Educational Toys

CHOOSE QUALITY CARE

The first five years of a child's life are critical learning years. 90% of a child's brain is developed by the age of 5. Positive and secure relationships between caregiver and child, including parents and child care providers are an important aspect to successful child development. Early learning experiences can have an effect on life-long successes. 

QUALITY INDICATORS IN CHILD CARE

WHAT IS LICENSED CHILD CARE? 

Licensed child care means that a child care provider is licensed or registered through the state of Montana's Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and has met all the health, safety, and program requirements. There are two types of licensed child care: 
1. Licensed child care center
2. Registered family or group home child care
In both cases, the facility is required to be inspected by Child Care Licensing within the Early Childhood Services Bureau. Licensed child care centers are also required to be inspected by their county health department and fire marshal. 
 
Unannounced inspections are conducted annually by Child Care Licensing for both types of licensed child care to ensure the facility continue to meet all requirements. 
*EXCEPTION: Preschool Programs are not required to be licensed or registered in the state of Montana, but may still follow similar guidelines and provide a quality learning environment.

LICENSED OR REGISTERED BY THE STATE OF MONTANA

PARTICIPATES IN THE BEST BEGINNINGS STARS TO QUALITY PROGRAM

PARTICIPATES IN THE CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program)

ACCREDITED BY NAEYC OR NAFCC

STARSLogo.png
What is STARS to Quality?
 
Montana’s Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Program builds upon the foundation of the state’s child care licensing requirements. STARS to Quality provides the opportunity for child care programs to demonstrate achievements that exceed licensing requirements. 
 
Upon review and verification, programs are awarded a star rating from 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest quality level). A program that is awarded a rating at any level, including becoming a participant, demonstrates a program’s commitment to continuous quality improvement. It is also referred to as a Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS).
Key components:
  • Voluntary participation for licensed child care providers
  • Free STARS approved professional development
  • Free fingerprinting service for STAR 1 and above
  • 5 star system with research based and national best practice standards
  • Professional coaching and consulting
  • Financial incentives

  Who benefits from STARS ?

  • All children and families in participating programs
  • Children with high needs
  • The Montana early childhood workforce

STARS PROVIDERS

BUTTE
Kings Kids
Small World
AWARE Early Head Start
University on Princeton
Kids Konnection
Young Explorers
Sweet Pea Child Care
Cradle to Crayons
Kiddie Korner Early Learning Center
Merry Bees
LeeAnn Butt’s Licensed Home Child Care
Wee Care
Mini Miracles
Rowdy Rascals
Mini Sprouts
Hands On Learning
Allison's Pampered Play
DILLON
Janet Fjseth
 
ENNIS
Ennis Community Children’s School: STAR 2
DEER LODGE
Building Blocks Child Care
Wild Flowers
TWIN BRIDGES
Twin Bridges Kid Country
SHERIDAN
New Kids on the Block
ANACONDA
Anaconda Head Start
Little Monkey Business
PHILLIPSBURG
The Nest at the Ranch at Rock Creek
Flint Creek Child Care: Participant
OPPORTUNITY
Country Bumpkin