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Montana Preschool Development Grant

Montana is one of 18 states that have received a federal Preschool Development Grant. Montana was awarded $10 million a year for up to four years. The Preschool Development Grant competition supports states to: (1) Build or enhance preschool programs for the delivery of high-quality preschool services to children, and (2) Expand access to high-quality preschool programs in targeted communities. These sites will serve as models for preschool to all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate income families. The MPDG will be jointly implemented by the Governor’s Office, the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS.) More information about the MPDG can be found on the U.S. Department of Education Website:

Preschool Matters

Where is high-quality preschool available?
Free preschool is currently available in Anaconda, Bozeman, Browning, Crow, Fort Peck, Great Falls, Hardin, Helena, Lewistown, and Libby.

Download poverty guidelines.

Is my child eligible to attend?
If your family is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, or are eligible for special education, your 4-year-old could qualify for attending preschool. For a family of four, 200 percent of the federal poverty level is an annual income of $48,500.

Connect with the preschool program coordinator in your community to sign up.

Anaconda Norah Barney
Gail Mickey
Bozeman Kathy Piatz 406.586.9652
Browning Neola Bear Medicine 406.338.7370
Browning Public Schools

John Rouse
Toni Tatsey
Butte Head Start Barb Brophy 406.723.4078
Butte School District Judy Jonart, Jim O'Neil,
Brenda Miner
Jeanne Christopher
Jody Jones
Crow Evelyn Roundstone 406.679.0729
Fort Belknap Head Start
Julia Doney 406.353.2827
Fort Peck Joyce Simmons
Viola Wood
Great Falls Patty Higgins 406.268.6400
Hardin Norma Granning
Leigh Ann Pallone
Helena Ashley Pena-Larson 406.457.7375
Kalispell Mark Flatau
Andrea Johnson
406.751.3400 Ext 3434
Lewistown Rose Smith 406.535.7751
Libby Toya Laveway 406.293.4502
Northern Cheyenne
Head Start Program
Clyde Wolf Black 406.477.8378
Northwest MT Head Start
Marcy Otten 406.752.7011
Rocky Boy Head Start
Luanne Belcourt 406.395.4690

Why is preschool important?
Children who attend preschool learn important skills like how to follow directions, how to get along with others, and how to pay attention. This will set your child up for success by the time he/she is ready for kindergarten.

Data show that…

  • Ninety percent of brain development happens before a child is 5-years-old.
  • Children who don't attend preschool are 25 percent more likely to drop out of high school.
  • The average cost of childcare for a Montana 4-year-old is more than $7,500, which can be a large chunk of your income.