Tester Secures $3.7 Million for Three Montana Head Start Programs

Grant funding will provide education and nutrition services for kids in Butte, Billings & Helena

(U.S. Senate) – As part of his ongoing effort to expand access to early childhood education across Montana, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $3.7 million in federal funding for Head Start programs in Butte, Billings, and Helena.

“Head Start provides Montana kids with the resources they need to thrive,” Tester said. “These grants are an investment in the next generation, ensuring that families across the state receive educational, physical, and emotional support in a way that’s both convenient and cost-effective.”

The $3.7 million in grants-administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-will fund local Head Start and Early Head Start programs, which promote social, emotional and developmental growth by providing education, health, and nutritional services to low-income children.

$1,247,747 – Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships (Butte)
   AWARE, Inc.

$2,001,132 – Head Start (Helena)
   Rocky Mountain Development Council, Inc.

$505,380 – Early Head Start (Billings)
   Young Families Early Head Start, Inc.

Traditional Head Start programs provide Pre-K preparation, daily meals, and advanced health screenings to children ages three through kindergarten. Early Head Start programs provide similar services to children under age three in addition to multi-generational social services like GED prep for parents. And Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships provide these services in classrooms that are open up to 19 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure parents who work all hours can access quality affordable childcare.

As a former teacher and school board member, Tester has been a champion for Head Start programs in Montana. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he worked across the aisle to secure nearly $10 billion for Head Start initiatives across the U.S. in 2019. So far this year, Tester has secured funding for four other Head Start programs across the state, including $1.1 million for Eastern Montana, $1.4 million for the Bozeman area, $1.1 million for Central Montana, and $3.1 million for Ravalli County.