 2199
Livingston, MT 59047

Serving: Park County

Contact Email: maddent@pccf-montana.org

Coordinator Information: Ted Madden

Local Coalition Website: www.parkcountyparent.org

Community Partner Agencies:

  • Health Department
  • Livingston Memorial Hospital
  • Community Health Partners

Park County Initiative: Year 2

Ravalli County

123 Invest In Me Best Beginnings Community Council

81 Kurtz Lane
Hamilton, MT 59840

Serving: Ravalli County

Contact Phone and Email: (406) 363-1217 ext. 111 / kristins@ravalliheadstart.org

Coordinator Information: Kristin Segall

Local Coalition Website: www.123investinme.weebly.com

Community Partner Agencies:

  • Public Libraries
  • CCR
  • CFS
  • RHS, Inc.
  • Mental Health agencies
  • Public Schools
  • Public Health
  • SAFE (local Domestic Violence prevention program)
  • PTA
  • Parents
  • Private child care providers
Roosevelt County and Fort Peck Reservation

Roosevelt County and Fort Peck Tribes

Roosevelt County Health Department
124 Custer
Wolf Point, MT 59201

Fort Peck Tribes HPDP Wellness Program
415 13th Avenue East
Poplar, MT 59255

Serving: Roosevelt County and Fort Peck Reservation

Contact Phone: Roosevelt County Public Health (406) 653-6227, HPDP Wellness Program (406) 768-3052/3053

Coordinator Information: Roosevelt County: Michelle Barsness, Fort Peck Tribes: Donelle Buckles

Community Partner Agencies:

  • Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board
  • Roosevelt County Commissioner
  • Fort Peck Tribes Planning Department
  • Fort Peck Tribes Head Start
  • Family Violence Resource Center
  • Poplar Public Schools
  • DPPHS Wolf Point Office
  • High Line Home Programs
  • Indian Health Service Public Health Nurses
  • Fort Peck Community College
  • Fort Peck Tribes HPDP Wellness Program
  • Roosevelt County Health Department
  • Fort Peck Tribal Health
  • Fort Peck Child Care Program
  • Wolf Point Public Schools
  • Great Northern Development

For more information, contact Patty Butler at (406) 444-1828.

Page last updated: 04/10/2014