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Department of Public Health and Human Services
Early Childhood and Family Support Division
Early Childhood Services Bureau

PO Box 4210
Helena, MT 59601

Early Childhood Services Bureau:
Child Care Unit: (866) 239-0458
CACFP: (888) 307-9333

Main line: 444-1958

The Mission of the Early Childhood Services Bureau is to improve the quality, affordability and accessibility of early care and education in Montana, with focused efforts on coordinated systems to best meet the needs of young children, their families, and the professionals who work on behalf of young children and families.


Staff Contact Information

Patty Butler, ECSB Bureau Chief
Brooke Pickett, CACFP Program Manager
Jody Lehman, CCDF Program Manager
Sally Tilleman, Early Learning and School Readiness Manager

 

STARS to Quality

The STARS to Quality Program is a voluntary quality rating improvement system that aligns quality indicators with support and incentives for early childhood programs and early childhood professionals.

STARS to Quality Staff

Shandi Hayes, Specialist
Marjorie Vegoren, Specialist
Jill Christensen, Early Education and Coaching Specialist

 

Child and Adult Care Food Program

The CACFP supports child care businesses by providing assistance with child nutrition, food service management, and reimbursement for meals served.

Child and Adult Care Food Program Staff

Janene Shepherd, Program Specialist
Kelly Little, Program Specialist
Pam Barragato, Program Specialist

 

Child Care Licensing

The role of the Child Care Licensing Program is to regulate and monitor child care facilities. Additionally, the Program establishes guidelines for the health, safety and well-being of the children in these facilities. Surveys are conducted annually and all complaints are investigated.

Child Care Licensing Staff

List of Child Care Licensing Staff

 

Child Care Policy Unit - Best Beginnings

Child Care Policy Unit Staff

Sarah Adams, CCDF Project Specialist
Allison Drake, Best Beginnings Specialist
Chauntel Lucier, Best Beginnings Specialist

 

Montana Head Start Collaboration Office

The Head Start Collaboration Office facilitates collaboration among Head Start agencies (including Early Head Start agencies) and entities that carry out activities designed to benefit low income children from birth to school entry, and their families.

Montana Head Start Collaboration Office Staff

Kathy Rich, Montana Head Start Collaboration Director

 

Montana Milestones Part C 

Montana Milestones/Part C of the IDEA Early Intervention Program is Montana’s comprehensive system of early intervention services and supports for families who have infants or toddlers, from birth through three who have significant developmental delays or disabilities or have been diagnosed with an established condition associated with significant delays in development.

Montana Milestones Part C Staff

Wendy Studt, Part C 
Sandy Cade, Early Intervention Program Specialist

Early Childhood and Family Support Division (ECFSD)

About Us

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Vision:

Children, youth, and families are healthy and thriving.

Mission:

The Early Childhood and Family Support Division provides coordinated services and resources to promote well-being and support the health and development of children, individuals, families, and communities.

Guiding Principles:

We recognize that individuals, families, and communities have diverse backgrounds, experiences and needs which informs our program design and service throughout the state. 

Families are honored as the expert of their child and recognized as their child’s first and most influential teacher.

We value collaborative partnerships and our work with community agencies to best support Montanans.

We recognize and address equity and inclusion in our service delivery and program structure.

We promote prevention programs striving to ensure the safety of children and families while working to build individual resiliency and family strength.

We strive to use data to inform our decisions and program design.

We are committed to staff and workforce development to support professional growth and ensure our programs are administered innovatively and effectively.

We commit to administer programs intentionally and sustainably, with integrity and accountability.