Day Care

CHOOSING CHILD CARE

Choosing a child care program is an important decision for your family. Finding the right provider or teacher for your child can take some time, so start early! Quality child care is important for your child's development, growth, and learning. 

TYPES OF CHILD CARE

Child Care Center

Child Care Centers provide care for 16 or more children. The staff-to-child ratio is based on the age of the children being cared for. The maximum capacity is based on square footage of the facility. Centers must be licensed.

Group Home Child Care

Two adults provide care for 9-15 children, with a limit of six children under the age of two. Group facilities are usually in a home or homelike setting. Group home providers must be registered. 

Family Home Child Care

One caregiver cares for 3-8 children at a time with no more than three children under the age of two. Care is offered in a homelike setting, usually in the caregiver's residence. Family child care homes must be registered.

Family, Friend, Neighbor (FFN) Provider

This is a more informal type of care, a parent selects an individual(family member, friend, or neighbor) to care for all the children in one family or up to 4 unrelated children. FFN Providers must be registered.

Relative Care Exempt (RCE) Provider

In this type of care, the child is a close relative (brother, nephew, etc.) of the person providing child care (includes a child in a step, foster, or adoptive relationship). The family of the child must qualify for the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship Program. The provider is exempt from some of the Child Care Licensing regulations.

Head Start & Early Head Start

Have income-based eligibility. They are part-day, part-year comprehensive programs. Head Start is for 3- to 5-year-olds. Early Head Start serves infants and toddlers.

Before and/or After School Program

This type of care is not required to be licensed or registered with the State of Montana. 

Drop-In Child Care Program

This type of care is not required to be licensed or registered with the State of Montana. 

Preschool Program

This type of care is not required to be licensed or registered with the State of Montana. 

FINDING THE RIGHT CHILD CARE

The Butte 4-C's maintains a database of child care facilities. Based on the needs of your family, we will provide you a list (child care referral) of child care options. To submit a child care referral request online, click the button below. 

Child Care Referrals are offered by phone or in-person as well!

The State of Montana offers an online search tool known as the Provider Portal. The Provider Portal has a complete list of all licensed/registered child care providers in Montana. The Provider Portal can be accessed by clicking the button below. 

VISITING 
If possible, make time to visit several programs to observe the program and ask questions. Things to consider when visiting a program are provider and child interactions and the environment. 







CHOOSING A PROGRAM
Take your time to make your decision. If you would like to revisit a specific program and ask more questions, do so. If you do not feel like any of the programs you visited meet your families needs, visit additional programs. Once your have found the right program, start preparing your child for the transition. 
   
 Girl Painting with Brush

COMMON CHILD CARE BUSINESS PRACTICES

Father and Son
Provider Rates
Providers are a private business who set their own rates which may be hourly, daily, weekly or monthly.

Full or Part Time Slots 
Providers may require you to pay a full-time fee if your child attends part-time or some may have another child to fill the other part-time hours.

Authorized Child Pick-up List 
For your child’s safety, providers may only release a child to an approved list submitted by a parent.

Late Fees
Providers may charge late fees for late child pick-ups or overdue bills.

Two Week Notice 
Providers may require a two week notice of a child’s last day of attendance.

Sick Child Policy
State policy mandates that an ill child with fever, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. may not attend a child care for the health and safety of other children and staff.