Child Care Information
Quality Child Care is Important!
Choosing a child care provider for your child is one of the most important decisions families make. The first five years are a critical time of growth and development and families are children’s first and most important teachers. High quality early childhood care and education gives children the experiences they need to enter school ready to succeed while providing parents the opportunity to work and support their families.
Steps to Choosing Quality Child Care
Start Early! Finding the best child care for your family takes time. There are many types of child care programs to meet the diverse needs of families such as Center, Family, Group, After School, Preschool, Drop-in, and Family/Friend/Neighbor Care.
When considering your options, look for child care programs with the following qualifications:
Background checks and continuing education for all staff.
Parent contract outlining policies, procedures, schedules, payment, illnesses, discipline, etc.
Open Door Policy: Parents are welcome to visit at any time to check on their child.
Common Child Care Business Practices
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.
Licensing and Registration Requirements
Center, Group, Family, and Family/Friend/Neighbor Care are required to be licensed, registered or certified.
Provider to Child Ratios
Center: 13 or more children with ratios based on the ages of the children
Group: Two adults care for 7-12 children with a limit of 6 under 2 years
Family: Up to 6 children with no more than 3 children under 2 years
Family/Friend/Neighbor: All of the children from one family or up to 2 unrelated children
Quality Rating Improvement System
The Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Program is a voluntary quality rating improvement system that aligns quality indicators with support and incentives for early childhood programs and professionals.
NAEYC – National Association for the Education of Young Children
NAFCC – National Association for Family Child Care
Training and Education
Health and Safety: Current CPR and First Aid certifications, Emergency Preparedness Plan, Safe Sleep Training, Medication Administration Training, Child and Adult Care Food Program
Infant/Toddler and Preschool Certifications, Child Development Associate Credential, Associate or Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education
Finding Child Care
Butte 4-C’s offers child care referrals to families looking for a child care provider. The referrals are free and customized to meet the needs of each individual family.
Paying for Child Care
The Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship Program is available to families who are working and/or attending school who meet program requirements.
Additional Resources for Families
SUPPORT GROUPS & CLASSES
The Circle of Parents group provides a place for parents who have children with disabilities and/or mental health issues to come and share common experiences, successes, and challenges through a monthly group meeting co-led by parents and professionals.
Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at:
Butte 4-C's at 6:30 pm,
101 North Main St. Butte
Dinner and child care are provided for free
Contact Heather at 406-723-4019 or
We receive funding from United Way to offer free parenting classes to anyone in our community. Each session runs for six weeks. Participation certificates and completion certificates are awarded to those who complete the classes. To register for the next session please call the Butte 4-C’s at 723-4019.
The FLOC (Families Leading Our Community) is a parent group that is a key part of the Zero to Five Butte-Silver Bow Collaborative. The FLOC works to make sure that the changes being worked on in our community are for parents, by parents. We meet regularly at different locations and promote social contentedness and peer support for the families of Butte-Silver Bow.
Visit us at our website: www.zerotofive.org/butte
Contact Cass Weber for more information:
Bright by Text
Bright by Text is a new program that the Zero to Five Butte-Silver Bow Collaborative has brought to Butte in partnership with Yellowstone County Best Beginnings.
It is a free texting service for parents and caregivers of children prenatal to age 8. They will receive text messages with info about support and development based on their children's ages. As well as LOCAL MESSAGES about FREE or low cost family events and resources!
Sign up today by texting
406Parents to 27448 or click here to sing up online
HOME VISITING & SUPERVISED VISITATION
SafeCare is an evidence based program that provides information and resources to families with children age 0-5 in the areas of health, safety, parent/child interaction, communication, and problem solving. Helpful items such as a first aid kit, digital thermometer, safety locks and a children’s health manual are provided to each family in this program. Families spend one-on-one time with a SafeCare professional each week for approximately four to six months. SafeCare is available in most of Southwest Montana. Both professionals and parents may submit a referral for this program. Click the link to access the referral form: referral form.
We provide professional supervised visitation services for families dealing with child custody issues or court ordered visitation. Parents complete an intake appointment with a Family Development Specialist to provide information about their family. Each parent has their own intake appointment. Supervised visits are set up to accommodate the parents, children, and the Family Development Specialist. Intake appointments are approximately one hour with a $25 fee per parent. Supervised visits are generally one hour per week with a $35 fee per hour. Contact us for more information.