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2/11/22: Provider Retention/Incentive Payments

  • workforce retention and incentive payments are now available! Providers are eligible to receive $600.00 for ROUND 1 and those remaining in the child care field are encouraged to submit for a ROUND 2 payment of $1,000.00 in December 2022.This is available to caregivers that are approved by Child Care Licensing and on the ECP workforce registry in the following positions:

    • Full and part time lead teacher

    • Full and part time assistant teachers

    • Full and part time school age teachers

    • Director/owners

  • To receive ROUND 1 stipend individuals must submit the stipend form and a completed W-9 to ECP via mail or fax.

    •  Fax number:  406-404-1627

    • Mailing Address:  PO  Box  173540  Bozeman,  MT  59717

  • Click HERE for the flyer. Click HERE for the stipend from. Click HERE for a W-9 form. ​

12/20/21: CCL: Posted Licensure Rule Changes

  • On September 28, 2021 a proposed rule package was filed with Office of Legal Affairs. This rule package includes changes specific to CCDF regulations, as well as the Department Administrative Rule’s alignment to language in Senate Bill 142 related to childcare staff and the number of children allowed per facility. These rules have now been finalized and published. View the rules HERE.

11/2/21: CCL: Change of Capacity Application

  • Center, Family, and Group child care capacity has changed. The new capacity rules are as follows:

    • "Day-care center" means an out-of-home place in which day care is provided to 16 or more children on a regular or irregular basis.

    • "Family day-care home" means a private residence in which day care is provided to three to eight children on a regular basis. Maximum three children under the age of two.

    • "Group day-care home" means a private residence or other structure in which day care is provided to 9 to 15 children on a regular basis. Maximum six children under the age of two unless there is only one caregiver which it would be three children under the age of two.

  • The Change in Capacity Application can be accessed HERE. For an application to be complete it MUST include an Insurance Verification Form and Square Footage Report/Floor Plan.

    • The Square Footage Report/Floor Plan can be accessed HERE.

    • The Insurance Verification Form can be accessed HERE.

    • The Change of Status form can be accessed HERE.

    • The Overlap Care Application can be accessed HERE.

10/21/21: Proposed Child Care Licensing Changes 

  • The proposed Child Care Licensing changes have been published by the Secretary of State. A copy of the Proposed Notice can be viewed HERE.

  • You can find the published notice on the Secretary of State’s website in Issue 19 (Pages 1277-1289). The link is as follows:

  • A Public Hearing is scheduled on October 28, 2021 at 1 pm via Zoom.

  • Data, views, and arguments can be given orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments can be submitted by mail, fax, or email by November 5, 2021 at 5 pm, in any of the following ways:

    • Heidi Clark, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs P.O. Box 4210 Helena, MT59604-4210

    • Fax: (406) 444-9744

    • Email:


10/2/21: Townhalls for Child Care Stabilization Grants
Two virtual townhall meetings have been scheduled to discuss the upcoming Child Care Stabilization Grants. The first meeting is scheduled for October 7th as an introduction to the one time grants. The second meeting is scheduled for October 13th for a deeper dive into specifics. To view the flyer click HERE.


9/3/21: Child Care Stabilization Grant

Child care stabilization grants will be coming early October 2021 to help providers recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch for more information on the upcoming town hall, technical assistance and more!


As part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grants funds can be used for all kinds of expenses such as rent, payroll & benefits, PPE & cleaning supplies, and mental health support for children & providers to name a few. In order to prepare for applying, please gather the following information:

1) average enrollment by child's age in January 2020,

2) current average enrollment by child's age,

3) estimated monthly expenses.

7/1/21: Statewide Best Beginnings Reimbursement Rates
Effective July 1st, 2021, the Best Beginnings reimbursement rates will increase. The state will pay providers either the new statewide reimbursement rates or the the provider's rates, whichever is lower. The view the new rates click HERE.  
6/1/21: Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship Program
Effective June 1st, 2021 these changes will be implemented to the BBCCS. 
  • The sliding fee scale for families to qualify for the scholarship will be raised from 150% of the FPL to 185% FPL, making more families eligible to qualify for assistance. 
  • All families co-payment amount will be adjusted to $10 per family. 
  • The Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship Program will pay child care providers the full authorization amount instead of payment based on child attendance. 
6/1/21: FBI Fingerprint-Based Background Checks
Effective June 1st, 2021, FBI Fingerprint-based background checks will be free for all child care staff. 
3/15/21: FBI Fingerprint-Based Background Checks

On March 15th, 2021 the waiver of FBI fingerprint-based background checks due to COVID-19 will expire. Starting March 16th, 2021 all new child care staff and household member will be required to be fingerprinted. Individuals can be fingerprinted at the Butte 4-C's. Click HERE to read the official memo.

3/1/21: CPR/First Aid Requirements

Starting March 1st, 2021, all CPR/First Aid certifications will need to include pediatric first aid & adult, child, infant CPR. Child care providers will not need to meet this requirement until their current certification is expired. 


1/11/21: SBA Payment Protection Program (PPP) Resumes

As part of the COVID-19 Relief Law, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is reopening 1/11/21 for First Draw borrowers. This round is set to authorize up to $284 billion in job retention and other expenses through March 31, 2021. Existing borrowers may apply for a Second Draw PPP loan beginning on Wednesday, 1/13/21. Providers, please reach out to your bankers ASAP if you want to access these funds. Portion spent on payroll does not have to be repaid. For additional information on key updates, eligibility, Second Draws for current borrowers, and more, here are some additional resources:

Small Business Association

Overview of First Draw PPP

Overview of Second Draw PPP

11/17/20: School-Aged Child Care Grant

  • Early recipients of the grant will need to complete The School-Aged Grant Interim Report by MONDAY NOVEMBER 23RD

  • A final report that will be due no later than January 31 2021 (the template for that final report will be sent out in December).

  • ECSB partnered with the MT Nonprofit Association to provide Town Halls on reporting requirements for the nonprofit grants and they have compiled a good FAQ resource that applies broadly to all of the DPHHS grants and could be helpful resource to childcare grantees as well CLICK HERE
  • The CFDA number for this source of funding is 21.019. 

  • Federal guidance on eligible expenses can be found here: CLICK HERE

  • Need help troubleshooting forms or navigating the Submittable grant platform? Contact

  • To calculate eligible payroll expenditures, take hourly rate * number of hours worked.  Add in any employer-paid benefits (such as health insurance or retirement contributions).

11/1/2020: After-School Authorized Hours

  • The amount of hours that can be authorized for after-school care is changing. For the 2020-2021 school year, after-school age children can be authorized for a total of 30 hours per week beginning 11/1/2020. Authorization Hours Flier. Authorization Hours FAQ's.

  • The sliding fee scale is being updated effective 11/1/2020. Cases will be automatically re-determined by our eligibility staff for possible changes. This may change your co-payment for the better. It will not affect your family’s 12-month eligibility period. Sliding Fee Parent Letter. Sliding Fee Scale Nov. 2020.

10/1/2020: Online CPR/First Aid

  • The online only option of CPR/First Aid is no longer accepted to fulfill licensing requirements. The Butte 4-C's offers in-person classes one time each month. Click HERE for more information. 

8/1/2020: After-school Rate Change

  • On 8/1/2020 the after-school rate changed to match the preschool-age state rate until further notice. Reminder the scholarship will pay either the provider’s rate or the school-age rate, whichever is lower.

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